Explorations in Spirituality


As I’ve been growing as a person and writing my latest work, I have had my mind opened to all kinds of new ideas about the spirit world and the beyond. All we humans “know” is what we are told, but what you believe is something entirely different, and that’s something that every individual has to decide for themselves. What do I believe? Good question. I think it’s time I cleared that up.

First of all, I believe every person on this earth has a soul. We have emotions and inner knowing that simply cannot exist in a being with no soul. Plus, if there was no such thing as a soul, how would we know about it?

I believe every soul was created by someone with immense power and wisdom. Some call him “God,” some call him “Allah,” some people think it’s more than one person, and some people think it’s just energy coming together. Whatever your opinion is, every intuitive person out there gets it now. There’s something bigger out there than this little planet of ours. Something…greater.

I believe the person who created us wanted us. We are engineered so intricately that it blows our minds. Think about the human brain. Think about our reproductive systems and other bodily functions. Think about… an eyeball. Everything we see about ourselves and the world around us points back to a creator that intended it. We are no accident. We are here by design and for a purpose.

I believe that love is the calling of mankind. Think about all the problems we could solve if people just loved each other instead of judging, killing, raping, and all other evils. Think about everyone’s deepest desire–to be loved and accepted for who they are. If you’ve experienced love, think about how amazing it would be if that lasted forever and nothing ever happened to mess it up. Love is the key ingredient to happiness and real life.

I believe there is potential for good and evil in everything. You could do the same thing for two different reasons and one would be right and one would be wrong. Because of this, I think it’s impossible for any person to live by someone else’s rules and it is impossible for someone to make a just judgment about anyone else’s actions. Unfortunately though, people do not always agree on what’s right and wrong and therefore we need government, courts, and lawyers.

I believe (and this one’s a doozy) there is truth and error in every formal religion. No religion is the be all end all. If you are trusting in religion to save you from hell or a bad next life, you’re on the wrong track. Religion is man’s explanation of God. It is not God itself.

Those were my general beliefs about the spiritual world. Here come the specifics.

I believe that God reveals Himself to people who seek after truth. I have experienced this in my own life and I know others have as well. My quest has led me to Yahweh and I believe His Spirit is living inside of me.

I believe that mankind sinned and that is why we are under a curse. If you read Genesis 2-3, it really explains a lot; why work is hard but necessary, why women tend to suffer more than men, why childbirth is such a painful experience. As I have read those Scriptures for myself I have come to believe them.

I believe that God sent his Son to redeem us by being the perfect example of true love. Real love sacrifices itself. Real love gives up pride. Real love never gives up. I have learned all these things from Jesus and because of that, I believe He lives.

There is a lot more to what I believe but I think this blog post is long enough 🙂 If I had to put a label on myself, I’d call myself a non-denominational Christian, but I don’t think my beliefs have to be tied to a certain “religion” to guarantee my friendship and alliance with God. If you have any questions or comments you can post them here or message me on Twitter, @NatashaLingarow. Please note that trolling or attacking comments will be deleted but I am not against hearing differing points of view.

Happy Tuesday!

~N.L.

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The Freedom of Forgiveness


I apologize in advance for the “preachiness” of this post. But it contains things that a lot of people, including myself, need to hear often.

I have been trying to figure out what “forgiveness” means my whole life. It has not been an easy task, to say the least. Does forgiveness mean I just excuse people for everything and never hold anyone accountable? Does it mean I have to be a doormat and just let people walk all over me? Does it mean I forget it ever happened and trust that person never to do it again (even if they never apologized)? If a person NEVER apologizes or shows remorse, do I still have to forgive them?

These questions are so hard to answer. What is forgiveness, anyway? And is it really that important? Holding a grudge is a lot easier, and so is seeking revenge (plus seeking revenge can be pretty darn fun sometimes…).

The Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines forgiveness this way–

Definition of FORGIVE

transitive verb
1
a : to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b : to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>
2
: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) : pardon <forgive one’s enemies>
So basically, according to good old Merriam and Webster, forgiveness is composed of two things: A) letting go of resentment, and B) releasing them from what they “owe” you.
First of all, it’s important to note that this is what Jesus accomplished for us. He made it possible for God to forgive us of our sin debt against Him. We have disobeyed His laws in innumerable ways and our debt to Him is more than anyone, except Jesus Christ, could bear. HOWEVER, Jesus said that if we hold things against human beings, God will continue to hold our sins against us.

The hard thing is when someone has deeply, deeply wronged you in a way that scars you for life, and you feel like you did nothing to deserve it. You feel like you have never and WILL never do something that terrible and therefore feel a “right” to hold it against them. I have felt that way for a very long time, even though I know it’s wrong. It’s something that has to be worked through a day at a time and every individual handles it differently. If you’re going through this right now, I understand completely.

But the truth is, that mentality grows out of one thing and one thing only: PRIDE.

It is an entitled and arrogant point of view and one that I am extremely guilty of… and ashamed of. Who am I to act like another human being owes me something when I owed SO much to God that He had to send His own Son to die for me?? Until I let go of this point of view, there is no way my relationship with God can be anything but strained. How disgusting and repulsive pride is. It makes the regenerated part of me want to throw up.

So right now, I’m working on purifying my relationships and my feelings toward people. It’s going to be a long and agonizing process, but I can already feel God at work in my life and in my relationships with people who have hurt me. I’ve hurt other people too, so I’m trying to repair those relationships as well.

What I have discovered about forgiveness and letting go of your pride is, it’s so FREEING. It’s like a huge weight lifting off of your life and once you’ve forgiven someone, even though you know the offense happened, it doesn’t MATTER so much anymore. That’s in the past, and you’re willing to move on to a debt-free future. That doesn’t mean you have to throw yourself straight into somebody’s arms who you know isn’t trustworthy, though. Be cautious and discerning and avoid stupid mistakes.

Forgiveness is going to be a life-long struggle, especially if you come from a broken home. One song I love is “7 times 70” by Chris August (here’s the youtube link in case you haven’t heard it– http://youtu.be/n5-Q1zAhqpA ). It fits my life SO perfectly I almost thought it was written for me. Forgiveness really does heal, and it really does make a way to overcome the pain of a troubled past. Praise the Lord for His overwhelming grace and forgiveness toward us!!

Also PTL it’s FRIDAY!!!! Woooot! 🙂

Enjoy your weekend, lovelies!

~N.L.

P. S. ~ For my friends who believe against contemporary music or just can’t/don’t want to watch the youtube video, please at least read this testimony from Chris August and the lyrics of this wonderful song. It is truly powerful.

http://www.chrisaugustmusic.com/songs/7×70

P. P. S ~ Troll comments will be automatically trashed.