July 18: Day 18
STEP THREE CONTINUED: Recognize that we are spiritual beings and decide to turn our lives over to “that which is greater than self” referred to in these steps as “The Divine.”
Instruction: Explore the journey.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
A large number of people have turned their lives over not to the care of a higher power but to the care of a religious leader. Many are impressed by the charisma that springs from a religious leader’s rhetoric and personality. If that leader is moral and loving, they will not abuse the power that has been given them but, in some cases, that power is used for personal gain. When that happens, lives are damaged and people are left without a religious or even a spiritual foundation to stand upon.
Those who have recognized that their spiritual journey is not dependent upon a religious leader and who have established spiritual boundaries will not be shaken when a leader falls from popularity due to scandal or disgrace. Instead of turning their spiritual journey over to a religion or a specific religious leader, they have understood their responsibility is to take control of their spiritual journey, and they have turned over the care and guidance to The Divine. They have learned ways to discern when religion and spirituality conflict, and they make the choice to go with the dictates of love and forgiveness.
This spiritual journey can easily be combined with a religious path, too, and many people enjoy the benefits of both. We can enjoy the spiritual journey and recognize spiritual insights and truths that come from The Divine without allowing religion or the religious to restrict the ways in which The Divine reveals love and light to us.
Take a survey of your life today to see if you have, in the past or currently in the present, become too dependent upon the teachings of one particular person or one religious organization. If someone else is making all your spiritual decisions for you, consider whether this is helping you or harming you. If it is helping you, is there potential for harm to come at a later time, and are you prepared to handle it if it does?
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.