By Seth Lusk
Religion has long been a guiding force in shaping beliefs, values, and the way we show up in the world. While it provides structure and community for many, it can also present challenges when it comes to expressing our authentic selves. 🙏
This includes our authentic ability to connect with our spirituality. You see, religion and spirituality have some very blurred lines, but the ways in which they are different are very important to understand.
I want to be clear, that I am not saying we cannot be a part of a religion and choose a path that is authentic spiritually, but it takes some practice and awareness. Often religious communities pressure people into giving up on the practice of staying aware, challenging community accepted norms, or questioning the comfortable ruts that religious communities can find themselves in.
🔒 Rules and Regulations vs. True Values 🗝️
Religion often emphasizes rules and regulations, dictating what we should believe, based on a historical or archetypal figure (Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, Moses, etc..). Religion focuses on looking at how these figures lived their life, and the stories about them that have been handed to us over the ages. And from these stories, religion superimposes ideas onto our lives now. These are usually ideas of how we should behave, what values we should prioritize, and how we should be expressing those values. As a result, we might find ourselves conforming to a set of predetermined norms, rather than exploring and expressing our own core values and beliefs in the authentic ways that our true spiritual connection to our higher power calls us to do. It can leave us feeling disconnected from our true selves. 😔 It can even leave us feeling disconnected from our true higher power, and feel as if we are chasing acceptance of the community over listening to our true calling from our authentic spiritual connection to our higher power.
🌌 Exploring Authentic Spirituality 🌌
True spirituality is about personal exploration, understanding, and alignment with the unique, authentic values we are designed to be more sensitive to in this life. It’s about developing a unique relationship with the divine or the universe that resonates with our authentic essence, and how we are designed to express that essence into the world around us, to remind humanity of something that might be out of harmony in life. However, religious dogmas can sometimes hinder this exploration and leave us feeling confined in our spiritual growth. Religious dogma can also leave us feeling scared to express what we are being called to express, for fear of being alienated within the religious community that we find ourselves in. We may even feel guilty, or be convinced to believe that we are doing something wrong or evil by questioning/challenging the widely accepted beliefs of our religious community.
This is the exact position I found myself in as a kid, teenager, and young adult. I get it… It feels safer and more comfortable to follow predetermined guidelines that people have been following for hundreds or thousands of years. It feels safe to believe that this somehow means we are doing what is “right”. BUT, what history shows us is that a lot of really messed up behaviors stem from following religious dogma. Following religious structures, beliefs, traditions, and dogma have caused us to cover our eyes where real life is showing us that we are being called to explore, learn, and evolve as humans (think things like wars, slavery, genocide, etc…).
The truth is, our understanding of our higher power (no matter who believe it is) will always be flawed in this life, because we are living through a biological experience, as spiritual beings. We have a finite ability to understand our full spiritual selves, while living through the biology of a human experience. What this means, is that our understanding of what we are here to do, and create in this life, will always be evolving, as we uncover more and more layers of who we truly are, and what we are here to do.
When we look to hundred, and thousand year old beliefs, regulations, dogma, etc… to tell us what we should focus on, do and value in life, we end up stagnating this evolution. We even discourage it from happening. Then we find ourselves looking back over behaviors that we defended for so long, and harmed so many other humans in the process, all for the sake of clinging to socially accepted norms within our religious community. When we chase “fitting in” over our authentic spiritual callings as individuals, we allow for, and even encourage for this sort of history to repeat itself. And, religion often can encourage us to chase “fitting in” over challenging current beliefs, or ideas within our religious communities, to encourage that they evolve past their current understanding, and beliefs in their higher power.
We each have been put in this life with a unique connection and perspective of our higher power. We are designed to bring that to this life, and stimulate others to evolve in their understanding of our higher power as humans. When we chase “fitting in” over this, we end up not only disconnecting ourselves from the authentic spiritual connection we are designed to have, we also deprive humanity of the growth, and challenge to currently accepted understandings, that we are actually put in this life to offer.
This is why authenticity in our spirituality is so crucial, and why we need to be fully aware of the ways in which practicing religion might be impacting our authenticity here. 🌱
💡 Embracing Authenticity in All Areas of Life 💡
The struggle with authenticity extends beyond spirituality. Many individuals face challenges in expressing their true selves in relationships, work, and other aspects of life. As a life coach, I’ve witnessed numerous clients seeking support to navigate this journey of self-discovery and reclaim their authentic power, and connection to their higher spiritual power. 🌟
Today, I want to encourage my readers to take some time to reflect on this in your own lives. I am not here to tell people to abandon their religious communities. Some of you may see that you are being called to walk away. I want to encourage you to really lean into this calling and find what you are authentically being called to offer humanity, and your religious community in following this calling. Some of you may be called to stay within your religious community, and create challenge from within it. The truth is, there is no right or wrong way here. There is only the way that you are designed for. Finding this way, will not come from the rules, guidelines, or beliefs of a community, although you might find that you align with them in some ways. Finding this way is an internal journey of exploration.
I myself found that walking away from my religious community offered me the chance to gain perspective on what I was truly being called to bring this world on a spiritual level. Once I gained this perspective, I was called to re-enter the religious community that I was brought up in, with my new perspectives, to challenge within that religion the ways in which it was becoming resistant to its own evolution. I was being called to speak to my brothers and sisters within the religious community that I grew up in, to remind them of their own spiritual callings, and the importance of them. The truth for me was that I was being called to walk away to learn what I was designed to learn about this life, and my own unique spiritual connection. This won’t be the same calling for everyone.
As a coach, I have made it a priority to help my clients who are in spiritual crisis to navigate their spiritual callings with true authenticity. I am here to help my clients remove the layers of religious dogma from their spiritual callings. I am here to help them navigate the fears, and anxieties surrounding acceptance, and “fitting in” that come with being called to challenge the norms of a particular religious community, that they are being called to authentically challenge. I am here to help my clients find their authentic footing, and confidence in their spiritual connection again, so that no amount of social pressure from their religious community, can convince them to suppress their true callings from their higher power.
I truly believe that having community around our spiritual beliefs can be a powerful asset. It can also come with many dangers, and obstacles. It is not our job to throw out the idea of community (religion) around spirituality, because of these dangers, and obstacles. It is our job to evolve, and learn through them. It is our job to begin using awareness of the obstacles, weaknesses, and dangers of religion to bring spiritual healing back into our religious communities, and help them to move forward in their growth, as we are individually also being called to do so.
I challenge you today to take some time to reflect on this. I challenge you to explore where you are being called to use this new insight, and awareness to move forward in your spiritual calling, and how this might also mean you changing your current behavior, or connection to your own religious community.
I am here to help you navigate that calling with tools, practices, and insight to bring you back to alignment with your authentic spiritual connection. I also here to support you in building up the momentum, and confidence of maintaining that alignment, even when your community offers you resistance, or what appears to be rejection of you on the surface. If this sounds like something you are being called to lean into, to help you evolve into your next spiritual, and human level in this life; let’s talk. I offer a free consultation call to see if my coaching programs will be a fit for supporting, and guiding you into this amazing chapter of human growth, and spiritual evolution in your life.
To Book Your Free Consultation today- https://calendly.com/lifecoachseth/consultation-call
Seth Lusk, Founder, and CEO of Authentic Life Connection: coaching services. He is also the podcast creator and host for the Authentic Life Connection podcast. He is a published author of the book What I really want is… But I’m Just too full of… . This book is available on Amazon for purchase. Seth is a Life coach as well. He works with clients one-to-one as well as in groups to help them create their most authentic and fulfilling life, from the inside out. Seth is also the founder and CEO of Lusk Holistic Health Services (the umbrella company for Authentic Life Connection: coaching services). Under this umbrella company Seth also provides guidance in fitness and nutrition for his clients. This comes from his background and education in exercise science and nutrition. Seth has worked with hundreds of clients to get clear on their authentic goals for their life, fitness, and health, and helped them create unstoppable authentic action to actualize these in their lives. For more about how to get in touch with Seth or hear more about his work, you can find him @ https://www.lifecoachseth.com . There you can access his podcast, book, social media, as well as speak with Seth directly about working with him one-to-one as coach/coachee. To access the “Authentic Life Connection” podcast, follow the link below