My Holiday Aha!
A pondering during the holidays on childhood impressions with respect to faith.
I was raised within a middle-class, east coast, Catholic family where faith, more than religion was prevalent. We did walk the walk of the religious ceremony, for the most part, Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation and such but as I reflect, it felt more like something that was expected than something that was a part of me.
Does It Count If You’re Sleeping?
My early memories relating to religion were flashes of falling asleep in the front pew of mass on Sunday morning with my mother. Does it count if you are sleeping?
Interestingly, I have no recall of attending church with my father or siblings. Later, as a teenager, I attended mass with my friends. And in years drifted off to a “C” and “E” Catholic. Meaning, I went to church on Christmas and Easter only. By then, my mother rarely attended as she was going through, what I suspected was, a long dark night of the soul. I think she was angry with God.
If that sounds familiar and you wish to step into mindful practice, “A Year of Living MindfulLee”, is a great place to start.
But I never doubted her faith. Mom’s path was one steeped in emotional pain. She did the best that she could with the tools that she had. She prayed to the spiritual hierarchy to help. And was outspoken with her relationship with the Blessed Mother – a kindred soul connection, and with other saints that she beseeched. And at Christmas, the honoring of the birth of Christ was beautifully represented in our home.
To this day, the memory of the manger scene with fresh evergreen, red lights and many angels that my mother created in our bay window provides a warm visceral feeling.
As is the case with everyone, mother’s faith was her own; however, it did not bring her long lasting peace. She sought peace but could not sustain it. Could the challenge had been that she looked for it outside of herself and not within? Who is to say for sure.
There are shadows and whispers of her that linger like an imprint in my life. I recognize it. I am grateful for the awareness. The memories of her guide my path even today.
And then there was my dad. He rarely shared his deep spiritual belief with me although I knew as a young man, he wanted to be a priest. By the time I came around, he was too emotionally and mentally tortured within his own psyche to engage in that conversation. These were tough years for my parents. They were tough years for many during the 60s. Dad found his peace in nature and beautifully handed that wisdom off to his offspring.
Foundation of Faith
The holidays were lovely at my house. I have come to appreciate the tradition my mother provided for us growing up. I witnessed other happy times in the day to day as well. But it was not the overarching energy of my parents.
I am grateful for the endurance they had and their ability to lay down the spiritual foundation and fortitude of faith. That was a powerful legacy they provided me that I did not understand until the need for the endurance presented in my own experience.
Looking back on these souls who played my parents, I have such gratitude for them. They had enormous contrast to live through. They were warriors! They had faith. They continued to trust that things would get better. And maybe somewhere in there lies the issue.
What was missing from their practice was mindful awareness of the moment in non-judgement. Nonresistance. And without that, they were locked into their perceived limits of belief that kept them confined. Seeking the relief from current situations that they felt only the future could bring. Does the future ever come?
They did not have the skill or understanding to be the mindful observer in their lives with non-judgment. Judgement was the foundation of what they were taught. So, they navigated their lives with a handicap – a blind spot of not knowing, as the door of mindfulness had not been opened. They had no concept of being open to limitless possibilities and to see the world, the universe and all, as unified. There were no discussions of being in the moment, self-care, or self-love.
And although, they did not understand how powerful they were as spiritual beings having a physical experience, they provided an incredible platform. They gave me a spiritual foundation, and faith was given a next generation resonance to expand.
Does Your Faith Have Limits?
I invite you to explore the meaning of faith and trust in your own life. Tap in to see if you are so locked down and non-moving in your current faith that you do not allow Spirit, God, Source, The Universe or whatever name you connect with on a nonphysical level, to whisper the expanding truth to you. This will allow you to make known what is beyond your perceived limits.
I stand in gratitude for my parents and all those who came before all of us as spiritual forerunners for allowing us to make known the unknown. With each level of awakening, we expand our truth.
Our faith and mindful observation will allow us to expand our vibrational frequency with each experience of contrast, each celebration of love and life, and with each expressed gratitude for the journey.
May you enjoy every day embracing the knowing that you are a powerful and Divine being of Light whose essence is pure LOVE.
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