Gotta Get Me Religion
Last updated: June 2017
This is not an evangelical offering or soapbox thing. This is just sharing my personal belief that spirituality is an important part of your wellness. I am of the ilk that believes that whatever religion you choose or that chooses you, is imperative to your well-being, as long as it promotes positive beliefs, thoughts, feelings about yourself and all those around you. This is very important to maintaining good health. It is the support system that you’ve always looked for and the wonderful thing is that it is there within you whenever you need it. I think it's also good to look at religions that are not yours and see what benefit comes from finding out more about them. You can gain new perspectives on world cultures, find new insight and see how similar most of the world’s religions are in fundamental ways. So, regardless of whether your book is the Koran, the Bible, the Torah, the Vedas, the Sutras or something else entirely, please take a moment to consider what part spirituality plays in your daily life and overall well-being.
Life beyond the Self
I was raised Protestant Presbyterian, which my sister used to refer to as the ‘frozen chosen’. The joke referred to the fact that there wasn’t a lot of dancing and speaking in tongues in our church. It was very...uh...reserved. When I went to college to become a history teacher, I became enamored with the details of the various and multiple world religions. A Muslim friend gave me a Koran as a gift and I read it. That led to actually reading the Bible. That led to wanting to know as much as I could about the similarities and differences of the world religions. Through this interest, I felt more and more connected to the presence inside me that I guess you could call GOD (or whatever word you fancy). When faced with this presence that is so much larger than yourself, you feel humbled and your problems seem less pressing and overwhelming. I also found when I looked deeper, through meditation and prayer, that this light provided a kind of support I never knew I had. This type of support is the best kind, because it is always there inside you. Learning to find YOUR God is an important part of feeling well in the purest sense. I believe the realization that there is something moving within your life that is beyond the Self is essential to a stable sense of being and helps you to know your place in the world.
Knowing that this gift is always there with you is kind of the trick. During periods of duress and the accompanying turmoil, it is so easy to lose sight of our higher power. We become engulfed with feelings and perceptions about our health, our relationships, our finances and on and on. We forget that we are one of billions. We forget where we fit in the world. We forget that we have a friend that lives inside of us, and all around us. I like to go to the woods when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I close my eyes and breathe, and ask my higher power for perspective. Now...if you’re waiting for a booming voice to come down from the skies to give you the answers to all of life’s mysteries, well, you might be waiting for a while. If you’ve got that kind of relationship with God, well...then I’d love to meet you. Anyway, if you give it a chance and a little practice, you will find some peace inside you and eventually; all around you.
Do you suffer from IBS-C, IBS-D, or IBS-Mixed/Alternating?