Monday, August 2, 2010

What I believe and where it came from....
As I was leaving college, I had absolutely no spirituality (that I can recall now). I was raised an atheist, with only the free-love spirituality of hippies. (Actually my mother had some influence of Buddhism even back then). The only church I'd ever attended was Unitarian, and only a few times, with my grandmother.

I think I was more political, as much as my little naive mind and spirit could handle, and influenced by going to a very political school, Reed College, and having a very political grandmother. I had read the Bible and other materials as literature, I had taken cross-cultural religion courses. I was educated, but empty.

But there must have been seeds, because after college, I worked in a bookstore. I was open. I saw many, many titles on spirituality (Starhawk and Joseph Campbell stand out). I was identifying mainly as lesbian at least politically (though having no luck with that romantically) at the time. So my very first spiritual leanings were towards paganism and wicca. This religion fit with my long time study of astrology, since age 15.

I guess I need to have God be female. My father's absence made it very difficult to see God as male. My counter-culture childhood made Christianity impossible for me. I always felt like an outsider.
I started my journey into 12 step recovery in about 1989. It wasn't until I did that I even really thought about needing to find my own personal higher power. So for a long time, I didn't say God in meetings. I said Goddess. I even changed the pronouns if I was asked to read any literature in a meeting. I spent a lot of time reading books like Many Roads One Journey and A Woman's Way Through the Twelve Steps, which encouraged tailoring recovery material to fit women's needs and experience.
During my marriage, I was exposed to my husband's spirituality. He was raised reformed Jewish and he was also a Buddhist -- affectionately known as a Jew Bu. He was the first person who prayed at holidays in my life. The first person who saw the world through the lens of Buddhism, which has become so trendy in our popular culture, actually.
to be continued...


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