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Syndicated Columns

Spirituality is between you and your creator

Posted May 27, 2006

Q. Although I was raised Catholic, I am no longer religious. I consider myself to be spiritual and have a strong connection to God. My family doesn't understand. Can you help? -- G.P., Boca Raton

A. Religion is a culture-based doctrine that guides people in the practice of spirituality. It has rules, taboos, laws, commandments, covenants, rites and ceremonies. Religion dictates things we must follow, support, contribute to and accept without question.

Unfortunately, many religions have chosen to use the fear of God to enforce the rules.

People are beginning to employ new ways of thinking by embracing the personal experience that spirituality provides: a deep connection with the divine, compassion for all humankind and gratitude for the multitude of blessings inherent in living a sacred life. Spirituality encourages acceptance of the differences that shape the tapestry of humanity.

Spirituality is not dictated by others nor bound to any book, teaching or savior. There are no laws, rules, rites or ceremonies. There is nothing to which we must contribute money.

Explain to your family that your covenant in spirituality is a silent acknowledgement between yourself and your Creator. It is a private relationship that helps you to feel fulfilled and joyful, while integrating the principles of nonjudgment, detachment, living in the present, meditation and giving thanks for all our relations.

If that doesn't work, feel free to refer to Mahatma Gandhi's quote: "God has no religion."

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