We try to display ourselves as strong, independent beings, as confident and un-phased by the events around us. In reality, it is often a show, a facade, a cry for attention rather than an element of fortitude.
This letter is a reminder; a reminder for myself. A reminder that there is a bigger picture than the picture we're certain we've seen before. This here is reminder that there is more to life than dollar bills and shiny cars. A reminder that we still have so much more living left to do.
When was the last time you challenged your own beliefs? When I work with couples to design their wedding ceremonies, I always ask them how they were raised in terms of religion and spirituality and where they are now in those terms in their lives.
Here is how I've learned to control how I react: I take a pause and put on the armor of God. Reacting emotionally means we are allowing the situation, or other people, to dictate how we feel and how we act. And if we do that, we will never come out of a bad situation victorious.
While working on our own sincerity, we have to realize that the reality is, we will rarely meet sincere people. We will rarely meet people who will genuinely step out of themselves to attempt to see things from our perspective and act accordingly.
We are all going to die. Everyone knows that. Having cancer just makes it a little bit more real. I am not a religious person. I know that the majority of the world population do believe in God, heaven and hell and/or some sort of afterlife. That's ok.
While I would never discourage anyone from participating in religious service with a congregation, it's not about a place -- it's about a purpose. Please know that God is patient and always accessible to you no matter your environment or circumstances.
Though we don't often speak of ourselves this way, we as American Jews live in the diaspora. We live outside the land of Israel. Though we may have risen to great heights outside of the Land of Israel, we are always, in some sense, strangers in a strange land.
Religion is a tool that performs a service for us, something we utilize for our own spiritual development. Unfortunately, we sometimes end up getting used by the tool! But that's not the fault of religion.
A fundamentalist is unwilling to consider the unsettling possibility that the universe is more complex, mysterious, and multi-dimensional than anything our symbol systems, descriptions and analyses can apprehend.
Parenting is tough. Being married is tough. Running a household -- whether solo or with a partner -- is hard work. But I believe that I was created to do exactly what I'm doing right now. And so were you.
Today, three years later, John has lost the 70 pounds (after formerly weighing 230 pounds), changed his lifestyle permanently, and no longer suffers from diabetes. In fact he says he feels good every day.
For my new friends building congregations without God at the center, good luck. I hope you manage to find that mysterious yearning in the heart of every human who has the privilege to walk on this great planet.
The concept of God is a shaky subject. Add to it the yoga-inspired faith in the God within us all, and you have a huge mess on your hands. Calling yoga non-religious isn't just about altering yoga to make a buck. It is to avoid starting a war.
Often during these conversations, the question that I am most frequently asked is this: How do you trust in God after your husband died? My answer is always hesitant because there are days when I'm not sure how or why I continue to believe.