Something Bigger…

I was in this great convo w/ Allie Brennan the other day and we ended up on the topic of religion. We seem to quite often as I’m a “card-carrying” Mormon and she’s atheist but finds religions fascinating.

She said something about how as she took religious studies classes in college, and at the basis of almost every religion was the basic idea of BE NICE and BELIEVE IN SOMETHING BIGGER THAN YOU.

I like the idea that I’m both immensely important, and also very, very small. I get both from being religious. I see good where I normally wouldn’t, I feel grounded in who I was before this life, and who I will be after. WHY I’m here. The importance of doing things I love. Of finding balance in my life. Of keeping away that panicky feeling we sometimes get over both big and small things. I feel loved. I love myself – flaws and all.

I found something that works for me, so I stick with it. Friends I have find this same peace by running. Some through yoga. Some through writing. Some through simply being outside and really taking in this amazing world we live in.

I’m not standing here saying – YOU SHOULD GO TO CHURCH! lol. I just think people need something that grounds them. Some tool that helps them focus their thoughts and feelings.

I have mine.

What do you do to re-focus?

And also – because when I’m lazy and don’t feel like reading scriptures, I get lost in videos…

Happy Easter Everyone!

~ Jo

 

 

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Something Bigger…

  1. I love this post. I agree. I think we all need to find what works for us. I consider myself a very spiritual person though I don’t go to church. What I always say is that I work to be a good person, to try and do the right thing. To be good to people.

  2. I get that through nature. When I look up and realize that I’m just one teeny tiny insignificant piece of this great big and magical Universe it helps me to shed my small worries. It helps me to understand life and death through vast interconnectedness.

    But when I look down, I see that I still make footprints. No matter how small I am, I still leave footprints. I still impact my surroundings both positively AND negatively. So the question becomes: What kind of footprints do I want to leave on those around me?

    The top of a snowcapped mountain on a cool, sunny day is my church. 🙂

    (P.S. can I just say that I love that you answer all my crazy questions without being offended! I love talking religion but sometimes people think because I’m atheist that I’m judging, which I most certainly am not.)

    1. YES TO ALL OF THIS!! And (especially in the summer) we often skip church to climb a nearby mountain, and the feeling (for me) is not too dissimilar…

      On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 7:24 AM, YA author Jolene Perry wrote:

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  3. As an agnostic with an immense fascination in religion, I think I need to join one of your convos some time. 😉 (This is also totally serious because I love talking all things religion.)

    And I agree–I think on some level, we all need to both believe in and appreciate something greater than ourselves. Personally, I believe in science, perhaps to too strong of a degree (I think believing too hard in anything can be dangerous, whether that “anything” is actual fact or not), and I’ve always found it difficult to reconcile science with the existence of a God–but that’s just me, and I do have the utmost respect for people who can! (Oddly, I also happen to believe in some sort of reincarnation… but that’s another story.) And on the other hand, I do appreciate nature like Allie mentioned, but mostly, my awe and appreciation is centered around people. Sure, we’re all a little flawed, but there is something beautiful in the fact that even through those flaws, all of us also have some good in us. That we all are, deep down, good people, even if that “goodness” is buried deep beneath emotional turmoil.

    It’s that kind of balance in all of us that makes me constantly in awe. And then to think that humanity started from almost nothing, all of us derived from (depending on your viewpoint) a single cell created hundreds of billions of years ago, and have forged our way into this mass-dissemination of thoughts and ideas in the internet… it really just amazes me. So although I’m open to its existence, I currently don’t believe in God; I believe in people.

    (Sorry, I made that all about me, lol! I told you I talk too much about religion. This really is a great post, though.)

    1. (And in case it isn’t clear, I’m not judging religion at all. It just fascinates me, and I know it does amazing things for people, so, as long as there is no hate speech from the preacher/rabbi/imam/etc, I think it’s incredible.)

      1. I find ALL religions fascinating. I really do. And I have HUGE respect for people who believe in something–whether it’s nature or people or God or their version of a god or several gods… I just mostly love people who think deeply. Totally my FAV kind of peeps. Also. I’m nearly impossible to offend, so ALWAYS chat freely here 😉

    2. I LOVE THAT YOU’RE SUCH A DEEP THINKER!!!

      For ME – the more I learn about science, evolution, the BILLIONS of years it took the earth to form, the more I believe in God. But there was a point when I felt exactly the way you do, so I can TOTALLY understand that.

      Sounds like you and Allie are kindred spirits, lol. Nearly every time we talk, she has questions for me, which is fun for me, and interesting for her.

      I find it interesting that people choose to be offended when someone else believes something different than they do. Baffling. LIke my dad always said – This is why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream (and everything inbetween).

      I’m SO super glad you popped in!!

      On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 5:51 PM, YA author Jolene Perry wrote:

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      1. Wait, so you are okay with people asking you religion questions? Because I may actually end up doing that… Fair warning. 🙂

        Yeah, that’s definitely a good way to look at it. I have a couple possible scenarios to deal with the possibility of God existing or not–one has a very much eastern religion slant (pantheism, etc.) and the other is not at all. I just can’t make up my mind on which, though I tend to fall in the latter camp more often then not. I just don’t think I’d ever be able to associate with a particular religion–not because there’s anything wrong with it, but just because it’s hard for me personally to feel an attachment to any religion when it is so often used as a tool for hate (and plus, I’m too much of a free thinker to limit myself to one religion–I’d rather take from each, whether or not I include the whole “God” part).

        I agree! Sometimes you just ask a harmless question about religion and it makes people furious, and vice versa. I think people generally have a hard time when their beliefs are called into question, whatever those beliefs may be.

        When it comes to religion, honestly, my only fear is the “anti-science” attitude some people get as a result of it. (And it’s definitely just *some* people, I know. Not religion as a whole!) Like I think there’s nothing wrong with being, say, a creationist (I believe some things I know are not true, largely because I think believing in something that makes you happy can only help you), but it worries me when people are adamantly defending their beliefs over… fact. And then when those beliefs are held by people running for President, for example, it seems almost harmful to me, if they are unwilling to accept something that is actual fact. Or is that unfair of me to say? If you have any thoughts, I’m genuinely curious. (Again, I don’t mean any of this to offend, so I’m really sorry if it has.)

      2. Ask me ANYTHING, lol.

        I love what you said originally in that people who obsess over any one thing, just isn’t healthy. And religion really REALLY attracts that intense kind of personality (which is NOT good). I think one of the things I really have to step back and remember is that people aren’t perfect. No religion is going to be perfect.

        BUT as for merging science and religion – I believe that both are in a search for truth. One of the leadership in the Mormon church, Erying, wrote this awesome book called Reflections of a Scientist where he discussed how the longer he was a scientist, the more he believed. Again. The idea that we’re all in a search for truth. Science doesn’t yet know everything. No religion knows everything. They all just have pieces, and the important thing is for us to find the pieces that work for us. That thought has always been very cool to me.

        The “anti-science” thing makes me INSANE. If you can’t merge the idea of science and your faith, your faith is in a really weird place, lol.

        The other thing that makes me INSANE are people who stand on their soap boxes and scream about how they’re these great Christians, yet go crazy when we talk about expanding social programs to people less fortunate than them.

        And TOTALLY FAIR OF YOU TO SAY!!!

        Also – I already said you weren’t going to offend me 😉 I’m loving the convo!

        On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 6:25 PM, YA author Jolene Perry wrote:

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      3. YES, that’s a great point. Really, you need to be able to blend the two, because sole belief in only taking one, polarized side of the science/spirituality struggle is dangerous and generally counterproductive. You don’t have to be religious, but I think we all need a bit of spirituality for SOMETHING, whether it’s nature or people or anything, and we also all need to be able to reconcile any religious beliefs with actual, real science. (And also, some people need to learn that a scientific theory is not the same thing as a colloquial theory. Scientific theories are backed up by heaps of proof, and are essentially fact. Technically, gravity is still a theory, and you’d be hard-pressed to argue that gravity doesn’t exist. So yes, evolution was real. lol) It does get me worried, though, when people are starting to take really extreme, one-sided views of these issues. Like saying that all spirituality is bullshit, or that all science is a lie, without being able to find an in-between–it’s certainly worrying.

  4. Whenever I need to refocus on what I’m doing here (meaning in this world, living etc.) or feel connected to something bigger than me, I love nothing more than to take my scriptures out into nature, find a place where there are no people or cars or distractions, and just read and meditate. It’s difficult to describe the feeling I get when I’m out there, but it fills me up and centers me all at the same time. It reminds me that although I’m impossibly small in the scheme of things, I really do matter.

    Also–questions and open dialogue are the best. I love when people can respect others’ beliefs even if they don’t understand them.

    1. A million times yes.

      Before I started going to church, I did what Allie did and walked and pondered. now I do both, lol.

      yes!! I LOVE good discussions!!

      Jo

      On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 7:56 PM, YA author Jolene Perry wrote:

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  5. What a mind bend – the idea of being both immensely important and at the same time being so very small. It’s a powerful thought, and one that keeps us humble, yet encouraged. Music is a great way for me to re-focus. Or taking a break from my normal, everyday grind of raising four kids and writing. Maybe visit a friend or go out to lunch. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. I think I “unwind” or “reset” in different ways at different times. What really gets me in a mess is when I FORGET TO RESET, lol.

      On Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 5:13 PM, YA author Jolene Perry wrote:

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  6. You and Allie are such a pair! You really do have a strange collection of friends, Jo. I think it’s awesome. This whole writing thing has been amazing–not only for the change I’ve discovered in myself–but because of the crazy amazing people I’ve been privileged to connect with. ❤

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