Spirituality vs Religion – Are they one in the Same?

       This is a subject that touches us all in different ways, some are swept away by it, some barely grazed.  My own experience, with both, as I feel they are different, is long, complex and varied.   In my younger years, sometimes it seemed Religion, was all I had to hold onto, it kept me from falling into the abyss, it was the cliff my fingers held onto, the hand that pulled me back up. It was the belief that God, or Jesus, or both, heard me and would in some way answer, and sometimes I think that they did, and I believed.


      As I grew up, and years started to pass, I would many times, “talk” to God, which consisted of a picture of Jesus that hung on my bedroom wall.  This colorful, yet simple department store print,  served as the focal point to which I would expound my dilemma, my struggle, sometimes asking for help to clarify an answer that I thought I had but needed reassurance, was it the right one?   Other times I had no clue in which direction to go, and asked to be shown.   I would always feel better after these “sessions”  as it seemed I would see things more clearly.  How could Religion not be the answer when it had given me one so many times? 


      As with all things, the time always comes for questions and doubt.  What brought forth these two things for me, was when I started to not like the answers I was, to me, being given, human nature I suppose.  Nothing makes us ask God, why, more than loved ones being hurt, seemingly lost, or both.  Nothing makes us doubt more than witnessing suffering and pain and heartache.  So, for many years, it was not that I no longer believed, it was that I felt no answers were clear, and all paths were clouded.  So many questions flowed, in summary, much like what others also ask: ” Why is there so much suffering in the world, what purpose can it possibly have ? ” In my mind, it has none, so I, in my infinite stubbornness and belief in what I thought was right, what I thought the world should look like, decided I didn’t like the way God and his son Jesus, were running things.  I turned my back and thought it was time I took that colorful picture down and never look back.

       Quite a few years passed, life happened, some good, some bad, nothing really seemed different.   I asked, ” Is there a God, or do people fear their end may really be, the end, so they believe because that thought is just too frightening ? ”  The phrase “There are no atheists in foxholes” is always true.   We lived our summers in a lakefront cottage during the latter part of these years, a place like no other, it was here, that I stepped all the way into the Spiritual.   I had always been on the outskirts of it, having strong intuition and sensory perception.   I feel to this day, it was the Spiritual who brought us to this special place we called Splendid Isolation.   I felt it from the beginning, and as I grew seemingly more restless, though happy and fulfilled, it drew me out, I spent more and more time in the woods, surrounded by Mother Nature, accompanied always by my dogs, true catalysts between us and the natural world.  It was here that I felt I was looking upon a bigger picture, from the ground trees sprung, my dogs were next in line, I was the most complex creation of the three, we were all connected, a true circle of life.   It was this “belonging” that brought me the peace, that I still carry with me today.  


      Religion is a framework, beliefs, stories, written by man, but depicting things none of us today were there to decifer, what was real, what was not.  I myself believe in evolution, not creation, the Bible was written, then changed, to me that is a work of fiction, but God could certainly exist, Jesus could be his Son, or just a man.    Spirituality is the connection we feel with that which surrounds us, it is our open mind, the path we chose to follow and how we walk upon it, it is the way we live our lives,  it’s what we leave behind, and what take with us when we go.  Is it God’s voice that guides us, or our own heart seeing the way, is it Heaven that awaits us, or another way of existing.    Religion may light your path, but Spirituality is what finds it.   

This was my second poem, another very old. At the beginning of my journey still finding my  literary footing here:

The Road Ahead

The road I must take now unfolds before me

and leaves behind that barren place of sadness.

A noble spirit steps out to be renewed

no longer to roam the streets of darkness.

A tiny spark that smouldered oh so dimly,

once contained, has now burst forth in flame,

infinitely to burn, eternal light

embodied by a spark that flickered in the darkness.


Copyright 2018 (pending) SA Klukiewicz

Image copyrights: videoblocks.com  tinybuddha.com  @Kagaya


Author: shelleyanne56

Copyrighted 2018 Thoughts from Outside the Box. Shelley Ann Klukiewicz. All rights reserved.

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