Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Finding Spiritual Community with LoveHubbie


Lori-Lyn wrote a beautiful story here about an experience on Christmas at church. It resonated with me in my hunt with LoveHubbie to find a community where LoveHubbie can make connections and relate to others. This is very important to him, as he sources his beliefs externally, and finds religion and religious institutions very inspirational, along with the relationships that ensue there. Loving others in community is an admirable thing. I would agree that it is a sign of spiritual health.

However, as an introvert, I find my beliefs alone, and don't really enjoy gathering with other spiritually like-minded people. First of all, I don't enjoy any type of group gatherings much. Secondly, my spiritually like-minded group tends not to congregate---we're more introverts and individualists. Thirdly, as I've written about before, my beliefs are always changing and evolving, which makes it hard to stick with others who share the particulars at any one time.

Lori-Lyn linked to an interesting Belief-O-Matic quiz, put out by Beliefnet.com, which says I am a Hindu! Or, very close behind, I share many beliefs with neo-pagans, Unitarian Universalists, Buddhists, new agers, liberal Quakers, and believers in New Thought. "Roman Catholic", which I've thought was the closest Christian religion that resonates with my beliefs, is #27 on my quiz results, right above "Jehovah's Witness" in last place.

The quiz pretty much reinforced what I knew already: I have a rich spiritual life with wildly uncategorizable beliefs outside of any church, and don't much care where we attend as long as it's a loving place. LoveHubbie is in a wee hurry, though, as he yearns to put down roots.

It will be interesting to see where we end up.



~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark, except for church building, which is from Drew

6 comments:

CrystalChick said...

It's really wonderful that you are searching with LoveHubbie to find a place where he can relate and connect. You can continue to be very supportive and still have your own beliefs I think.
I took the quiz and the first match was Neo-paganism. I don't even really know what that is. I had a hard time with a few answers and didn't know what importance to place on a few of them so if I take it again tomorrow I'll probably get another answer.
As you, my beliefs tend to change. I seem to notice that I do keep coming back to readings on Buddhism and Hinduism though.

Regarding my pictures: Unfortunately, I have to admit to doing a little highlighting. In the vacation photos I did not use Photoshop or take anything or anyone out of a shot. The photos of the beach and pool were really tranquil at times and very few guests were there during the beginning of the week so it wasn't hard to capture empty chairs and a calm pool. But I did use the free online program 'Picasa' for some color fixing, a little selective blurring, and a bit of cropping. Had I felt like scanning the one of me with the dolphin I would have absolutely sent that to the photoshop program and removed 20 pounds with the liquify filter. Sorry, I'm vain that way. ;)

And YES, that really was my hubby by the railing. Nice silhouette, eh?

Olivia said...

Mary, REAL nice silhouette! Your pictures are gorgeous :)

Yes, it certainly is interesting when you begin to look for community with kind of unusual beliefs. That quiz is fun to take and think about...

Blessings, O

Mary LA said...

Hi Olivia

I was intrigued by your mention of Catholicism (I have always felt very close to the church) so took the quiz. I am a Taoist, neo-pagan inclined to Mahayana Buddhism.

THis is a great surprise but as I checked off categories I realise that the appeal of Catholicism to me has nothing to do with its moral teachings.

Olivia said...

Hi, Mary LA and welcome to the happyluau! I think you've hit the nail on the head here...our beliefs are just one factor that draws us to any specific group...there are SO many other things.

This is also true for me about Catholicism---it is not the moral teachings at all, nor even the beliefs that draws me to it, but other factors.

Blessings to you,

Olivia

kikipotamus said...

I can relate to both you and LoveHubbie, as I have both sorts of needs. I don't necessarily need a group to worship with, but I need a group of humans that is somehow part of my life. I remember when I was in Little Rock and attending Quaker Meeting every Sunday, as well as playing bridge a few times a week. Interestingly, when I was sick with the flu for a little over a week, it was members of my bridge club who called to check on me, make sure I was okay and see if I needed anything.

So I learned it might not be the church group who ends up feeling like the family you never had.

Olivia said...

This is a good point, Kelly. A very good point. Do we want to be a part of a community and/or do we want to worship with people---these are two different things that may or may not be found together. Thank you for adding this, Kelly. Peace, O