Over the years many people have asked me about the books and teachers that have been influential in my spiritual journey. The books and their authors have been very diverse, and have served me in relation to different issues at different times.
I’ll let you into a little secret – for a long time I regarded myself as an atheist…. I had been raised in the Catholic faith, and I never aligned with the doctrine – from a very early age it was contradictory and hypocritical from my perspective. I rejected that version of God officially when I was about 14, and from that point forward adopted a philosophy of fatalism – and surrendered my power to the view that life was about dealing with whatever cards you were dealt.
In my mid 30’s I started reading books that exposed me to spirituality. This interested me as I had always been aware of my innate ability to sense things not always apparent to others, and could never deny the serendipitous moments I had experienced along the way.
As I delved more into spirituality, the whole question of god kept rearing it’s ugly head – I still had my childhood version of God – that big man in the sky that had to be kept happy at all costs. I dealt with this by embracing the Goddess – and aligning myself with more pagan/nature based beliefs. I avoided anything that related to God – I still couldn’t bring myself to go there. Neale Donald Walsch had released his first book “Conversations with God” – however there was no way I was willing to read anything about God – that would be an act of self-betrayal – the Goddesses would do me fine.
I started working in a new age book store, and as part of being able to provide a good service to customers, we read a lot of the books on the shelves. One day I was dusting the shelves, and the “Conversations with God” book kept falling off. I would put it back, and it would fall off again. I knew it was a sign to read the book, however I am a Taurean…. I do stubborn very well
A couple of weeks later I was dusting the shelves…. yep it happened again. This time I decided to surrender and sat down to read it….. and OMG….. what a read it was. It completely changed my view of God, my relationship with God and my view of how things all worked. Up until this point my perspectives and paradigms were still clouded with this old version of God, I had turned my back, but He was still there…. still influencing me in ways I had not realised.
I then went on to read books Two and Three in the “Conversations with God” series, and then the rest of the books by Neale Donald Walsch as they were written – “Communion with God” “New Revelations” “Tomorrow’s God” and “What God Wants”.
So……. if you are what I call a “Recovering Catholic” or have had a strong religious influence growing up with residual beliefs that no longer serve you, I highly recommend Neale Donald Walsch’s books to help redefine and heal your relationship with God. These books have certainly been very influential in me being who I am today.
I believe in my God and have a personal relationship with my God…. my God is made up of lots of bits and pieces and is reflected in how I live my life….. my “crew” tell me there is only One God…. however that God has as many faces as there are people on this earth.
Father Bob summed it up beautifully – when asked the difference between religion and spirituality he said something like “Religion is a bit like being a battery hen – you are boxed in and take what you are given…. spirituality is like being a free range hen…. you wander around scratching and picking, taking what you want”.
I believe in everyone’s individual right to believe whatever they choose, and in that ask that my right to believe what I choose is respected.
This is my experience…. and in sharing this I am in no way denigrating anyone else’s beliefs.
To explore more of Neale Donald Walsch’s work visit his website.