How Skepticism Helped Me Develop My Spirituality
I’m a "believer", first and foremost. However, exactly what I believe in is truthfully something I’m still trying to figure out. I grew up religious and went through the motions. Over time, I became more curious about what else was "out there." And, while I still consider myself religious, my level of devotedness certainly changes as I watch the world evolve.
I remember the very first time I did yoga with a friend. We had to leave the class early because we couldn’t stop giggling over the happy baby pose. A couple of years later it ended up being yoga that saved me from a period of depression. I used yoga to heal myself, and it became something I unquestionably needed in my life.
I remember the first time I tried meditation. I activated a free trial of Headspace but decided not to purchase it because I couldn’t clear my task list from my train of thought. My mind was swimming, and I didn’t realize then that practicing meditation could help soothe the chaos. It was after I tried a group sound meditation and had an out of body experience that I became a believer. However novice I was, I understood (while sitting in my car silently afterward) that meditation was worth exploring.
I remember when I first moved to New York. My roommates would talk about Reiki, healing, crystals, spells and tarot cards and I was more skeptical about them than anything ever before. “It’s a Brooklyn thing,” I told myself. A year later, I found myself curiously browsing a crystal store. Then I went a bit further in getting a tarot reading. Then even further I tried Reiki for the first time. Now a couple of years later, I’m believing in spiritual subjects that I once considered only witchcraft.
I remember the first time I posted about my crystals on social media, I said, “I guess I buy rocks now.” I wanted to share my journey but was worried about what people would think. I was slowly opening myself up to new experiences but doubt and fear were ever-present. Then I got an influx of messages from folks who also were curious, and I realized that my worry was unfounded.
I remember when I reread my favorite book, The Alchemist, and remembered the most important spiritual lesson is to believe in yourself. Then, I read The Four Agreements, which helped me change how I thought about myself.
There is still so much for me to learn and question but through openness to new experiences I’ve developed peace with uncertainty. Opening up to the universe has allowed me to let go of so many hinderances. For example, I've stopped blaming myself for things I can't control. I've stopped worrying about how the details fit into the bigger picture and I've enjoyed experiencing how fate and my personal decisions guide my days.
Of course, I still catch myself worrying. And, at times I'm still skeptical. I still get frustrated at myself for messing up in yoga, for not making time to meditate, or I may think my tarot reading is "off" because I didn't get the card I was looking for. I'm not perfect.
Ironically it has been skepticism that helped me lay the path of my spiritual journey and connect with my mind, body, and spirit. Some spiritual tools and methods won’t be for me, but some might find their way into my daily routine.
You too can open yourself up to the world around you and explore the possibilities within yourself and the universe. There is no need to decipher what you are certain of because your journey will reveal your beliefs. And most importantly – you don’t need to believe in everything; you just need to believe in yourself.