I was raised Roman Catholic, but didn’t get confirmed. My parents made a deal with me – I could decide myself to get confirmed or not, but I had to take all the confirmation classes. (For those unfamiliar, confirmation is your commitment to church, and to raise your kids Catholic.)
I knew I would leave the church, but I went to all the classes, then laid down my decision. My parents were distraught, but fast-forward 15 years, and they, too, left the church.
Why didn’t I stay? Did you know women can’t preach in the Catholic church? I found this repugnant, as well as the missionary, take-over the world approach, the idea of hell and damnation, and the amount of money the Vatican hoards. Not too mention the church’s positions on modern day politics like abortion and homosexuality.
I found myself thrust into a spiritual quest at the tender age of 16. My parents insisted I figure out some alternative to Catholicism. I started my quest at the bookstore, (remember those?) in the religion/spirituality aisle. There, I found a handy guide called “How to Meditate: A Practical Guide,” by Kathleen McDonald, a Buddhist nun (a women!)
It rocked my world. I learned to meditate on breathing, mental clarity, human life, death awareness, impermanence, suffering, equilibrium, love, negative energy, visualizations, and devotion…
My favorite mantra was the Prayer to Tara. I connected deeply with this sacred, female figure, not torn from her sexuality like Mother Mary, but whole in her being.
This helpful book changed my world and spurred me on a path of self-discovery. The awareness practices made me more alive, grateful, and present.
Creativity is my main spiritual practice now. It’s how I communicate the love and truth of my soul with others. I believe in humanity’s enlightenment. I believe in living our highest selves. Art is my contribution to activate that in the world.
It’s a new world! We can all welcome each other here.
♥ ~ Meghan Oona
P.S. What sort of religious traditions have you left behind? What new spiritual practices, understanding, and rituals have you embraced? Let me know below…