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« Christmas Redux | Main | No, really. I do. »

January 09, 2011


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Good for you, though very... Large.

Also: nailed it. I knew you'd love BC :D


For me spirituality is knowing that there is more to life than just me, that there's no way I can understand it all, and that the wonder of life is in its details.

I'm a science nerd by temperament and a librarian by profession. I'm all about facts. But I can't help but be awed by how our bodies manage to coordinate all sorts of THINGS that keep us alive. Or how the sun manages to rise every single morning.

To me spirituality is the wonder of it all, knowing that I'll never understand everything, and understanding that there is so much more than I'll ever know. It's also having the faith that everything, good or bad, happens for a reason. It might not be a reason I like, or do me any good at the time, but I wouldn't be the strong confident woman I am today without the crap that happened to me in the past.

I've become so much more comfortable in my skin over the past couple years, and it came because I hit a number of terrible low points. I've learned to control my weird panic attacks and terrible stress and I have faith that you will too. It's a terrible experience, because it forces you to really look at yourself, but I'm a MUCH calmer person now.


Nice post. I love it. Waiting your new posts. Thank you...


I used to cry at Church too -- buckets. It was embarrassing. Now my life is much more congruent with my heart. And it's better. Just the occassional leak from the eyes, no ugly cry. :)


Read "The Case for Christ" written by an agnostic journalist who set out to prove the bible wrong and ended up in a different place. It is difficult to get through in the beginning but it will change your life and the way you think about spirituality. This may sound cheesy to you but I really believe there is a place in our heart no one can fill but Him. That may be what you are feeling. Best of luck on your journey and you are a great writer I love to read your blog. I admire you for following your passions and making the best out of your situation for tor kids. Happy mama means happy babies. Here's another cheesy line for you....God is good! And always there no matter what. Enjoy the journey.


Give God a chance to fill that void. Give church a try. But don't give up if the first or second experience isn't a good fit. Some churches can be too preachy and some can be too stuffy. There are plenty of churches that welcome you as you are and love your flaws as much as your good parts. It's a lot like dating. You might not match up with the first one but don't give up on the idea all together because you'll eventually find what you are looking for.

Good luck.

Canadian Rachel

I have MUCH to say on this subject, but it's a bit personal so I think I'm going to e-mail you rather than leave it here for the trolls to squat on. I will just say this however: it is possible to be "spiritual" and an atheist at the same time. Belief is really important, even to those of us who don't believe in anything we'd call god.

I am on a crazed writing bender this week, so it may be a while before I get you e-mailed. But it's coming.


Spirituality is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, and something I struggle with thanks to murky Baptist murmurings when I was growing up. I wrote about it here awhile back:

What I wrote specifically about spirituality then:

I think all people should feel connected to something greater than themselves so that they can cultivate gratefulness for their blessings.

I think this is true - and that "something greater than themselves" can mean just about anything depending on the individual.

But there you have it.

Best wishes to you as you sort it all out in 2011. It's gonna be great; I just know it.


First, spirituality and religion do not equal each other. They can, but are not required to, co-habitate.

With that in mind, take this better-than-most quiz to get some ideas on where you might want to look.


I believe everyone should be born agnostic, but die with spiritual conviction. You are somewhere on that journey, and I commend you whole-heartedly for acknowledging there even is one.


My Catholic husband (I'm Jewish) would tell you that crying in church means you are being touched by the Holy Spirit.

As I get older I am seeing that people who believe in some higher power (G~d for most of us) have something to lean on (faith for lack of a better word) and derive comfort from that. Sometimes the phrase, "Let go and let g~d" really does have a lot of power and provides a lot of relief.

I'll bet you can find a "hippie-unicorn" church in Portland :-)

Laura Troll

I can't help you. I'm quietly peaceful with my agnosticism.

Amanda P. Westmont

For the record - I'm a pretty diehard agnostic. I'd actually rather NOT know a damn thing about god.


This is all about honing in on the ability to just BE. Maybe that's my definition of spirituality.

A favorite yoga meditation that I still remember, 8+ years later, is to think of your rambling thoughts as fish swimming in an aquarium just in front of you. See a blue fish? Think, "Oh, a blue fish." and let it swim out of view. No need to further label it (that was a BIG blue fish) or judge it (why is that fish swimming over THERE?) Just briefly acknowledge it and let it go.

In time, you may get to the space where you don't even notice the "fish", much less feel the need to label/subtitle them.


Amen, Valerie. I'm about in the same boat with my spirituality and I couldn't have put it better!

Amanda, I hope you can get to that place of just being. I can't get there often (my busy brain won't let me) but when I do, it's great!



I might need to read that book Julie mentioned.

It's not ridiculous to think that the crying is tied to the experience of being in church.

I feel like there's a big gaping hole in my life as well. And when I think about it all I can hear is the song God Shaped Hole by Plumb.

"There's a God shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There's a God shaped hold in all of us
And it's a void only he can fill"

I haven't been a regular church goer in a long time because I don't feel like I get anything out of it. Or maybe that's a sign I haven't found the right church for me. I do feel that hole though and it has me crying at the most random of times. Sometimes I think it's God pulling really hard at my heart strings trying to get me to come back to Him. I'm not sure why I resist it so.

Cherie Beyond

I am completely with Canadian Rachel. I am 99% atheist (I like to hedge everything) and I believe. I believe in the people around me and I believe in the innate strength and beauty of humans, the world, and the universe.

In part this is because I don't believe, and will never believe, that everything happens for a reason. I refuse to believe that the horrors in this world are part of a game or plan. I also refuse to give up my absolute sovereignty over my own life. So, in a way, those refusals guide what spirituality is for me. Spirituality is what adds meaning in-between those constraints.

Hence paragraph one. I probably should have just stopped there.


To quote the fictional character Shepherd Book from Serenity, "Why, when I talk about belief, why do you always assume I'm talking about God?"


Spirituality is just your heart longing for something more . . . and it's a journey, not a destination. You will not ever get to the end of the road. None of us will. Not that we won't come to a peaceful place because that is certainly possible.

Religion works for some folks (me included -- I am a Christian), but not for everyone. But make no mistake -- spirituality and religion are two very different things. Religion is man-made, an opportunity to commune with others who believe similarly (not only churches are "religious"). The spirit inside you makes you innately a spiritual being whether you believe in God or not. You just need a little nurturing, that's all.

Lori Harrison

I'm just gonna say it...Because God loves and you feel it! You are overwhelmed in the moment and darn it you can't control it. It's ok Amanda, my dear, I won't tell anyone. I love you gobs and tons! So, glad your life is going better...

xoxo Aunt Lori

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