I don’t usually speak or write about religious matters. I have learned that it is a sensitive topic for many who feel insulted or threaten so if I have to, I always state that I respect and honor all religious beliefs as well as the believers. Today, however, a memory landed in my mind and I guess it was for a reason. Young enough I came to realize the difference between being religious versus being spiritual. As a child, I witnessed many scenes of religious, devoted individuals, faithful church goers and contributors. With time, I began noticing a contradiction between the message delivered and the actions and reactions to it. They would always clash in the real world.

•“Love thy neighbor as yourself.”
•“For if you forgive men, your heavenly father will also forgive you.”
•“Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you…”
•“Love bears all things, endures all things, believe all things…”

I started wondering why these people were not capable of actually living through these words. It looked like their faith was limited to the walls of the sanctuary. Once in the real world, their tongues would spill judgment, hatred, complaints and a non-stop guilt trip against each other. They would remain submissive and passive in the face of social issues affecting others. They would just be there instead of serving others through their faith. What were they truly doing to contribute, to make life better?

Spirituality is that part of us that reflects the wind, not bounded to the material world; that human feeling of the spirit serving as God’s, the Divine energy instrument. I came to the conclusion that this was the missing link, what religions were truly lacking these days. The message of love can’t be spread through fanaticism, through my beliefs are better than yours, my truth is the only truth, these people are evil, you are all going to hell precepts. How contradictory is this with the message of "love each other" given more than two thousand years ago?

Practical spirituality is living through, by, and for these words. It is serving; it is feeding our souls by feeding the souls of others no matter their beliefs, gender, race, or preferences. Through practical spirituality we discover that the only way to love ourselves is to love others, and to give love we must feel it toward ourselves first. It reminds us that by forgiving we are releasing our spirits and opening doors. It centers us in the present moment, what we do every new day. It encourages us to stand up for the weak, the abused, and the neglected, and to make a human connection that would allow us to make the changes we wish to see. Isn't this what we are all craving for? Isn't one of our most basic needs to serve others, to make a difference and grow our spirit?

In times like this when everything around us seems like being in a chaos, let’s leave our old, non-serving beliefs behind. Instead let’s become what we have always been, spiritual beings practicing radical forgiveness, radical giving, and radical love. Only then we will be able to experience radical changes and the life we have been dreaming of.

Author's Bio: 

A native from Puerto Rico, Norma Casas is an inspirational writer and educator. Her passion for writing goes back to her childhood when she began journaling about her daily experiences and surroundings. Since 2008 she has been a contributing writer to several online magazines as well as conducting an expert’s page on the Self-Growth community. She is passionate about empowering women to discover their talents becoming their best in all areas of life. Her first book, The Power of Us: Evolving Women One at a Time is a memoir where she shares her life, struggles, and her self-discovery and re-connection process through the voices of the women who raised her. She also authors Called to Ribbon Dance,her first inspirational fiction, a woman’s journey through time where she unveils universal truths giving us all the gift of awareness, hope, and a call to action. Ms. Casas currently resides in Gainesville, Georgia where she moved in 1997 with her four children. To learn more about her visit: http://www.normacasas.com/or her Facebook page: NormaCasas: The Power of Us https://www.facebook.com/PowerofUsEvolving?ref=hl