"All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost." — J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
In the past two weeks I wrote about two aspects of religion that I have let go of, for the sake of my mental health: bad theology and the church. I talked about how I am in the middle of a "spiritual rebuilding" phase, which has involved throwing out a lot of things that have been unhelpful, and messily trying to piece together what I have left.
Throughout this process, I have found the freedom to explore my faith in new ways; to make new discoveries. I have embarked on a journey through the wilderness, where the answers aren't always easy to find. I have no map. I have no instructions. I don't have the traditional religious constructs to show me the way. But, I know I'm not lost, and I haven't lost everything. There is still so much that fills me with life and offers whispers of hope to my tiny, fragile faith.
Tomorrow will be the start of another year; another leg of my journey through the wilderness. But, I'm not afraid. Instead, I'm grateful that I'm still here to experience what lies ahead. Since I have already said enough about what I have left behind, I wanted to share a list of things that I'm taking with me on my journey this year. These are the things that will keep me moving forward as I travel into the unknown.
- Trust in my own intuitions
- Acceptance of myself, just as I am
- A community of friends and family who support me
- Permission to take care of myself
- Grace...lots and lots of grace
- The knowledge that I'm not alone; that there are others with the same struggles out there
- A growing list of unanswered questions, and the drive to find those answers
- Acceptance (but not complacency) when I don't find the answers I'm looking for
- Hope that something bigger than myself is out there
- And, above all things, love
Now that I've shared my list, what will you bring with you on your own "journey" this year? What are you hoping to leave behind? Let me know in the comments. I'd love to hear from you.