There is no doubt that symbols are everywhere. As I sit here typing this I am looking out my window at my neighbor’s FSU flag flying in the breeze. The flag represents excitement and love for the Seminoles and the game. Beside me on the table is a picture of Mark and me on our wedding day. It reminds me of our love, how far we’ve come, and all that we share in this life. Bella has a collection of acorns in her room. They symbolize her respect for nature and desire to be close to it. Callee carried her best friend’s birthday party invitation around with her for weeks. She’d open it up to see the picture of him inside and be reminded of the special friendship she has.
It is a part of our human nature to want to be reminded of the things that make us feel good or the things we desire in our life. A fourteen-year-old boy might have posters of bikini clad girls and sports cars hanging on his bedroom wall because he hopes someday to drive that car or know a girl like that. And we see with the popularity of the Twilight book series, that it represents a passionate love that knows no end or boundaries. Many girls (young and old) wish to be desired and fought for by someone as sexy as Edward Cullen (or Robert Pattinson).
And of course there are religious symbols. What would spirituality be without them. They remind us of our path, progress, and faith. These symbols in and of themselves are not our Gods. They represents the gifts that God gives us. A Christian wears a cross around their neck as a symbol of Jesus’ sacrifice. When they see or touch the cross, they think of their savior and know they are forgiven. A Buddhist would have a lotus flower as a symbol for the progress of their soul. The lotus flower grows through muddy and mucky waters to bloom with amazing beauty. A Hindi might keep a statue of the goddess Kali on an alter as a reminder of the feminine energy of God. The star of David in Judaism has a lot of symbolism, including a representation of unity and the relationship between God and Jewish people.
In my opinion, symbols are simply reminders that we use to stir our souls. In this moment of my spiritual journey I am seeking to overcome obstacles and to find my way. I want to be a good listener to those who come to me in love. I want to let go of attachments that keep me planted and heed my progress. I want to remember always the blessings that God is constantly bringing into my life. I am seeking higher knowledge and when I look at Ganesha on my ankle, I am reminded of all of those spiritual goals. I do not worship symbols, nor do I believe anyone else does. I think all of us connect to the meaning behind them and that brings us bliss, comfort, peace, or passion to get through the daily grind.