Over a year into my spiritual endeavors, I got the idea that I wanted to teach what I was learning to teens. In my own life, I had been presented with Religion as a guiding tool to get you successfully through to your Judgment Day. Whether it was valid or not my interpretation was everything that I do should be so that when I meet God, Jesus, or whoever one day they’d go through my list and it wouldn’t be so bad and I’d earn my ticket to Heaven. Nothing I learned in Sunday school was applicable in my actual life. If I wanted to do the many things teenagers tend to want to do, I was just supposed to NOT do them. God didn’t want me to. End of discussion.
What I learned as an adult on a Spiritual journey on my own terms is that God isn’t keeping a score card of my sins. God isn’t even somewhere far off in Heaven watching over me. God is actually an energy that moves through me and through everything around me. If I am connected to and aware of that energy I am led to the best outcome for myself. Instead of obsessing about what the God “out there” might be thinking of my choices, I simply pay attention to how I feel about my choices. If I am on the right course I feel at ease, if I am not I feel stressed. I am learning how to live now. My spirituality has been the ultimate self-help. Now, if I feel legitimate guilt I understand it is because I have done something that is not characteristic of who I really am. I can let it go and remind myself of the goodness within me.
One thing I’ve said since I first found this path is if only I’d known this stuff when I was a teen. I could have made better grades, been more organized, been better capable of dealing with conflict, and had more self-confidence. But everything I did as a teen and young adult has brought me to the place I am now. If I’d meant to “wake up” any earlier, the teacher would have arrived.
So back to the teaching thing. Over a year ago I volunteered as the teacher’s assistant in the Uniteens (6-8 graders) program at my Unity church. I did that for several months before the program fizzled due to teacher changes and low attendance. Last Winter, our Youth Director returned after Maternity Leave and was ready to start a new program. Again, I felt called to take it on. I resisted for a while, but eventually stepped up and volunteered to lead the program starting August 15. Since I made the commitment, I’ve been planning the year with my co-teacher. During this time I’ve had a lot of feelings of uncertainty and fear. It reached a peak the other day and I actually dreamed that 24 kids showed up for the class and not one of them was cooperating with me. I woke up thinking what have I gotten myself into? And then I picked up the book “The Last Lecture” and read the whole thing over the day. By the time I was finished I was reminded why I had gotten myself into this. I want to help kids understand how valuable their dreams and ideas are. I want them to know that they are divinely guided. I want to give them the spiritual tools that will carry them successfully through middle school, high school, and into adulthood. I want them to know that “God” isn’t an entity waiting to judge them after death, but a spirit that is within guiding them to live the most joyful and productive life they can.
Yesterday, I had 8 kids show up who are apparently ready to “awaken.” And I’m going to do my best to teach them how….