Dear Cabin Diaries,
I was raised by a single mother who taught me to be spiritual and appreciate nature and signs. I believed in the universe and a deity that loved me. I followed the moon and stars and the zodiac.
But a few years ago I got into a relationship and lost it. He was a wonderful man, but didn't put any weight into that stuff. He felt it was hokey and silly. He thought I was being impractical and ridiculous. At first, I fought him on it, but after so many arguments that I couldn't win, I found myself agreeing with him. There was no support or proof for anything I believed in, so why did I believe it? I felt dumb and embarrassed.
We aren't together anymore but I still haven't been able to feel the joy and peace of magic and spirituality. I miss it so much, it makes me cry. I try to read the books that used to inspire me, but I just end up feeling self-conscious and awkward.
Do you think there is any way to get it back?
Kindest regards and love,
Dear Spiritual Seeker,
It’s funny how much relationships can affect us, isn’t it? How even our very beliefs can come into question, and how sometimes we can give them up. I remember once many years ago having a shirt from my mother that I loved. It was a beautiful blouse from the 70s, and my boyfriend at the time didn’t like it. I got rid of it, even though I knew that I loved it. I thought that I should give that attachment up for some reason, because it wasn't validated by my partner. I was so wrong, and hardly a day goes by where I don't regret that! A blouse is much less significant than your beliefs, but the story line is similar.
But here’s the best part: There is a way to get it back. And in fact, that’s why giving up your beliefs can sometimes end up better than giving up your mama’s 1970s lace blouse. Because the blouse is gone for good. Your beliefs? They’re just hibernating inside of you.
This is the key—there’s no going back. You can’t go backwards, especially with beliefs. Beliefs are constantly changing and growing (or at least they should be, in my opinion). Questioning beliefs is always good, and even giving some of them up sometimes can be good.
You say, “I try to read the books that used to inspire me, but I just end up feeling self-conscious and awkward.”
This means it is time for new books. New inspiration. If you are a believer and you were raised by a badass, believer mama, then don’t you worry. It’s in there. But it won’t be in the old books. One thing that has always baffled me is how certain books can blow our minds and hearts open and inspire us spiritually so profoundly… and then we keep them on our shelves forever because of that feeling… but as time goes on, the book doesn’t do that for us again. It’s a one-time kinda deal in many cases. This is—in fact—part of the magic. That perfect book at the perfect time that unlocks your heart in the perfect way.
So where can you find new inspiration? I see that you come here, to the Bohemian Collective for inspiration (thank you). Where else? It is time to seek it out and to surround yourself with people and events and resources that inspire you in the ways you want to be inspired. Are there any talks or lectures near you that touch on things you might want to learn more about? Can you go to your local bookstore and peruse the spirituality/metaphysical section? Ask a worker to recommend one … see what ends up with you this time, at this point in your life. (See the end of this letter for my recommendations.)
Your spirituality belongs to you and only you. No one can take it away from you. And you know what? Non-believers (like your ex-boyfriend) have been challenging believers since the beginning of time. It will continue to happen. But that’s okay. Next time a “logic” person challenges you, feel free to quote Albert Einstein, one of our nation’s most beloved scientists. He said,
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
And he also said,
“I believe in intuitions and inspirations...I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.”
Entitlement to our inner knowing is totally radical. So many people will, time and again, try to take it away from us. It scares people. Many people envy it. There are also many partnerships and marriages where people have totally different belief systems that coexists. I always like to see those relationships and admire what they’re doing. Keep your eye out for those people, and learn from them.
The magic of faith lies in many places. You can go hear a church choir sing. You can go into nature and wait, and listen. You can write, and you can pray. You can learn prayers already written, or you can devise your own. You can pay attention to synchronicities, and allow them to activate those secret senses that you quieted down during that relationship. I truly believe that when you ask for it to come back, and if you pay attention, it will.
Oh! And one last thing: begin making peace with yourself around believing in things for which there are no proof. You are not the only one.
p.s. I have a few recommendations of my own that come to mind! The first is a book called Love Your Lady Landscape by Lisa Lister. It just came out and it is filled with information and tools about reconnecting with our divine feminine source of intuition, which is a HUGE part of spirituality. I have a feeling this book will inspire you. The author is a sassy British woman who weaves humor into all of it as well. Second, if you have not yet read Marie Kondo's book about clearing out your space, I encourage you to read that as well. It's very brief, and I think it will provide some much needed cleansing and examining in terms of letting go of old and bringing in the new, as well as connecting with your core being.