This is what I feel when it comes to God. I think we, as humans, feel powerless against the tides of life. That we have no control, and we feel an innate desire to reach out to somewhere, something, greater than us. We can sense that there is something greater than us, but we’re always searching outside ourselves for an answer that will make sense of the questions we have. We reason, we bargain, we develop sets of conditions (like, these sets of rules are the way things are and we base all our decisions on those rules) and we seek relief from the anxiety of our futures. Sometimes, because of these conditions, we react to situations in ways that don’t end up helping us; they hurt others around us, ourselves, or our circumstances. The reason I think this happens is because we’re searching for a God outside ourselves. When I decided to turn my search inward, not in an egotistical way, but without any judgements or conditions, I discovered a power that remains unaffected and unafraid of things I would normally feel anxious about. I would go, okay, my life is complete shit right now, I’m addicted to drugs, I’m homeless, and whenever I’m not high I get flashbacks of the kidnap, rape and torture trauma I survived years ago. That’s “my life” but from that inner-spective I had, I was sort of separate from all that. Like, I realized it was just a story I was telling myself about my circumstances. But my awareness, underneath my thoughts and feelings (because if we were just our thoughts and feelings, we wouldn’t be aware of having them) was unaffected by this story, unless I was completely identified with it. So, like my favorite Spiritual Teacher in the world, Eckhart Tolle, once did, I asked myself: am I the story or am I the awareness? Once I had the deeper realization that I was the latter(not a mental conceptualization but an experiential feeling), I had an even deeper revelation that awareness, this feeling of connectedness, must be our connection to what people call God. What I would say to you is to not resist the events you may have to deal with in the future. Don’t worry about the consequences you’ll face or what you’ll lose as a result of them; be fully present. It won’t be easy. It won’t be enjoyable. But you can make peace with what’s happening by just plain accepting it. There’s a tale of two arrows in Buddhism; that the pain we suffer in life is like an arrow, and the mental anguish we experience over it (why did I get shot, this shouldn’t be happening to me, etc.) is like being shot with a second arrow. You’re in a life situation right now that isn’t pleasurable, and you may have to suffer a consequence from it. But the place you can escape to within is where God dwells. The words of peace that Mary speaks are “Let it Be”. Allow these things to happen. Let it change your reactions. On one hand, fear would take over and come up with ways or excuses or reasons why this happened. The peace within, however, has already accepted whatever will happen, forgives yourself and your life for what it has brought upon you. That mindset you’re in changes your reaction to one that does not fight against the ups and downs of life. That’s more of a miracle to me than anyone walking on water. I think that’s why only a few people in history have ever found the real truth, I think Jesus had it, Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Teresa; they all had one thing in common. They seemed greater than themselves because they had no ego. No little person telling themselves a story about why their life wasn’t going the way they wanted it to, or why it shouldn’t be happening like this. They connected to that part of themselves unaffected and at peace with all things, and it’s in every one of us. That’s what I think our real connection to God is. It’s how I became sober, started my own company and started living the dream life I could have never before imagined. It took awhile, and I certainly wasn’t pursuing these things when I set out; all I knew was that whenever I had a difficult decision to make, I would go inside myself first and internally accept whatever the results might be. Then, from that peaceful state of mind, I would act. Instead of being in a fearful, desperate state of mind, I would detach and go somewhere inside myself that gave me peace no matter where I was at. And it would always, always make my decision a lot easier and clearer than it was from being anxious and worried. That’s what gives you a real connection, instead of always believing God is above you, punishing you for being “wrong” etc… I think that’s something people like to wrap their own ego up in because they’re still identified with their ego. When you instead realize you are awareness, and not your ego (or story) you naturally tend to relax. I realize this may sound really mumbo jumbo, but it’s what happened to me when I felt like the lowest piece of shit in the world…and it completely transformed everything about me. It clicked something in my core and I turned into someone else; I forgive those who have wronged me, I forgive myself for all my fuck ups, and I have nothing but compassion for things I go through in life. I still have ups and downs, but now, I don’t resist them when they happen. I don’t really mind when things don’t go my way or things fall through. It’s made me such a stronger person because I don’t fight life and where it takes me. It’s still hard to deal with things, but I’m able to wake up the next day and it’s truly a new day, no matter what went down the day before. Nothing had changed about what happened to me, but I can say that all the reasons I had for staying the way I was suddenly didn’t matter anymore. I had something stronger than those reasons; and it was as fundamental as my very self, my own being, my awareness. No one can take that away from me now. And we share it with every human being on Earth. It’s where true compassion comes from. Forgive yourself for what’s about to happen, and face it with peace… This is how you’ll get through it. You’ll still suffer from the first arrow no doubt, but you won’t have to deal with the scars of a second one.