Updated: Jan 18, 2021
A LIFE PERFECTLY DESIGNED
I don’t go to temple. I don’t go to church. I don’t pray to a person, alive or dead, and I don’t pray to deities. I don’t attend a weekly community gathering where people listen to messages based on spiritual text. I have never read the Bhagavad Gita or the Bible or the Autobiography of a Yogi. I don’t have a nightly prayer ritual and I don’t make a point to reach a weekly quota of spirituality.
As a young child I attended Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles, but was far too young to understand what I was hearing. I did, however, feel out of place; my family was one of the only Indian families there surrounded by Caucasians. I remember focusing more on that feeling than anything that was actually said there.
That introduction to my walk with God would lead many to believe that I actually don’t believe in God, or, perhaps, am incredibly uninformed about God. But that is far from the truth. Somehow, somewhere along this path of self-help and my journey to healing with the eight limb path of yoga, meditation, and chanting I found God. I don’t know when it happened or even how it happened. All I know is I have grown to have a sound relationship with God, one that is unique and all my own.
"Somehow, somewhere along this path of self-help and my journey to healing with the eight limb path of yoga, meditation, and chanting I found God."
God for me has no name other than just that. God is God and that is that. With conviction I can say that I surrender and put my utmost trust in something bigger than myself, something that I am calling God. I believe that every part of my life from the time I was born up until now has been absolutely perfectly designed. The struggles, the joy, the lessons, the blessings, each of them there for me to evolve and grow. I completely trust that whatever is to yet to come will also be perfectly designed by God. It is through this trust and complete surrender that I have been able to stop making fear-based decisions, from my relationships and jobs, to money and my life’s path.
Recently someone told me that if you don’t know Jesus, then you don’t know God. My response to that is that those words, that belief, doesn’t take anything away from my relationship from God. I have an absolute inner knowing about my relationship with God, one that doesn’t quiver or quake in the face of an opposing belief or understanding. Sometimes when I meditate, I feel what I believe to be the hands of God coming down and being gently placed on my shoulder or head. It is a presence so beautiful that I often don’t want to leave the state of meditation; I want to stay as long as possible in the presence of this love. It is that divine presence that has given me the strength to listen and to make the love-based decisions I need to stay the course on my journey.
I think because I spent a lot of my life following, listening, and doing everything that I was told to do that I reject the idea of being told what my walk with God is supposed to look like. I believe that everyone has their own pathway to God and, in some ways, I find it unloving, arrogant, and violent to tell someone who believes that they know God that they don’t. To me, it doesn’t matter how you get there, or even if you get there. That walk is yours to walk, and yours alone.
Personally, I have found myself seeking friendships and even a relationship with a partner who is on a spiritual path. I’m attracted to people who are PRACTICING the PRINCIPLES of whatever walk with God they choose. These people are also tolerant of my walk with God, happy to support me however I am choosing to get there.
When you know God, you know that everything is in its place. This world, so beautifully designed, understands the paths we all must take - and has laid them out before each of us, illuminating each step, helping us up when we stumble, guiding us home (wherever our home may be) at every wrong turn.
As a child the seed was planted for me to understand and know self-realization. And although I practice it now, I have yet to learn if the way I practice it is what was taught by Self Realization Fellowship. For me, self-realization and the ability to walk with God comes from self-reflection, freeing myself from patterns of behavior, living consciously, and ultimately surrendering to a higher power - my God.