A work in progress: Finding my Faith, Religion and Spirituality

I have never been what most people consider religious. I have always, or for a long time considered myself spiritual. And of late, I have been not so much questioning it, but rather looking at how I can stand with ease and grace and still honor that which I call Spiritual or Faith.

I live in a country that is highly religious, and recently even on local television the number of religious programmes and channels have either increased; or it occurs to me like they have. And while I am ‘searching’ there is a certain annoyance of no other options on telly or around for quick reference or observation. Kenya is a religious country there is no doubt about that. AND there is the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of religion at play. Anyone at any time can claim religion, spirituality, or faith as a basis for their standing and current circumstance. More

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Wrestling with Shadows, whilst Searching for God (Part 1)

2002 was such a significant year for me. An intimate relationship had come to an end and I found myself confronted with old wounds from the past. I was in the process of  letting-go of a series of close, yet unsatisfying, friendships. I had also had a fall whilst on holiday that Spring, which had led to major surgery on my left eye. As part of my inquiry into the physical and emotional wounds I was bearing, I found myself visiting Nigeria after an absence of almost 14 years. At the time, I felt that in order to move forward, I needed to retrace my steps. Prior to the visit, I had reached the conclusion that something was still broken in my life; despite trying to cover ‘it’ up in so many different ways – via career, relationships, friends, travel and ‘stuff’. In my inquiry, I decided that there was one place that had not yet been fully searched – the Spiritual Path. Therefore, on my return from Nigeria in Autumn 2002, I joined the Interfaith Seminary and a new chapter of my life began.

One of the exercises I had to do as part of the entry into the Seminary was to write a ‘Reflections on my personal religious experience, my spiritual journey and what led me to join the Interfaith Seminary’. I have not looked at the reflections I wrote, since 2002. Reading it the other day, brought to mind the shadows I have wrestled (and in some cases, continue to wrestle), whilst longing and searching for the Divine. I share with you here, the unedited reflections. I have resisted the temptation to edit the piece, with a view to gloss over some aspects of my journey. For I am gradually learning that there is something so powerful and transformational in simply telling it, as it was then. And that its okay to feel whatever emotions come up – the highs, the lows and everything in between; those emotions are simply shadows and when I shine the light on them – by sharing my story consciously and authentically – those shadows simply disappear in the light.

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The theme for September is ‘Faith, Religion & Spirituality’

For the month of September, the theme for the stories to be shared is ‘Faith, Religion & Spirituality’.

I have always had a curiosity about God and the Divine mystery of Life. I remember lying awake every night when I was around 8 wondering where God came from and what existed before God. During that phase, I remember being fascinated with my grandfather, who was muslim, respond to the ‘call to prayer’, watch him wash, get the prayer-mat out and do his prostrations to Allah. I remember at age 10, attending a Baptist church with our neighbours and my parents being very accommodating of my curiosity about the divine mystery. In my early teens, I remember my mother allowing the weekly visits of a local Jehovah’s Witness, as we sat on the balcony and talked about God and ‘The Kingdom’. More

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