Words are interesting things. We attach meanings to them in our minds. I remember in my teens being embarrassed because people might find out that I lived in a trailer park. Living in a trailer meant poverty. Admitting that I lived in a trailer caused embarrassment.
Recently, I had an epiphany. Right now, “tiny homes” seems to be all the rage. Tiny homes are smaller versions of a home that are mobile and can be placed anywhere. Tiny home communities are starting to crop up. Wait a minute! As a teenager, I grew up in a smaller version of a home, it was mobile, and we lived in a community. Hey! I grew up in a tiny home and my family was ahead of the curve! Thus, proving that it’s all in how you spin it.
Attaching meanings to words is an automatic human trait. Our egos love to categorize something as good or bad in our mind. That something is represented by a word. If we associate that thing as bad and hear that word, we have a reaction. There is a word that seems to be a hot button for many people. That word is GOD. That’s right, I said it. God. God. God.
That word God brings up a variety of reactions and responses. For years it put my panties in a bunch. I categorized it as a bad word. I associated it with what I learned growing up. There was a sense of fear associated with God. God was anthropomorphized as being a male figure that judged me for my sins. In my mind, I believed that my life was shitty because I was bad and God was punishing me. Religion the way I experienced it, was a way for my inner victim to feel even worse about herself. She didn’t need any help. And when asked what church she attended, a common question asked in the south, she adamantly proclaimed, “I’m spiritual! Not religious!”
It never felt right, even as a child, to believe that God was an angry God meting out punishment. I know now that being asked to buy into that, drove me away from standardized religion. I had seemed to be a source of anger to my parents enough growing up. Why would I choose to subject myself to a religion that asked me to believe that I also angered God? I’m still working on releasing the belief that God, Life, or people are out to get me.
My reaction to the word God has shifted a lot in the past few years because my spin on the word God has shifted. Now I say it in a soft voice without anger, “Actually I’m more spiritual than religious.” If asked what I mean by that I share more. Some people do ask. Others change the subject.
Recently, a man on a dating app sent me a simple one sentence message. He asked, “Are you a God-Fearing woman?” I don’t think that my response was something he expected. I wrote, “That’s an interesting question. If I believed that God was waiting to punish me then I would be. But I don’t. I like to believe that God is a source of unconditional love. Do I choose to fear God? No.” I did not hear from him again.
I’m getting more comfortable using the word God. It still chafes me a bit when the he pronoun is attached to it. Who decided God was male? Why would God, a word that is meant to symbolize a higher power for all, be assigned a sex that only represented part of the population? Hahaha! Proving once again that the meaning I attach to a word causes my reaction.
What does the word God bring up for you? I’m curious. Not from a standpoint of trying to convince you that your point of view is less valid than mine. It isn’t. Just wondering what shaped the meaning that you have made of the word God. What is your spin on it creating in your life?
My heart’s desire is that any spin on the word God magnifies love, joy, and peace for all.