Your soul is suffering for it.
Life on this planet requires rules and I like rules.
I like the consistency of knowing that I can do anything I want or not. If I choose to not follow a rule, the consequences are known. If I speed and get a ticket, I pay a fine. Simple life and it makes sense to me.
Rules keep us safe, keep us happy, and keep life moving as it should. These rules are necessary and have value.
Christianity is one place where man-made rules have little value to the soul.
I understand that there are certain commandments of God that are a requirement to call myself a Christian. When I say man-made, I mean church rules and directives that came from a human not directly from Jesus or God himself. Often these are an interpretation of a commandment that a human decided to manipulate into a rule.
Rules box in the sublime into impossible outcomes.
Modern Christianity is a man-made box that is familiar yet complicated. Tell me if this sounds like your life.
You were brought up in a church. Later you decide on your path to God. Maybe in the same church maybe not. You follow the rules of that path.
Like the rest of the sheep walking obediently along that chosen path.
You keep moving to whatever goal is set before you to fix whatever problem you are told needs fixing, by the rules that you have been given. No grazing on the side of the path in lush pastures for you.
If you stray from the path, you are chastised. The light of your individuality is snuffed out and you are like every other person in the heard.
You become a follower of tradition, not a spiritual soul connected to living God. Rules create a life of fear. Fear of being less than enough, not good enough, and rejected.
Live a life “that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Read that quote again.
I was hiding behind the rules. I was not seeking God with curiosity. I was using the rules I was given as an excuse for my failure to honest with myself and for not having the courage to live the life I dreamed of. I took a long look at how I was living and writing.
My writing was not reaching as many people as I had hoped, because I was following the rules. I was writing what I thought would be acceptable by people, not writing what was in my soul. I was not writing what God was leading me to write. I was playing it safe in the box of man-made rules. I was doing religion the way I was told to do it. I was afraid of offending someone, who? It doesn’t matter. Fear of not being accepted or good enough ruled me.
One day, I decided to stop hiding. I said to hell with rules. What I did next went against my Christian upbringing in a big way.
First, I made the choice to be creative my way.
I wanted to be unique and make a difference in the lives of people who read my words. I began to get curious about what my writing would look like if I wrote without the fear of being wrong. I worked outside the rules that I had been living in for my entire life. I stopped making excuses for not writing what I wanted to write because it might offend some Christian friends or family members. I wrote my words, my way.
Then, I made a decision to make my own path to know God.
Not only did my writing improve but my relationship with God improved. I stepped out of the confines of church rules and fell in love with the person of God, the why of God, and the reality of God.
What I discovered was that God is unfathomable. All the things I was taught about God just scratched the surface to what is really an unknowable truth. My faith in God and love grew exponentially.
I still intend to enforce rules in my home and follow them when I am required to. Rules keep us safe. Let’s not get crazy and start a rebellion. However, when it comes to creativity and spirituality, that is no place for rules.
No shame in being YOU a creative spiritual unique human who sometimes breaks the rules.