Dear Lord… or Dear Oprah?

The whole Bible-thing is just nonsense to me

I’m not sure that I’ve ever believed in God. Yes, I’ve prayed for many things, and those prayers were most likely directed at God, but I don’t believe that there is an Almighty person responsible for anything. The whole Bible-thing is just nonsense to me. I’m aware that the main purpose of it is to take away the messages and (some of the) morals in it, but I’m pretty sure it was written to create guidelines for people to live by. And I really don’t want to get into whether those guidelines are right or wrong… Religious people can’t even agree!

No, I believe in evolution and the universe, as simple as that. And possibly also something beyond that, but I’m not sure what. My entire life, and especially when I was at my lowest during my depression, I have struggled intensely with the lack of meaning in life. I just find it so frustrating that I’m here and I don’t know why. It doesn’t motivate me to work my ass off during the week, so I can enjoy life on the weekends. However, something that has kind of helped me is the philosophy around believing that there is more to life than just our physical presence, that there is in fact a purpose to our existence, that every person has a calling and that we don’t disappear when we die, but rather that there’s some kind of afterlife. Hence, I see myself as spiritual and not religious.

It has helped me look differently at so many aspects of life

When I decided to actively work on getting better, I started listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversation podcast (accessible on Spotify and YouTube), and it has really helped and inspired me. The podcast has confirmed that I am indeed spiritual, and it has helped me look differently at so many aspects of life.

For 30-40 minutes, Oprah interviews more or less famous people with extraordinary outlooks on life, death, spirituality and other issues relating “the big questions.” She also interviews people who have gone through some sort of obstacle and have come out even stronger on the other side and are now able to share their discoveries about life.
So, if you’re struggling with some of the heavier aspects of life – such as happiness, the meaning of life, whether you have a purpose here and what it might be – then I highly recommend Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations. Some of the people I’ve recommended it to haven’t liked the podcast, because they found it too spiritual, but if you feel like you’re in need of an awakening, or even just suggestions to ways of thinking, this could be for you.

Some of my favorite episodes are:
– Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith: “Manifest the life of your Dreams”
– Jack Canfield: “Fulfilling Your Life’s Purpose”
– Brother David Steindl-Rast: “Happiness Begins with Gratitude”
If you’re uncertain, start with these three – not necessarily in that order.

Right then and there, I had what is probably the biggest aha-moment of my life

I recently opened up about my depression to an acquainted from my university who’s gone through the same, and he asked me what had triggered it. I answered to my best knowledge and said that it was a combination of long-term stress and what I believed to be a really messed up childhood, and his response really surprised me: He didn’t believe that we are what has happened to us, but rather that we carry our past experiences with us as mental baggage, and that we can choose to separate our past from our present and future, and not let it affect us, but steer us away from what we don’t want to be and toward who we actually want to be. Right then and there, in spite of having seen two psychologists and a psychiatrist, I had what is probably the biggest aha-moment of my life: I realized that I’ve perceived myself as a victim of my past during my entire adult life.

One thing Oprah keeps saying is “Nothing you’ve ever been through is wasted,” and that quote seriously hits home with me. Similarly, Jack Canfield writes in his book Success Principles: “Everything in the past has actually been perfect … Everyone, including you, has always done the best they could with what they knew at the time.” That just comforts me like nothing else!

A couple of my other favorite quotes from the podcast are:

  • “If you take that risk; if you take that chance; if you tell the truest, hardest, deepest story you have within you, you’re not gonna step into the light and find that you’re there alone, you’re gonna be surrounded by people who are there with you.” (Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild)
  • “What if all the bad things that have happened in my life are leading me to activating some great potential?” (Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith)

Where you are right now is a result of your own efforts

One of the most important things you can do to heal, I believe, is to take responsibility for your own life. As simple as that. Where you are right now is a result of your own efforts. You have to choose to become better and do better, and then work your butt off to get where you want to be. Every decision you make matters – from the job you took at a supermarket at 17 to your elective courses at the university and the effort you put into your relationships. Everything in your life has turned out the way it has, because you made it that way.

I recently became aware of this concept, when I watched the documentary and read the book you’ve probably heard of a million times: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne (available on Netflix). The concept of The Secret is based on the principle of the Law of Attraction, and I first heard about it in 2009, when I was working in a book store in Australia.

More about the book and my belief in it in one of my next blog posts!
Until then, please feel free to let me know what you believe in 🙂

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