What do I personally mean when I say God? For me, God is a Oneness or Wholeness, with everyone and everything being connected and made out of the same ‘stuff’. I also think of God as being Life, Love, Spirit and Energy and I’ve recently decided the word GOD is short for Grand Overall Design. A friend of mine see it differently, saying the word GOD is DOG spelled backwards. He really loves his dog and after all, dogs are the epitome of unconditional love, loyalty and forgiveness: all very God-like qualities!
I think of God as being a natural, higher, nature-based intelligence filled with love, compassion and wisdom. I don’t think of God as being male or female and I don’t think of Nature and God as being separate. When I think of religions, I think they are just different ways of putting faces on God or giving God an identity so people can relate to this ‘something larger’ a little more easily. I don’t think one ‘God’ or name for God is right and others are wrong; neither do I think that one religion is right and another is wrong. I think it’s wonderful to have free-choice, personal truth and diversity within unity.
I also think of ‘God’ as a state of being I experience physically, emotionally and psychologically. For me, ‘God’ is a loving, blissful, peaceful, alert and fully present quality of feeling, thought and being that I aspire to because it feels good! In this state I feel more present and in tune with my body, feelings, surroundings and the moments as they unfold, and the ordinary can seem profound.
So that’s my personal truth in this moment, about ‘God’. What is yours? How is it the same or different? What is your personal or preferred word for God? Do you have one, or many? I tend to see ‘God’ all around me in everything, because I think ‘God’ is everything.
Remember, God doesn’t have to be a ‘person’ or be associated with any organized religion. You are allowed to have your own personal concept and your own personal relationship with your personal concept of divinity. And even if you aren’t in any way religious and you are uncertain about spiritual concepts related to heaven and God, you can simply think of God as Life or Energy. I have some clients who refer to God as Universal Energy, The Universe, Chi Energy, Heaven, The Great Mystery, Spirit, The Force, The Source, The Creator…. The list goes on.
I personally sometimes quite like the word Circumstance, rather than the word God. And I certainly don’t let the fact that I didn’t grow up with any organised religion get in the way of me feeling comfortable with the word God. I used to feel uncomfortable with it once, because I was brought up to love nature, science and freedom of choice. For me, the word God was traditionally associated with Christian religions and their persecutory history so for a long time I wasn’t comfortable with it. I know a lot of spiritual people feel this way too, but please don’t let your self be robbed of the use of a perfectly good word that is universally understood (and its only three letters long! How good is that!!?). It’s wonderful to have a conversation with a person who uses a different ‘God word’ and realize you both intrinsically believe the same thing- this won’t happen if you start arguing about what word and what religion is the ‘right’ one to use.
I do make one suggestion to my clients and students, and that is to choose a concept of God that is unconditionally loving, rather than punitive and angry. I say this, because it makes for better psychological health in general, but also because it makes the healing experience joyful, rather than fear-based. This might sound obvious to many of you, but we have been quite effectively brain-washed by our social customs and religions to perceive God as punitive, angry, and obsessed with guilt and sin. We tend to subconsciously think along these lines without realizing it, even if we don’t have a religious up-bringing.
Part of the reason for this is that we instinctively associate the idea of God with authority figures and throughout history, both general and personal, authority figures are easily associated with authoritarian (bossy, heavy-handed) approaches, where fear, threats and guilt are used to manipulate and control. Healing your relationship with ‘God’ can help you heal wounds related to past, present and future authority figures. Likewise, learning how to stand up to bossy authority figures and know that you deserve love and respect, helps you to have a healthier relationship with a more loving God.
I use various terms for God, such as God, Goddess, All That Is, Source, Spirit, Universe, Universal Energy and so on. God and Energy are concepts that are very strongly tied in together and at times, it makes sense to think of them as being the same thing. For this reason, I tend to think of God as a collective energy field of which we are all a part. One of my favourite terms for God is White Light. White light is another way of saying ‘energy’ and because it consists of all colours, it beautifully conveys the idea of a collective wholeness in an energy-based form.
A lot of the time, I use the word Spirit to represent God and God’s Helpers collectively. When I’m privately talking to God or my team of Spirit Guides (a smaller expression of God), I use this term. In public, I tend to say ‘God, Goddess, All That Is’ because it’s easier for more people to relate to. Everybody knows what the word ‘God’ stands for. The word ‘Goddess’ is there for those of us who prefer a more female take on our version of God and ‘All That Is’ pretty much conveys the general idea about what ‘God’ is!