In the family and church, in which I grew up, God was a guy in the sky looking down on all of humanity - judging everyone and everything. The interesting thing about this perspective is that no one ever measured up. Everyone fell short. Especially women, who ‘caused the fall of all humanity.’ As a woman, this perspective did not work for me; so, in my 20’s I rejected all of it. I rejected God and anything to do with God.
A decade later, at the age of 30, I had a health crisis that turned my life upside down and inside out. I went on medical leave and, for the first time in my life, I slowed down. My full-time focus was self-care and I worked with a whole team of people to get better. As I began to peel away the layers of social and spiritual conditioning, I reconnected with my heart, rebooted my mind, and healed my body.
Loving myself back to wholeness and opening up to buried parts of myself led me to a surprising place: it took me right into a felt experience of Divine Love. What even was that?! At first, I didn’t have words to explain what was happening. But, as I listened to myself, my heart, my body, and my mind, I realized that I had found the loving presence of God inside of me.
Now, this was not the God of my upbringing! But, with it I found a new desire to return to church. I re-entered traditional Christianity for a short time, but it was no longer a good fit for me. I needed a new definition of God and a new faith community that fit with what I was experiencing in my heart and mind. I visited many churches, but when I discovered the Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL), I knew I was home.
It was here that I embraced a new definition of God:
“There is a Universal Mind, Spirit, Intelligence, that is the origin of everything: It is First Cause. It is God. This Universal Life and Energy finds an outlet in and through all that is energized, and through everything that lives. There is One Life back of everything that lives. There is One Energy back of all that is energized. This Energy is in everything. There is One Spirit back of all expression.” ~ The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes p. 35
Yowza! I love this definition! It means that God is not judging. Nope. God is the Source and Energy of all life everywhere. As the One Life in back of all life, It is within everyone and everything. This changes how we view God; it changes how we view humanity.
Here at CSL White Rock, we believe:
“Each human being is a creation of God, made of God-substance, a unique individualized incarnation of Spirit. This incarnated Spirit is my Essence and the Essence of every human being.” ~ Foundations of the Science of Mind class materials
This means that humans are inherently valuable and worthy simply because we exist. We are all expressions of God, given the same creative power. As humans, we have free will to choose acts of creation or destruction. But, even so, there is always a power of Good, a Creative Source called God, that underlies everything and is naturally moving us back into harmony.
Here are two more of my favorite quotes about God from This Thing Called You by Ernest Holmes:
“When you use the word ‘God’ you mean the Power that creates everything, that gives life to everything. When you say, ‘All things are possible,’ you mean that the Power which created the planets is now operating in your affairs, in and through everything you do.” ~ p. 38
“To realize that God is ever-present, ever-available, is to know that all the wisdom, intelligence and power of the universe is right where you are.” ~ p. 37
Even when everything appears to be falling apart - I know that it’s God falling into place.
Even when I feel ‘less than’ - I know that I’m valuable and worthy.
Even when I might feel hopeless - I know there is Love.
Because God is. I am. You are. And we are One.
About Rev. Cassandra Rae
Reverend Cassandra Rae is an unexpected minister! She was raised evangelical Baptist and spent her twenties as an angry atheist. Then she had a medical crisis, which launched her onto a spiritual journey of healing and self-discovery. Now she's an advocate for an empowered spirituality that embraces your humanity as the path of knowing your divinity.
About the Centre for Spiritual Living White Rock
We envision a world that naturally expresses Love. We’re on a mission to awaken humanity to its Spiritual Magnificence. We offer tools for transformation, authentic self-expression, and conscious living. We believe that spiritual community is key in living a life of purpose and meaning. We gather to inspire, support, and invite heartfelt connection that empowers the soul.