Natalie hughes choosing my guilt free- religion
What if threats of damnation and hellfire were not hung over our heads? In fact, what if you removed all guilt, shame and fear from the religious equation?
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Natalie hughes choosing my guilt free- religion
Choosing my (guilt-free) religion
Here’s the thing: I’m not a member of any church or religious denomination and I have
to tell you that this has caused me to feel a little directionless on occasion. Tori Amos
wrote these words in her song In The Springtime of His Voodoo: “Honey, we’re
recovering Christians,” and while it did make me slightly uncomfortable, that line
resonated with me. Growing up a Christian will always have a place in forming who I am
even if I no longer take part in the ritual.
I am not making a comment on Christianity for anyone else. Spirituality is personal. I
have deep respect for my Christian friends and family who are able to glean what they
need from those teachings. I just know that I was unable to GET. IT. I was lost when I
was supposed to be found and, well, that is just not the point.
I still consider myself to be very spiritual, but this.. this sense of being part of something
larger than myself and at the same time feeling it exist inside myself has no name, no
form and no guideline. And us humans, we like those sorts of things. What am I? What
do I tell my children? How do I put this on my Facebook profile under “Religious Views?”
This brings me to my decision–exactly 2 hours ago–to name it and write it out. My own
personal beliefs and rules to live by.
I’m going to call it:
These are some of the questions I have asked myself when getting to the core:
–What if we were moving towards feeling pretty good right here and now instead of
working towards a possible heaven eventually, and then only if we get enough
–What if threats of damnation and hellfire were not hung over our heads?
–In fact, what if you removed all guilt, shame and fear from the religious equation?
–What if we were better at reserving judgement on ourselves or anyone else and were
patient, kind and somewhat neutral about so-called “bad behaviour?”
–What if the romanticism of the battle between good and evil is indeed fictional
–What if it all boils down to 2 simple choices?
So here are the fundamentals of Choice-ism: Every single thing we choose to do (or not
do) all day, every day can do one of two things:
1. Bring us closer to our spiritual centre, or
2. Pull us out of alignment with our integrity and feelings of peace and
This includes all choices, big and small… the food we eat, the interactions we have with
fellow souls, the clutter we pick up or leave in the hall, the toxic substances we either
abstain from or lean on for comfort, the will to forgive or to hold a grudge, the patience
we do or do not have with ourselves and our process… it goes on and on.
I’m thinking maybe that the word “sin” was originally intended to describe a choice that
takes us far away from spirit. Well just forget about calling it that now, because it drags
behind it centuries (millennia even) of guilty consciousness, and a little voice inside me
tells me that shame, guilt and fear are not all that enlightening.
So I thought, what are the principles that I am living by? What do I know so far to be
true for me? And I came up with the Seven Suggestions.
Be patient with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you’ve got work to do, sister.
Cut folks some slack–it’s tough out there. Most of the people around you are not
learning the same things you are, at the same time.
When faced with a choice, take one still moment to ask yourself if this is aligned with
your loving self or not. Every choice either is or it isn’t. Unclear? More stillness needed.
Don’t should all over yourself. Do it or do not, and choose without guilt.
When you screw up, which will happen a LOT if you’re living at all, look at the carnage
with open eyes and learn the lesson sooner rather than later.
Dive hard into understanding relationships. You’ll know who you are by seeing your
reflection in the things that drive you bonkers about other people.
Forgive everything. Do it for you. Do it for them. Do it for the greater good.
I know. I’m preachin’ to the choir.
I am the choir.
About Natalie Hughes:
Natalie Hughes, editor, writer, performer and songwriter, is a gifted interpreter of the
human experience, expressing passion, humor, heartbreak, healing and freedom to a
depth that few writers reach. Natalie is also the Musical Director for Crystal Andrus
Productions, providing music for short films, international speaking engagements, and
powerful meditations. Hear her in music and conversation weekly as the co-host on The
Crystal Andrus Show. Natalie lives along the picturesque waterways of Peterborough,
Canada with her husband – photographer Michael Hurcomb – and her two children. For
more, visit nataliehughes.com and find Natalie on iTunes, Twitter and Facebook.