Even when I was ordained a minister in 1995, I still had trouble feeling my holiness. How could I accept something that our society actively discourages? After all, did your parents wake you up in the morning when you were a kid and say, “Good morning, sweet little holy child. Go and be joyful today.” I doubt it!
And as adults, we work with other people. Does anybody say to you, “I really feel your holiness.”? Or anything even remotely like that? No, of course not. So this is part of the problem because we don’t experience it around us.
And holiness has gotten a bad rap. If I ask you, what does holiness mean? you may say to me, (and I’ve heard this from many other people) Oh, it means you have to give up the world, give away all your possessions and live in a cave, wear a hair shirt, and then you’re holy.
And I say, “Horsefeathers!” That is not what holiness is, and it’s a shame that people tend to think that’s the case because it stops us from exploring our true nature. And this makes it difficult to achieve real success in our business and our personal life. That is a tragedy as far as I’m concerned.
I will even go so far as to say that our world is so chaotic because we have forgotten our holiness. How did we get so far removed from our ability to explore our spiritual nature?
For many years I’ve watched western culture move further and further away from spirituality and religion. I was a child in the 50s when we were just getting TVs and were watching all these commercials to buy stuff. We became this consumer society, consumed literally with buying stuff, getting stuff, and comparing ourselves to other people. Yes, that’s always gone on, but it became much more so in the last half-century.
Then their half-century big shift (and I really felt this difference) in the 1980s when the laws changed and retailers could open their stores on Sundays, so that ‘day of rest’ was obliterated. I know we have many different religions in the US, but at least there was one day a week when stores were closed, and you couldn’t go shopping. You would hopefully do a family day or recreate in the great outdoors—ride a bike, take a walk, play a game with your kin or friends, read to each other, or any of a million activities that don’t include purchasing a product.
That was a great loss IMO. And another step taking us deeper into the pit of commercialism.
By the way, if the word ‘holy’ feels old-fashioned or weird to you, just replace it with ‘compassion for all.’ And the reason you want to acknowledge your holiness is because you’re probably experiencing stress in your day, right? If you have no stress, then you have connected with your holiness and that’s where you want to be!
There’s a crying need to remember your holiness so that you can deal with the everyday stresses of disappointment, sadness, anger, fear, etc, that tend to fill the hours of each day. Viewing the storms of the moment through your holiness will quickly bring you to a peaceful shore.
So how do you find your holiness? Well, yes, you could read books, take courses, and find a guru. And you should! Fortunately, there’s been a resurgence today of spiritual matters.
There are so many excellent spiritual writers out there. People we all know, like Oprah and Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson. Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk, who bless his soul, just left us at the age of 95. He has written many fabulous books.
Please go read him. Paulo Coelho, Louise Hay, just so many wonderful authors that can take you on a spiritual journey to find Your Holiness.
On the other hand, there may be a lot of people you don’t understand, but you can listen rather than judge or find fault with what they’re saying. You can try to comprehend their point of view. And even if you can’t do that, you can just accept that that’s the way they feel and they’re entitled to feel that way. By acceptance, compassion and, kindness. That’s living your holiness. You don’t have to wear a hair shirt. You don’t have to leave the world. Not at all.
So what’s the benefit to practicing holiness? It’s like a boomerang. It goes out there and comes right back to you. You will feel the effects of the love you send out. That’s exactly how it works. What do they say? “What goes around, comes around.”
Everything Begins with a Thought,