I’ve always felt that one of my tasks as a parent concerning spirituality, was to give my children the least amount of baggage possible while creating or nurturing, I should say, a craving for that connection to our Maker. No small task! As I get older and begin this process of chipping away at the clutter in my life, it brings to light how vital too much baggage is. Traveling light is better for me.
I’ve had to come to a comfort level with letting go of some things. Like beliefs that were handed down to those that handed them down, that handed them down to me, was the first place to start. I revere my heritage and I honor the ones that came before me, so letting go of some of those beliefs wasn’t whimsical by any means. They were passing along the best information or view they could possibly hold with what they knew. I will be doing the same thing. Perhaps one difference is that I see my faith constantly shifting and shaping, growing and questioning along this journey. This is the culture I live in. It wasn’t always that way.
But the way it was, isn’t the way it always was. Right? Does that make sense? We don’t really do anything like it was done 100 years ago. I doubt we’d recognize any practices of our ancestors from 1000 years ago. I’m just saying that we seem to look through a small window when we speak of tradition. The tradition then sadly becomes as vital as what it was supposed to support.
Speaking for me only, some layers of tradition can work against me, creating baggage. That baggage gets in the way of me being open to the endless possibilities of how God can appear, and how I can be shaped. I’m just saying I think we have to give ourselves “permission” to let go of things that get in our way. That putting more “stuff” between us and our Creator doesn’t help us. It happens in all of our lives and we are rarely told that it’s ok to let some of that go, for they were never the point anyway.
I am a Southerner and we love our traditions. I have many that I love and hold dearly, but when they get in the way; when they become counter productive, I believe the Maker is saying, “let it go, you only need me”.
I hope that’s some of what I can pass along to my children. Travel light. Bring the things that serve you well. Bring only the things you need.