Finding the current

I have three criteria for when a spiritual practice or spiritual system is working for me. The first criterion is, does it help me cope with everyday life? Am I handling spills, delays, internet outages, aches and pains reasonably well, or am I losing my temper or bursting into tears at every provocation?
The second is, am I being kind to myself and to other people? Am I impatient with myself and prone to negative self-talk, or am I fairly calm and centered? Do I judge people furiously (if silently) for not conforming to my expectations in the way they drive or dress or use the English language, or can I gently detach? Am I relating well to people I don’t know?
And the third criterion is simply, am I writing? Am I writing something other than morning pages? Am I writing something that isn’t complaining about how this spiritual practice isn’t working for me?
Having the right spiritual practice in my life is like being plugged into an electric socket. I have energy to function, and beyond that, I have energy to create. The right spiritual system feeds my imagination, and the result is not just better coping and a kinder, more humorous, more compassionate stance toward people, but stories, poems, and (hopefully) interesting blog entries.
Since January, I have been saying Morning and Evening Prayer daily and attending the weekly Eucharist at a progressive, arts-oriented Episcopal church. And I have coped with separating from my husband, finding a place of my own, and living by myself; I have written over a dozen short fanfic stories; I have started my first novel. I have continued, sporadically, to blog and to write poetry. I have read widely, socialized with friends old and new, watched a number of television series new to me (thanks to the magic of Amazon Instant Video).
My life is not only functional, it is rich, and I attribute that wholeheartedly to practicing the Christian religion as an Episcopalian. Anglican Christianity is the right sort of current for me, a fuel that my spirit runs on efficiently and even beautifully, like having the right grade of gasoline in your car. I didn’t experience this richness when I was practicing Buddhism. I had it only intermittently when I was practicing Druidry. And I don’t think that I would have it if I were Roman Catholic, or Methodist, or even Orthodox.
On the other hand, I have to grant that other people fuel their lives with an entirely different current and do quite well. I’m sure that my bond with Anglicanism was formed when I was a child, and my imagination was ripe to be imprinted. At the same time I was going to an Episcopal church and hearing the Tudor English of the 1928 Prayerbook, I was reading the Narnia books and The Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander and the novels of Madeleine L’Engle. It all blended together. But other people get their spiritual energy from other religions, or even from something other than religion; while some public spokespersons for atheism have been publicly obnoxious for a while now, the self-identified atheists, agnostics, and “nones” I’ve known personally have been some of the kindest, most ethical people I know.
It’s just a relief not to be running around any more with the power cord in my hand, so to speak, looking for a place to plug in. I’m plugged in, grounded, and switched on.

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