Dear unknown friend,
One of my best friends was an atheist. I believe in the Great Spirit. However we enjoyed sharing our thoughts and talking about our beliefs. We enjoyed sharing our feelings as well. We understood each other and loved our conversations.
There is no need to agree to understand, no need to convince anyone to chose another path than the path they have chosen for themselves. I am not an atheist, but who knows, maybe in another life, I will chose to be one?
I am a Christian but I rarely use the word. I don't go to church. I don't believe in all the stuff they tell you to believe and how you should feel and behave... I am a Christian because there are a few things in the Gospel that speak to my heart. I am also a story teller, so let me just tell you a Jesus story. A small one.
Jesus was in a boat with his friends the disciples. He was sleeping. The weather turned bad. Soon there was a storm rocking the boat. The disciples were very scared, and Jesus kept sleeping. They woke him up in a panic!
"Hey! Jesus! We're going to capsize!"
Jesus stood up in the boat, opened his arms, told the storm to calm down.... and the storm calmed down!
This was the story. I hope it was not too long!
Maybe it is literally true. Have you ever had this feeling of being somehow connected to the atmosphere and felt you could ask the rain to wait a little bit for you to have time to go home? Then the rain apparently held on and started pouring down just after you passed your door, saying thank you!
Of course this can easily be called "pure coincidence" and dismissed, but sometimes it happens and even though you can't prove it, you feel you're not alone... At times, the same kind of experience repeats itself again and again, the rain, the bus, the person you meet just at the right time at the right place to tell you something you needed to know... sometimes life seems to flow harmoniously, as if orchestrated.... so why not?
However there is another way to understand this story. Whether it is true or not doesn't matter actually. This story is also a symbolic story. The storm is an emotional storm. The boat is our body. Jesus is our heart, and the disciples the parts of us that feel overwhelmed...
When we wake up, we become able of to understand others, including those who hurt us... When we are emotional like small children we feel angry, scared, lonely, abandoned, worthless, resentful when we are not treated well. It's normal to feel awful when we are hurt. It's as natural as a storm. It is a storm.
We shouldn't feel bad about feeling bad when we feel bad; it only make things worse when we beat ourselves up for not being loving and peaceful.
The storm is natural and we need to become supernatural. By this I mean understanding someone else point of view and their feelings, along with ours. This is enough to calm down an inner storm. Understanding is all we need. Understanding is love.
The philosophers of old used to say: "Know yourself"
Today, many repeat: "Love yourself".
It's the same thing really.