My FIGGI Life with Jeanne

Religion vs spirituality: A peek into my journey

Episode Summary

Jeanne shares a rare peek into her spiritual life, her soul journey and how she sees and defines life's purpose.

Episode Notes

Jeanne is not religious. This is not a fad statement she shares to illicit attention, and it’s not an admonishment with a caveat that will lead to  her to confessing that she is “secretly religious.” It is just plain facts. In this episode she asks the question: Does that change your opinion of  her, and if it does, why? 

She explores key questions, asking whether her spiritual beliefs makes her lesser than others,  a bad mother, a lousy wife, or a bad friend? Does it take away from her life’s journey, her highs and lows, her joys and sorrows?

Join Jeanne as she gives a view into her spiritual life, not in an effort to explain how she indulges in her spirituality, to defend it, or to convince you to see things her way. It’s more of an ode to others like her who may feel the same and are all too familiar with being the lonely oasis in the desert, surrounded by perfect believers. Those who know what it feels like to be secretly (and sometimes not-so-secretly) judged for their lack of religion. 

Links and Information:

Jeanne Retief: FIGGI Beauty Shop | My FIGGI Life Blog | My FIGGI Life Podcast | Instagram

Episode Transcription

[00:00:00.330] - Jeanne

Hello, FIGGI goddess. Welcome. Welcome to the My Figgi Life podcast. Today we're talking about a really contentious subject, religion. So I'm a little nervous because, you know, someone I respect a lot once told me that there are a few things in life that you do not talk about in social situations. That's politics and religion. And he is so right. So I'm going to talk a little bit about my religious beliefs and how that has influenced me through my life, and hopefully you find some kind of kinship in this.


[00:00:42.590] - Intro

Welcome, goddess, to your sacred space. This is the My Figgi Life podcast, where we openly discuss life's wins and losses on our journeys to self-discovery. This is your best life. This is your figgi life. And now here is your host, Jean.


[00:01:02.930] - Jeanne

So, I don't know why, but people are always so interested in religion. Like, what do you believe? What is your religion? How do you believe? How do you practice religion? And oftentimes there's so much judgment about it. If you believe something differently, or heaven forbid, if you see something differently or interpret something differently, it automatically means you're bad and you're wrong. I've dealt with this kind of scrutiny most of my adult life because of how I choose to express my spirituality. I've worked in the human rights space in my old life. As you know, if you're a figgi follower and listener, I've seen many things, and I've worked with many people from many cultural and religious and gender backgrounds. And this has really opened and broadened my mind so much. I honestly believe that you can only be a whole person if you take the space and the time and the beauty and the love to look after yourself physically, mentally, psychologically, but also spiritually, whatever that looks like to you. Like, I have no directions towards that. But in an effort to shed light on how I see things, I'll do this episode for you.


[00:02:20.940] - Jeanne

And I just want to be clear here. It's not a judgment at all, and it is most definitely not at all that I'm saying. People should think the way I think or believe the way I believe. Nor am I being down on others who believe differently from me, because I honestly, honestly have so much love for anyone with kindness and a good heart. That's all that matters to me, because we need more kindness in this world. The point is, I'm not religious. But why does that change people's opinion of me? I don't really know, but I know it does. I've seen it manifest in my close familial relationships. I've lost friends because of this, which is really sad because I don't feel like it makes me a bad person. I'm just not religious. And this is not a fad statement to elicit some kind of attention, and it's not an admonishment with a caveat that will lead to me confessing that I'm secretly religious. It's just plain facts. I'm not religious, but does that change your opinion of me? And if it does change your opinion of me, could you maybe tell me why? Does it make me lesser than others?


[00:03:42.580] - Jeanne

Does it make me a bad mother or a lousy wife or a bad friend? Does it take away from my life's journey my highs, my lows, my joys, my sorrows? Does it change the core of my DNA? It doesn't change my drive to help and to be of service. It doesn't change how I feel my heart dance when the sun shines on my face. It doesn't change the respect I have for the beauty of this earth and the nature that surrounds me. The fact that I'm not religious doesn't make me blind to the miracle of life. Yeah, I did just use the word miracle, but I don't equate certain words to certain religious beliefs. However, I love manipulating language to properly portray the beauty and the uniqueness of all we perceive around us.


[00:04:35.220] - Jeanne

You're listening to the My Figgi Life podcast.


[00:04:38.970] - Jeanne

I'll give you a view into my spiritual life in this episode. I'm not doing this because I'm trying to explain how I indulge my spirituality to defend it or to convince you to see things my way. It's more of an ode to others like me who may feel the same and are all too familiar with being the lonely oasis in the desert, surrounded by these perfect believers. Those who know what it feels like to be secretly, and sometimes not so secretly judged for their lack of religion. Once you have kids, it's even worse, because now you're running the risk of damaging two souls, one innocent and one yours. Of course, this episode really is for those who are whispered about and labelled but never outright asked about their views. Wouldn't offense be eliminated and assumptions be less painful if people just asked? Just ask me, what do you believe? Are you religious? And be prepared for the answer. People don't ask because they're afraid the answer may not align with their beliefs. And then somehow they will need to effectively love you less or try to pray you better. I say this because this has happened to me on many occasions.


[00:05:59.070] - Jeanne

I smile, I try to stay respectful, and I applaud them for their journey and convictions. It doesn't give me sleepless nights because I'm not offended by what others believe and how they practice that belief. I have only one requirement from people I led into my life really? Are you a good person? My main concerns for my little family are we happy? Are we healthy? Are we or do we actively try to be at least good people who leave a good effect on this world? The best thing about spirituality and being able to explore this is the fact that it can be whatever calls to your soul. This may look and feel different to all of us and some of us don't need it at all and are happy to go through life spiritually unattached. More power to you, in my view. Who am I to tell you how to believe or what to believe or even if you need to believe? I choose to leave judgment to the fool. I was fortunate to have grown up with many different religious influences, and later in my life I would learn that it all leads to the same place, in my view, in any way.


[00:07:13.850] - Jeanne

Still, even these different approaches help me uniquely understand religion and spirituality. It's one of the things I am most grateful for in my life. My influences ranged from orthodox Christian to more relaxed Methodist vibe, to spiritual curiosity and complete non beliefs. Since I can remember, I was always incredibly fascinated by religion, why it meant so much to people, how it was translated into the world and the history behind it. I always questioned it, and the more I asked, the more questions I had. I spent hours researching different religions, committing to learning each one's integrity, intricacies, prophecies, rules, practices. It fascinated me to no end, and it still does. I would definitely, I think, be the picture next to the word spiritually curious in the in the in the dictionary. Teen, at your service. Thank you. Add to this that I am blessed to travel a lot and I was able to experience different religions up close and personal, and the love for the curious was just sealed. This background gave me a unique view of the world and how a spiritual connection, you know, kind of coincides with this life we live and the place we find ourselves in.


[00:08:31.940] - Jeanne

I've had many experiences in life and a lot more than I care for at my age, but this also taught me to see things from a different perspective and to question it. The atheist abuser that runs from church like it's a fire chasing him, yet he doesn't believe. So why be so scared, I wonder. The devout churchgoer cheats on his wife and overindulges more than he should. The Muslim peacefully practicing her belief secretly for fear of being judged and roped into an extremist category. Yet she spends all her free time and money, which she does not have, feeding others and helping where she can. The devoted Christian whose life is truly enriched by her belief and who lives this belief without judging others. The fast talking spiritualist offers the weird and the wonderful while cheating people out of their hard earned money when they need healing support the most. Or the Buddhist who asks no questions but welcomes me to his sacred space, openly answers my questions and offers me a seat at his table. I can go on, but I think you get the gist of what I'm trying to get at. I will always have the most tremendous respect for every person's spiritual journey.


[00:09:51.380] - Jeanne

I will always celebrate it with the light of curiosity and I will never be into denying others the salvation they see. However, it would be nice to have the same respect. So here is how I see things. Just note that I'm not trying to feign anger or recruit someone to my side. These are just the facts as they ring true in my story. I choose not to entangle myself in religious dogma and what it preaches. I cannot know what did or didn't happen, what historians got right or wrong, which miracles did or didn't occur. However, I understand and have absolute faith in love and kindness. In the end, love really is all there is to me. Love breeds everything good that flows from it hope, kindness, empathy, compassion and so much more. So, I choose to align myself with believing in love. First and foremost, I don't call upon a particular deity or choose to commit myself to only one. The universe speaks to us in many ways and forms, and my soul guides me and tells me what I need to know in every phase and stage of my life. It doesn't matter to me if I call upon God, Gaia, the universe, spirit, or any of the other thousands of names.


[00:11:20.210] - Jeanne

They all lead to the same end for me. Do your best to be a good human. Above all, always be guided by love and be unbendingly grateful for every small thing. I find solace in my sacred space, adorned with trinkets that speak to my soul and help me feel grounded in peace. These can be candles with a relaxing aroma, a picture of my family, a comfortable meditation cushion or guidance cards that inspire me when I need the most. Above all else, I genuinely believe in the power of my intuition. I think a version of me has been here before, done this before, knows this truth and knows the hurts and the joys and has endless wisdom about my journey. I believe this higher self, as I call it, guides me through difficult times. If only I choose to tune into my soul and listen with open curiosity. I believe that the path I choose to follow actively reminds and calls me not to judge others for what enriches their soul or how they choose to practice their rituals. I believe love for each other reigns supreme and always will. I don't know what happens hereafter and it's really none of my concern.


[00:12:44.710] - Jeanne

Life is now, experience is now, enlightenment is now. Soul speaks to me daily and I am currently walking, breathing, and living my journey. I'm grateful for this and I remind myself to be thankful every day. I have missteps and make mistakes like many of us, but I don't believe in Brimstone Smythe and judgment. I think I learn from this and I'm guided to a better place if I'm willing to follow the path my guides show me. I believe in the power of every living, breathing thing and I welcome their wisdom from the smallest seed to the tallest mountain, and from the baby lamb to the ferocious tiger, I'm happy to share my story and version, if only asked. There's no need to wonder, assume, or otherwise pass judgment prematurely. I admit you may not like my answers, but that doesn't change the soul of who I am. How I choose to practice spiritually and find my purpose on this path doesn't change my passion for this life, my compassion for a friend going through a bad time, my awe of my little girl and her open curiosity about all things, my unexplainable love for my husband that doesn't see spirituality like I do.


[00:14:12.280] - Jeanne

I just want to focus on being a good human, spreading love, owning my mistakes, and working to improve myself. This is the message I teach my daughter, and I believe it to be the most important message I can give to her. So as we enter this next chapter of our lives, my Figgi goddess, I wish you all the best, and I wish that you find your soul's purpose, seek your joy, and embrace your path, whatever that looks like to you. Love and light always, Jean. Enjoying the conversation?


[00:14:47.390] - Outro

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