New calendar year and new possibilities. For me this year is all about my connection with the divine and deepening my spiritual journey. Which has left me considering some of the bigger 'principles' of my personal faith. What I believe in and from there how I work that into my life. I've never really sat down and written out what I believe before. I've answered when asked questions but I've never tried to commit to paper in clear wording what exactly I believe. So I undertook this task recently, I sat down and I put to paper what I believed, those principles that guided my faith, my practices and my life. It wasn't an easy task - and I am certain that these things will change as I grow, learn and develop. You see I don't feel that our faith should be rigid. Should it have solid foundations, most definitely. But I think we have to be willing to look at what we believe critically as new information, understanding and experiences come to us and adjust if we feel the need.
I have to say I highly recommend this practice to all. Taking the time to think about what you believe, to write it out, to analyse it and see if it all works well together (no contradictions) is something that has actually had me connect with my path on a deeper level.
How do we go about doing this? I'll admit, I was stuck to start with. So I googled what other faiths believed and worked from there. I looked at the principles of multiple different faiths (Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Wicca, etc) to get an idea of what 'topics' their principles covered. Then I started to write my own ideas down for each of these. When I found myself getting too wordy I stopped and reflected on how to say it simply, what the core of it all was. Then I reread them over, did I repeat myself? Did I contradict myself? Did I really believe that? Eventually I got to a list of 15 principles. As I said, this list will likely change in some respects over the years to come but I feel that I am on far more solid ground with my faith now than I was before because I have taken the time to understand why I believe it.