I’ve never been a fan of organized religion. I was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran church and while going through confirmation, I had a lot of questions. Despite my aversion, I understand that spiritual communities can bring a lot of stability and support to people. The Lutheran church we went to in Denver was where my mom found much of her solace while raising two children on her own, one of them being a complete teenage terror (me).
After I left and went off to college, the only time I would attend church was when mom requested it. I never really thought much about it until I started working for a mad genius who was under the tutelage of other mad geniuses and part of the curriculum revolved around Permanent Domains of Human Concern, which are concerns that they contend we are all going to have to deal with at one point or another in our lifetime.
One of them is spirituality. I’d been neglecting mine for a while but when the Fiance (!!!!!!) asked if I wanted to attend an introduction to Buddhism class with him, I gladly said yes. I realized that as a future military spouse, I am going to have to find new ways of solace and new ways of finding community.
We’re done with the three week course and on the last night, something wonderful happened.
It’s that gorgeous time of year right now when the light is shifting ever so slightly and the mornings have a little bite to them. Outside the classroom, the wind was rustling through the trees and as we began with a little bit of sitting meditation I remembered something: how it all started.
Through the deployments and ups and downs and long hours and everything else, it can be really easy to forget about some of the softer moments. When he and I first started dating, our third date ended at his house. Nothing bawdry happened but there was a point where we were just lounging around. It was late September and the leaves were turning and they sounded crispy in the wind. We were having a conversation that made me realize that this could be something more than I really could have ever hoped for and when I was driving back to Denver that night, my heart was pounding the entire way.
As we sat in sitting meditation, I focused more on my breath, I started hearing the trees and had a vivid flashback to that day. The day’s frustrations melted away from me and I felt what the Buddhists call tender loving kindness to the guy who was at that time my boyfriend.
Four days later, he proposed to me.
This Sunday, we’re going to go check out a Sangha, or church, in Manitou Springs. It doesn’t matter what kind of religion speaks to you – if it can help you frame your thoughts in a more effective way or give you a solid community, I think that spiritual organizations can be a great resource for military spouses.
If you’re stationed here in Colorado Springs, here is a directory of churches. If this doesn’t have what you are looking for, please let me know in the comments and I will do some digging to see what other communities are out there.