Feel Free to be a Cafeteria Catholic: Take the Good and Leave the Rest

Updated: May 14, 2019

Why would we ever hold on to principles that aren't working for us? God, Goddess, the Universe, Allah, Jesus, a Higher Power...whoever you believe in...has offered a diversity of principles to the earth. It's a great thing, because it means that there's a spiritual path for everyone! But it also can be mega overwhelming to sort through all the religions and spiritual teachers of the world to find what fits you best. There’s no need to get overwhelmed. It’s ok to believe what you believe, and it’s also ok to sample the buffet of spiritual practices.

My grandma, or as I call her - Momo, gave me the mother of all advice when it comes to taking advice. She has always told me, "Take the good and leave the rest." For a long time I didn’t get what she meant, because I was so focused on pleasing others and seeking validation. However, as I’ve grown I’ve realized that she was trying to teach me to be true to myself and to trust my intuition.

Taking my Momo’s advice has helped me be who I really am. I apply “take the good and leave the rest” to my religious and spiritual practices. When I go to Church, read a book on spirituality, or receive advice from a mentor I use what works for me, and I throw the rest out or put it aside for another time. I can’t use what doesn’t work for me or what just doesn’t make any sense at that time.

I believe that God is constantly showing me the way. Sometimes it’s just not the right time in my life to have a certain religious or spiritual practice, sometimes I downright disagree, but every time God leads me to where I’m supposed to be. “Taking the good” is a tool that has shown me that I can trust the voice within that recognizes truth and joy, because this is God nudging me through life and God always has my back.

Practice “taking the good and leaving the rest” and listening to your inner voice, and you will find your spiritual path. The path isn’t always a straight line, but you can trust that you will find answers. For me, I find guidance in my program of recovery from alcoholism, Catholic Social Teaching, the life of Jesus, and literally wherever I hear something that resonates with my soul. I also recognize these sources are not inspiration for everyone so I encourage you start paying attention to what resonates with your soul.

Find the good and leave the rest! Listen to that inner voice that says, "This is my path, this is where I'm being led!" That inner knowing is key, because it means you're aligned with a power greater than yourself - no matter how you understand that power or what you call it. I thank God for a grandma that taught me this lesson. Thank you Momo.


©2018 by Rachel Schmidt