I'm learning to meditate on a regular basis. I got a book about improving your natural psychic awareness. I've always had the feeling that my connection with the rest of the world (physical as well as spiritual) was suppressed and squashed as a result of my religious upbringing. I never FELT God while growing up–never felt as though it was genuine. I only believed because not believing was frowned upon. So, I only believed that I believed, to avoid being "bad". "Worldly", misinformed, and bad people didn't believe what we were told was the truth. I didn't want to make my mother look bad to the rest of the congregation, so I mimicked their self-rightous pursing of lips when talking about "the world".
I do believe there is a force or awareness powering the universe. I didn't come to that conclusion though any version of Christianity–though I totally respect those that do. I really hate non-Christians and pagans who dis Christians for their strong faith, as much as I hate Christians who tell everyone how wrong they are. The way I see it, as long as you're tolerant of another's beliefs (regardless of whether or not you think it's hog-wash) you're okay with me. Being a Jehovah's Witness helps keep my mother sane. It's good for her. Being a Catholic kept my fiance's father sober (mostly). Who are we to judge when it's saving someone's life?
What's saving my life? Hmmm… I guess my undying hope that if I keep working hard and try my best to be a good person that eventually some doors will open for me. Maybe then I won't be struggling for the rest of my existance. I'll actually achieve some of my big goals, jump over some hurdles in my path… Who knows. Hope is a weird thing. It doesn't work without action of some sort.
Hope without effort is just fruitless wishing.