Emerging Perspectives: Student Chapters

My Spiritual Journey: Dissolving Barriers Through a Conscious Connection with Nature

Liz Heneghan

I am constantly inspired by nature and the idea that taking care of myself means taking care of the environment. Whether I realized it or not, religion has always shaped my beliefs about personal identity and responsibility in the world. I went to Catholic school my entire K-12 career, but never truly resonated with the beliefs taught to me. It was not until high school that I became more connected to a higher power. A service retreat to Louisville, Kentucky, sparked this spiritual awakening. That was nearly four years ago, and today I am still exploring topics like animal welfare, environmental ethics, death, the need to control, and unselfing.

After walking for what seemed like days, I was thankful to finally escape the sticky heat that accompanies Louisville summers. As I entered the dilapidated building, the only thing I could think about was the welcoming embrace of the crisp air conditioning. My moment of peace was short-lived as I caught sight of a baby gate a few feet ahead. Traces of nervousness crept up my body as the curiosity of what lay behind it overwhelmed me. “B-12…O-64…I-19.” I heard the distant sounds of bingo. I looked around and noticed the crayon-colored drawings that plastered the walls. I felt as if I were in a Kindergarten classroom, but the room was filled with adults. My wandering mind was quickly interrupted by shouts of welcome as the staff introduced me to my new home for the week…


Find the rest of this chapter in Emerging Perspectives on Religion and Environmental Values in America HERE.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Religion and Environmental Values in America Copyright © 2019 by Liz Heneghan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.