For the past couple of days, I’ve been feeling a bit untethered.

I can see how one might define the word “untethered” as freedom – no constraints, no confinement, nobody puts Baby in a corner – and that is a valid interpretation. But that’s not what I’ve been feeling. To me this week, “untethered” has meant disconnection, detachment, a balloon in the wind, tossed around and longing for an anchor.

“Religion” isn’t a very popular word these days – and in a culture that has come to associate religion with dogma and hypocrisy, how could it be? “I’m not religious – but I am spiritual” is a common sentiment, because we are desperate to believe in what we know to be beautiful and mysterious, but we don’t want the baggage and guilt that come along with religion.

But I once heard that the word “religion” comes from the same Latin root as the word “ligament”: re- (again) + ligare (to bind). In its most authentic form, religion is about connection. Like a ligament, my God rebinds what was otherwise detached.

I may feel untethered, but my spirit is grounded and my hearts is secure. I belong to a bigger whole. And like so many other things I am learning these days, I’m writing it down to remember it’s true.


tags: |


  1. Peg Achterman on February 20, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Annie – I once had a friend say: “religious – that’s what I am about brushing my teeth.” I thought about that and usually counter the “you’re religious” comment with – “yes, about brushing my teeth (grin), but when it comes to spirituality, I prefer ‘Christian’, or “woman of faith.”
    I like this Latin root definition though – maybe I should say, “I’m not religious, I’m just connected.” Although that sounds kind of smarmy.

  2. Tad on February 20, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    I agree with Peg.
    In a world where profound change is the norm, it’s comforting to know I have one thing (person, really) that I can cling to, knowing that they will stay permanent. It feels like coming home. On account of that security, I can hold all else in an open hand, letting the winds of change blow. I am anchored in that which is eternal.

  3. Greta on February 20, 2013 at 6:45 PM


Leave a Comment