Living Our Inheritance

Mark J. Janssen
4 min readOct 6, 2022


We have options. We always have options. Especially when we think we don’t have any options, we do.

We come into this world with two very different kinds of spiritual inheritances. One inheritance is the more obvious of the two. It is what we receive from our biological parents. Often we mistake religion for spirituality. They are two very different things.

Religion is a public expression of group beliefs. Our spirituality is our personal inner beliefs, our core. Spirituality is how we experience the Divine. Maybe we have no conscious concept of the Divine in our lives. However, we can see the world around us. We can distinguish between good and evil if we are taught the difference. If no one shows us, if we have no one to teach us good from evil, we can become mired down in what ultimately becomes our own spiritual destruction.

Alternatively, we can search for good. We can grow and expand our spirits in ever widening circles of repaying the goodness given to us by doing good for others.

Our other spiritual inheritance is that with which we are born. Since childhood I have heard that we are all born good. As my life progressed that has come to include another concept. That before we are born we have an agreement, a contract if you will, with God. That agreement discusses our options for how to live and die. The sort of life we will be born into. How we will grow and mature and change. Our many and varied possibilities for who we will be and what we will do as adults. The various times we may choose whether to die.

Part of that agreement, that God contract, is whether or not we will live to adulthood. For example, there were a couple of times in my childhood when I was ill to the point of being on death’s doorstep. A couple of times I died and returned to life before anyone arrived on the scene. At that time I did not discuss with anyone what I saw when I died. Even after I revived, the doctors expected me to die. My parents were told to prepare for it. Once a priest was brought in to give me the last rites. Doctors and medicines had already failed before he showed up at the hospital. I am positive the healing spiritual energy that flowed from him kept me alive.

Some of us stay longer than others. How many times have we heard of a child dying before it is even born? Or dying at a young age? Different times I have been called in to clear spirits (aka ghosts) from a building and found the souls of young children. Sometimes with their parents’ souls, sometimes alone. Always waiting and willing to go back Home.

We have opportunities all of our lives to fulfill those God contracts by living our very best lives. By following through on what we were taught and what we have learned that makes our world a better place to be. Just as we observe some other human making life better for all of humanity, we can do the same.

We can fulfill our spiritual agreements when we perform acts of kindness. When we choose to do the next right thing. Implementing our thoughts into actions that improves another person’s life is putting spirituality into action.

We inherited part of our spirituality from other men and women. We were given more, bigger and better spirituality by God. We don’t have to invent anything. All we have to do is decide what we’re going to do with our abundance of riches.

We live our inheritance when we decide we’re ready to live a good life. Not a fancy life. Not a life with lots of toys and things. Rather, a life in which we choose to do good and to have good in our lives.

Not surprisingly, that can mean giving up what we want for what others need. I can buy clothes I don’t need. The thing is, I’m no clothes hound. A long time ago I quit caring about owning fashionable clothes. I quit caring about having all the right things, going to all the right places and being with all the right people.

I’d reached the conclusion that whoever it was that decided what was best and fanciest missed a very basic component of so many of our lives.

We don’t have to have the time or the energy for the “right” things in life. We have to deal with the right things in our spirits.

It’s our opportunity to have spirited spiritual lives when we live our inheritance. It doesn’t matter if we think it’s the spirituality from our parents or from our God contracts. Most likely, it’s both plus whatever we have picked up in our lives.

We each receive our own.

Spend your inheritance well.



Mark J. Janssen

Mark Janssen is a spiritual warrior, mystic and author. His writes a weekly blog. His memoir “Reach for the Stars” is available online and in bookstores.