I can't say how long I have known that my path has to do with God. But I have known this for a long time. I called it many things; Spirit, Oneness, Goddess, a Higher Power and more. But I have always known that there is a path and I wanted to be on it. Where it got difficult was how others felt about it. Because, I thought that what others thought about me mattered-for years. And so I veered off the path here and there. I questioned my beliefs, my thoughts, my reality. I wondered, "am I wrong, am I fucked up, why does this seem so wrong to them, what if I am wrong, what if God does not exist?" But, I keep coming back to the Path.
Why didn't I just put the gauntlet down? Why didn't I get it, what others told me about what to believe or not believe? What have I been searching for? From when I was a child in Miami at The Little Flower Catholic Church where I received my Holy Communion. I was fascinated by God. I wanted to be a Nun for a time, then I wanted to be an Astronaut. But when I committed my first documentable sin, I was lost. It was a simple thing, I was walking along the sidewalk one day and I saw this beautiful Hibiscus and I plucked it off its limb-just like that. And suddenly, I thought, "oh no, I have broken the seventh commandment "Thou shall not steal". What do I do now? Do I throw it away? Do I keep it? Do I hide it? I remember it so well. I was 7 years old. I was a sinner. I was going to hell.
Catholicism mattered to me. I loved going to Mass and being able to recite it. When we lived in San Juan I went to Catholic school (Spanish speaking) and I learned to recite it in Spanish as well as Latin. The churches were so beautiful there with life size statues of the Virgen Mary and the Christ Child. Each week the Christ Child would be dressed in the same robes as the Priest. The windows streamed with color and light. The statues bled. I felt the connection to God there.
But something changed when we moved back to the states. The church there in Naples seemed so sterile. St Ann's was a round church and the Cross of Jesus was just a big gold cross, there were no bleeding figures or baby Jesus statues. It did not feel right to me. So, I played hooky, hung outside through the service and got caught. My parents did not attend, my brother and I just walked to church on Sunday mornings by ourselves. We would just hang out outside until the service was over and walk home. One day a priest came up and asked us what we were doing. He was really nice and not threatening. We told him it didn't feel right here. He asked us , "what would you like to be doing to celebrate God this morning?" We said, " Go to the beach"? "Then go, celebrate there and be in gratitude of His gifts".
When I got to college much about what I knew about the church had changed. The Catholic church had rules that I did not think that God would really send down. Not the God I knew. I stopped going except for holidays. I asked questions, I got "Spiritual". I Read "Be Here Now". I listened to the Beatles after they returned for India, their music moved me with their sitars and psychedelics. Yet I was trying to make my way in the world and conforming became the norm. So I sucked in my curiosity and followed the fun. I moved away from God for a while, but not from the search.
I hung with cool people who said, God is dead. I bought into it. I let go of the traditional God. I learned about Buddha. I fell for the 100+ Gods of the Hindu. I searched the Inner Child. I listened to Wayne Dyer, Depok Chopra, Marianne Williamson. I got curious about who I am. I read Byron Katie, more Marianne, Ekard Tolle, Carolyn Myss, and so many more. I was looking for the God/Goddess in me.
I became involved with the Oneness movement. I became a Deeksha giver. Now there was a feeling of Godliness. Suddenly, I started to feel alive in a different way from Martini's and good food.
I felt like I had been given the privilege to channel God's Light. Something in me cracked open. I did not know if I was seeping out or the world was moving in. But, God mattered now.
When my Mother passed I nearly died.No matter how much I prepared for this inevitable event, no matter the hardship we had been through as mother and daughter, nothing prepared me for the overwhelming sorrow I experienced. And the loss. Not just of her but of what had been my family. What had been my friends. It was a crushing and numbing blow. I could barely stand up. I had none of my power, my strength, my gumption, my get-it-done. I had and was -nothing. I was alone up in the hills of Mosier. Fulfilled to get one thing done a day.
And I was still searching. I read my Marianne books and decided that I wanted to find A Course in Miracles and six months after mom passed a class became available. I jumped in. I did my lessons each morning before I left the house. And slowly the pain eased. I felt able to connect to others, in particular my yoga group of Dudes. I felt as though I was coming up for air after a long, deep dive into murky waters. The simple gift of kindness demonstrated by my group was amazing in simplicity. And the course was opening my heart to forgiveness.
The Course changed me, it opened me up to love and forgiveness and faith. After my mom passed, I did not think I could ever survive the betrayal I felt. But the Course taught me that to hold all that, would never free me and that only in asking for atonement would I ever be at peace. And by surrendering my unhappiness and disappointment and fear, would I ever be present to the love available all around me. I have looked back at my life and know that this has been all I have ever wanted. To love. To love the beauty in the world, in all those babies I witnessed being born, to all the sweet laughter of children, to love people just because I can. I was never wrong in this, just off the path. I thought that what other people thought about me mattered. I thought I was too sensitive, when I was just gifted with sensitivity. I thought I was not like other people, I was different in a bad way, when all I was was just like them in search for a more profound meaning in my life.
As a child I wanted to be wise, like my father, and now I am. I own it, my knowledge about many things is endless and available. I did not live this life with my eyes closed, with my hands over my ears. I have been awake all along. I have been paying attention. And it all brings me to the now, the present that which matters, that which I have control over. This is all there is in this lifetime. And I am loving it and every other person, sight, sound I can. Just because-I can.