The journey through the dark forest of self-healing is just like any other journey…you have to be prepared for a very long adventure. Some of it is spectacular and surreal. At some of the lowest spits, it may cause you to question whether the breath you take to be alive is even worth it. This pendulum swing will happen countless times.
If you haven’t watched the children’s movie called, “The Neverending Story,” or a newer movie called, “Inside Out,” I encourage you to do so. Journeys aren’t easy, but we are all on one whether it’s intentional or not. The choice isn’t whether you are going to have a journey or not, the question is whether you’re going to hide on the back seat floorboard or hop up on the driver’s seat and see it all.|
A couple of points about the driver’s seat:
1) Use the rear view mirror as a point of reference… (I’m not where I’m headed, but thank God I’m not where I used to be). You can’t get where you’re going if to stare back for to long.
2) You can’t control what happens on the road. Animals jump out, rocks slide, trees fall, other people seemingly push you from behind or slow you down in front, or weather happens. You can’t control any of that, but you CAN control how you react to it.
Faith. God. Mother/Father Spirit, Angels, Goddesses, the Earth, the sun, and the moon… Confusing, isn’t it? And they make the consequences of the wrong choice (you believe or are simply superstitious) huge!!! You will spend ALL of eternity (and they say I’m dramatic!) in nowhere-land or hell, which feels much more realistic than pearly gates on a cloud. Feel me? Or the equally dreadful reincarnation threat… Seriously, with my luck I’d come back as something that I’m not going to name, in case that whole thing about creating your reality with words is real.
And… There is a reason that all of the most effective processes I have attended all begin with a clear spiritual foundation of your choice, (In A.A., you have to have a higher power. My ex-husband said his higher power chased women and smoked cigarettes without filters.) but you better have one. It’s like the safety belt on this bumpy ride and when, not if, the shit goes down, it will probably save your life. Do pick the right one and let’s move on. No pressure!
Pick what feels good to you. Oh, the fundamentalists are going crazy right now! It’s ok, let them. It’s just you and me right now…
We don’t know what we don’t know, but I do know this…human beings printed the Bible I read. Human beings wrote all the Bible dictionaries, old and New Testament study guides, and interpretations.
I did not watch God write or speak to anyone about writing. I did not know Mary, so I have no idea if she was a virgin. Angels, demons, Gods and Goddesses… I never met any that I know of.
Here is what I do know… believing in something that calls me to be loving, kind, generous, unselfish, forgiving, humble, hard working, joyful, community-focused, huge emphasis on mercy, commitment… gives me hope. When I believe in a way of life that has those guidelines, I behave in ways that are congruent, and I like myself (at least the part of myself that’s genuinely trying to live that way).
Scientific research has clearly proven that moderate Christianity practices have a greater percentage of happy marriages and homes. Just sayin…
I find world religion fascinating, and have skimmed the edges of come communal living lifestyles, such as Buddhist, Mormon, hardcore fundamental Christian, liberal Jews, new-thought Christianity, Science of the Mind, Druids, Wiccan’s, and a handful more. You get the idea. Each one has some similarities, some groovy stuff, some hard to believe stuff and some “you’ve got to be kidding me” stuff.
It’s a full-time job investigating the facts. When in human history did this faith come into being? What are the important historical facts of that time and place? What language was used? What were the original words used? What did they mean then, and why? Are you tired yet? Figured out anything concrete? Yeah, me either. It’s all interesting and has value, but I want the facts to ensure that I’m on the right road doing the right things because much of my life has sucked. I DO NOT want to risk coming back as —-, or go to hell, or just hang in limbo. I want facts as sure as gravity with a book of how-to that is preschool simple to understand and follow.
What if I “cafeteria-style” my religious path? A little Buddhist meditation, a little tithing, some dancing around a bonfire during Solstice, a little harvest offering, and sage the house after fights. How about some hands-on energy work and Christ values…
What do you think? Punishable by hell?
So I call myself a “Spiritual Mutt,” but truth-be-told if there was a gun to my head, I’d be calling my big brother, Jesus…
I gave the whole Christian Church thing a couple of solid tries again this year. I attended an African church that was filled with music and spirit, but I did not feel welcomed. I went every Sunday for a couple of months and told people there I was hungry to feel welcome and connect with other women. Nothing…
I went to another church and felt very welcomed on Sunday. Making you feel welcomed on Sunday is the point, and they take it very seriously. I did what they said. I committed to read a certain book in the Bible everyday for so many days. I gave up meaningful stuff for Lent for a period of time. I went every Sunday, but then they asked me to join a small group and I got emotional. I spoke directly to the minister and told him I would do as he asked, but truthfully I’m a handful, and I fear I would be hurt by the people in group. I was raw and honest. I asked him to guide me to the best group for me. He said he would pray about it and get back to me. He never got back to me. I stopped going.
My church is the woods. It’s natural. I read and listen regularly to spiritual masters. I pray. I confess. I make offerings via tithes in countless ways. I ask for help, for signs, for guidance. Truthfully I talk to God? all the time. I say, “thank you” for anything. I mean anything that looks like something good happened. I’m running in the sun. I’m thinking I’m overheating and need to walk. Just then, a cloud covers the sun until I get back. I choose to believe that was God and I say, “thank you.”
I choose to believe that nothing bad ever comes from God and there is no such thing as Satan.
I believe if there is a Christian God, then the biggest mistake he/she made was FREE WILL. Seriously…what were you thinking?!
Life is better for my head when I believe that all of nothingness, i.e. air, space for infinity, is where God is. Who God is is best described by asking you to remember what love is like…owning your first pet, having your first baby or grandchild, or falling in love. You know when you first fall in love everything is groovy! Stuff tastes better, smells better, people who irritate you…can’t. You sleep better, feel better. You have hope! Life is epic! You’re on top of the world. That is love. That feeling is what I choose to believe is our natural state. Our soul is that feeling. So God is like a vast ocean of love, and we are all drops of love. Everything that God is, we are, and are called to BE. BE love.|
What does God look like? The colors of a bubble…iridescent and beautiful.
What are we supposed to do? Where is the damn burning bush? The neon sign? A freaking “how to manual”???
Frankly, I am not a scholar, well educated, or medicated! I am one formerly-tortured person, who has dragged herself out of the bile in life by using spirituality and a very wide range of mental health methods to get myself where I am today. It’s an ongoing process, I assure you.
Here’s my reality – there are NO guarantees that the mental health I’m enjoying and am EXTREMELY grateful for today will be here five minutes from now. Seriously…I mean seriously…I am one thought away from one PTSD episode and a domino effect of daily chronic panic attacks that last about 3 hours each. They have lasted for years at a time. If there is a hell, I think it’s in the mind of those who suffer with panic disorder. Just sayin…
So take all this with a grain of salt. I’m just sharing me. My intention is to hold your hand, look in your eyes and tell you you are loved. You aren’t alone. I’ll tell you what worked for me. It may or may not be useful, but it comes from my heart.
Our joy is our life’s purpose pointer-outter. Do what you love and see where that leads you…to another joy and another joy. You are stringing along joys, and next thing you know, you are fulfilling your unique purpose.
If you plant an acid-loving lady slipper orchid in a pot, it will die. Trust me on this, but if you plant them in the Maine woods near pine trees, they thrive. Put a sunflower in the same woods, and it dies. Put it in the open sunny fields in Kansas, and they thrive. You know you are where you are supposed to be because you will feel it. Your heart will thrive like lady slippers in the piney Maine woods and daisies in the sunshine. Yeah, I know I used the sunflower before, but I like daisies better.
Faith in something kept me alive. It kept me from killing myself. It gave me hope and goals of a promised meaningful life that keep me (mostly) on the right path. I found freedom from despair, panic, depression, anxiety, and PTSD through my choice to pretend and go on without fact…that there is a God. I choose to believe God is male and female, so I call God “Mother-Father God.” Mother-Father God has a helper shrink called the Holy Spirit, who I talk to as much, if not more to, than Mother-Father God for obvious reasons.
I live in a world where I choose to believe that we are all equal. We are ALL perfectly IMPERFECT people/bodies with an autocorrect-type of brain. We wear this organic “suit” over our soul of LOVE. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
I have experienced the horrors human beings can inflict on children. I like to think it’s a defected human suit, wiring and all. I am a gun carrier, and have zero issues with shooting-to-kill a defective human suit trying to hurt me or someone else.
I am nothing without my faith. My God is the only glue that holds me together and makes me usable. I am impotent without all that my faith has instilled in me to strive for. I am a defective human suit. I have done horrible things in my life, regardless of my reasoning at the time. My only value is to be of service towards offering the hope I have to share directly because of my faith. I found hope in my choice to believe. I pressed on and survived. Now, I thrive. I share the hope that surviving and thriving are indeed very possible, with anyone who will listen. Hang on! You can do it! I choose to believe that even an uneducated thief, whore like I was then (truly) could be forgiven not only by some cool God, but even by me…my worst critic always.
Side note: I have always wanted to be a minister (I chuckled as I typed that, but its true)