I am beyond grateful for my beginning. My parents were the first ones who set me on my spiritual path, demonstrating a belief in something they couldn't necessarily see. As a preacher's kid I was immersed in many tribes of love and community. That, in itself, can be enough to carry one through life. I am a scholar in the ways of the church and the Bible and who I was told God is. But I was also a seeker, thirsting constantly for deeper spiritual meaning. I desperately wanted it all to be connected in a real and authentic way. Instead I found myself eating off of the "silver platter "of the beliefs that were offered to me. I ate and digested and ate and digested some more.
When I was 12, I lived on a dead-end road with little access to my friends who lived in town. My dad bought me a guitar and I regularly packed it up, along with my journal, and headed out to find a piece of earth to sit on. I mostly wrote songs about my life. This was a place where I could be true to my own shifting thoughts and beliefs.
When I was 16, sermons were ringing empty and shallow and questions were coming at me like rain. When I was offered the silver platter of beliefs, I accepted, but consumed them with caution. In the years that followed I felt a growing unrest, there was a disconnect between what had become true for me and the beliefs I was "supposed to be" digesting. I knew, at that point, I needed to decide which items, from the silver platter, were really yummy and which ones it was time to decline. I could only live from my pure, authentic experience and my deep truth.
When I lost Chloe, all of my questioning and searching and ability to even think went into a locked case. I could only feel...and not feel. Laying on the forest floor, my body being absorbed into the earth, trying my hardest to disappear, I didn't know what I believed. I could only feel every raw wound. When I started waking up, I realized that I was bare, transparent and naked. All that used to be neatly controlled and understood, had just split open. I looked down and saw myself in the deepest, truest sense. I felt like I had just hatched from an egg and was stepping into myself for the first time. I wasn't even capable of pretending, or living anyone else's life. But with that birth, came life. A freedom so wild and intense and pure. The word "should" started dropping out of my vocabulary. If my heart didn't say YES, then is was a clear No. Guilt, shame, feeling apologetic for my shifting beliefs were gone. More of life was a mystery and I became good with not needing answers or justifications. It became apparent to me, that many of my prior beliefs were based in fear and all that would happen if I didn't act, say or do what I had been taught. My heart was beating louder and becoming a true compass.
Although my childhood beliefs have been somewhat rearranged, I am extremely intrigued by the stories and beliefs of others. I have a high respect and value for how people move through life and how they have come to embrace the Universe and all of its divine and magnificent workings. One of my favorite activities is "coffee and conversation." I love hearing people talk about their lives, what moves them and what they believe. I try to keep my heart wide open and away from the dangerous "I'm right, you're wrong" mud-hole . I actually believe that everyone holds a piece of the puzzle of truth. If we would take the time to truly listen to each other we would have more pieces to construct a beautiful picture. But instead we hang on tightly to our own piece, trying to prove ourselves to the world. I find that to be a waste of time and life. If we could all just sink into our own hearts and follow the pure, authentic call of its powerful beat our deepest spiritual experience would unfold.
I have been married to my journals for years and, on my most recent birthday, I bought a new journal. Now I have sixteen (because fifteen is not enough). I will forever be in pursuit of the Mystical and Divine within me. I weigh all beliefs, religions and thought against my own heart compass. That is the center of where I live and what has become true for me.