I grew up in a deeply religious (Seventh Day Adventist) and highly dysfunctional household. For many years I held onto many of those (twisted) beliefs out of habit and fear even though I discontinued going to church regularly by the time I was 16. That was the point in which my mom left my dad for the second and final time. Back then I kept a journal regularly and writing in it was one of my favorite past times. I used to muse and think about everything big and small…especially things of a spiritual nature. I can’t tell you at what point it was that I stopped believing in anything. I can’t tell you when I started closing myself off to all spirituality. Hearing people attribute this or that to “the will of God” or talking about how great Jesus is makes me cringe and involuntarily roll my eyes. Hearing people go on about how their faith is the “chosen” faith of God makes me want to scream, “There is no chosen religion, people! Wake up! There is no god, Jesus was an alien and we are all just going to die and rot!” But I have remained silent because I know my view is not a popular one and people get pretty angry if you don’t believe in their God, but even more angry if you don’t believe in any god. I just kept my feelings and opinions to myself. I think it is safe to say the bible-thumpers are in the majority here in the good ol’ USofA.
When my beloved daughter was born, I felt I wanted her to eventually learn about all different beliefs and then choose on her own one day what it is she believes. I also felt I was not a good candidate for teaching her those things given my state of mind at that point. That is why we asked our friend, Dan Reed to be our daughter’s Godfather. We felt he would be a wonderful spiritual teacher given all of his experiences and what a spiritual person he has become.
In October 2010, I was sent into a bit of a tailspin when my friend and former employer committed suicide. I was a nanny for her three children for 8.5 years and lived with them for 6.5 years of that time. How can you not think about whether or not you believe there is something after death at a time like that? My heart ached for her children and still does to this day. As time went by, I was able to push the sadness further and further away, but as I type these words now I feel some of the sadness creep back. I dreamed of her many times and it always freaked me out to see her in my dream because I would realize she had died and wasn’t supposed to be there.
Fast forward to February 2011. Anyone who knows me knows what a big part of my life my little dachshund, Phoenix, has been. I happily call her my “child” and love her with the same unwavering love as I do my human child. I often refer to her as my “first born” and my daughter’s “older sister”. If you have never had a close bond with a pet, you could never possibly understand the depth of love a person can have for an animal. Those who have had that bond understand completely. Phoenix has always had health problems and I have done my best to attend to her needs so that she could live a little bit longer life. In February my husband noticed she wasn’t breathing right and we immediately took her in to see the doctor. I was devastated to hear she was in congestive heart failure. The doctor gave us several meds to try to help turn it around and she seemed to make a turn for the better. She was mostly normal for about a month and then she took a turn for the worse and I knew this was going to be the end for her. My heart was breaking and I wished she could stay longer but told her it was okay to go if she needed to, but that I really wanted her to eventually come back to me if she could. I know she loves me just as intensely as I love her because she kept fighting and didn’t die naturally at home. She was suffering and I couldn’t bear to watch her suffer, so I made the impossible decision to help end her suffering by taking her to the vet and having them help me. A piece of me was suddenly gone in a matter of seconds. It was so fast. I can honestly say I have never grieved for a human the way I have grieved for her. I miss her desperately. My mind started to obsess about what was on the other side of death and I finally came to the conclusion that energy never dies, it only changes form. I started searching and reading about near death experiences where people saw a beloved pet on the other side and I found these comforting.
March 2011 has seen a lot of doom a gloom. Earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns, continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, increasing cost of gas and therefore everything else. I suddenly found myself watching youtube videos about radiation that was making its way to the US. I started watching all kinds of things on conspiracy theories, chemtrails, geo-engineering, weather wars, evil pharmaceutical companies, Monsanto, alien invasions, doomsday and 2012. I was completely freaked out and scared out of my mind of everything. It seemed like no matter what I was going to eat or drink I was going to get poisoned even though I was trying very hard to buy good organic whole foods. When it would rain, I didn’t want to go outside because I imagined it was pure poison raining down on me and my child. I started to feel really hopeless and depressed about the state the world was in. There are some who say there is a comet/dwarf star that is going to come close to earth and cause all kinds of natural disasters. I started feeling like the whole earth was pretty much screwed so what was there for me to actually do with that in mind?
I decided that perhaps it was time to explore what it was I do believe in on a spiritual level. I started thinking about learning how to meditate to try to balance my energies. I went to various sites that taught various styles of meditation. I don’t know why, but a structured way of meditation just doesn’t feel genuine for me. I think it is the same way for me that any religion telling me I have to do things exactly this way or that way feels false and wrong to me. I’m sure some people like the rituals and structure, but the core of my being resists rituals.
I went back to youtube and started trying to find videos that would help me on my spiritual journey. I eventually came across a Coast to Coast AM radio interview with a man named, Mellen-Thomas Benedict. It was my “ah ha” moment and I felt the flood gates had burst open and I could once again explore my spiritual side with ease. I also watched some videos by Nanci Danison who had similar stories to tell about the other side and the source from where we come. These stories resonated with me and I have taken them to heart.
I think on this journey called life we all have to figure out our own truths. My truth may not be the same as yours because no two journeys will be identical. Some of the truths that I feel I have learned thus far:
- We are caterpillars on this earth. We are here to feed, to feel, to take in, to learn. Death is just the transformation…the time in which we become butterflies.
- Thought is a powerful thing and we create our own realities.
- Fear is poison to the human body.
- We all have the answers within ourselves, we just have to ask the right questions and then really listen.
- The only thing of real importance in this life are the relationships we create. Love is what it is all about.
- This human life is a gift and we should treat it as such. We are fortunate to be here to enjoy a gentle breeze, to feel a child’s love, to enjoy the sheer beauty and power of every natural thing on Mother Earth.
- We have all been here many times before and will be here many times in the future.
So with all of this in mind it is no surprise that I have decided to turn my back on fear. No longer will I fear the food I eat or the water I drink. No longer will I fear the air I breath. No longer will I fear that the world is going to be destroyed by natural disasters, nuclear meltdowns and our own stupidity.
I choose the Light.
I choose Love.
I choose Life.