It is strangely haunting when life catches up with you from behind...like a ghost jumping out from under the bed as you always feared it would as a child at grandma's house...
What does it mean when all that you had gratefully and gracefully left in the past is somehow suddenly on your doorstep once again...? Does it mean there is unfinished business? Did I not properly close the door? Because I am certain that path has run its course...are we always meant to bite the other end of the karmic stick at some point?...
To be more specific...
Many of you know I was raised in the LDS church...the one many know as "The Mormons"...
It was a conservative and fairly strict upbringing, with indoctrination being the norm to my young mind...learning stories of Jesus from the Bible as well as the Joseph Smith story complete with the text embraced by one religion alone - The Book of Mormon.
As a child, I knew no different. Nothing seemed wrong, in fact, I was led to believe I had somehow been born into the prize winning religion...those who were not members "simply did not know the truth yet" and I was one of the lucky ones who might teach them one day, helping to bring them "into the fold"...such was the nature of my upbringing.
We grew up on the outskirts of Portland in a small farm town where we were one of few Mormon families around. There was maybe only a handful of us in my school, and that somehow impressed upon me the special nature of my status and how blessed I was to know what I knew.
Rules and regulations, which were not all necessarily "bad" kept me from having pre-marital sex, smoking cigarettes with my friends as a teen and slimmed my exposure to other beliefs outside the walls of the church that might have left a negative impression on me as a youth. This, however, backlashed in my twenties when I suddenly felt the need to experience all that I had been so sheltered from as a youth.
But back to the story.
I stayed a faithful member of the LDS church (not to be confused with LSD - which I tried years later to some extent and with great reward)...until around the age of 22. I married a Mormon guy when I was 21, just as I had been raised to believe I would. Since I met him at work, and it was "proper" for the wife to stay at home, I ended up quitting my job and leaving college at the beginning of my final year, thus, never graduating.
After a year and a half of what could be termed the worst sexual era of my existence thus far, steeped in credit card debt and feeling pressured by my spouse to "show him that I loved him," I found myself turning to another man who held the door open for my escape on so many levels. I experienced sexual enjoyment and freedom as well as the mental freedom to explore so many landscapes of wisdom never before known to me.
I can remember the day I considered "leaving the Mormon church" and the silent prayer I offered in my heart to Jesus, asking him if it would be "okay" if I searched as I was feeling called to do?....would he know that I still loved him? Would I still be loved?
Amazing the state of my tender heart at such a naive age....I remember receiving the answer as clear as day...the pure and true knowing in my heart that "of course I would be loved" and "of course I should seek"....
Relief flowed over me as I trusted my heart and the silent answer to my inner prayer.
When I told my husband I wanted to leave the marriage, I could offer no adequate nor convincing answer to his questions of "why?" without revealing the "sin" I had made of laying with another man. It became clear to me in those moments that I needed that out to make it so. I needed a way to step out of the marriage that would not be questioned nor refuted. Leaving an LDS temple marriage is not so easy, however, and we were prodded to attend counseling with the Bishop of the church we attended. At the first meeting I was told that God was unhappy with me and wished for me to right my choices.
The way that man presented his accusations and feelings about what God felt toward me was suddenly contrary to everything I had ever learned of God....everything I knew in my heart to be true. I knew, I KNEW God wanted me to be happy....I KNEW God knew that I was not, that things weren't right somehow and that my heart had a mission to fulfill....or I would not be receiving the promptings I was. I could not take his words for truth and I refused to return to counseling or to "work it out" with my LDS husband, who was understandably very upset with the situation.
I had no choice, I had to go...I had to follow my heart and continue to pull back the veil from around the bubble in which I was raised.
I read book after book offered to me: It seemed as though God was sending me an angel who would deliver me the next resource to answer my hearts longing questions... I read and read:
The Impersonal Life
Doorway to Everything
The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East
St. Germain books
and many more...
One day, a manuscript was given to me which was supposedly channeled to a woman from the original prophet of the LDS church, Joseph Smith. It was a most transformative piece of literature for me at that time (and actually, still is to this day)....as it answered questions that my heart longed to know as I stepped away from the path upon which I had always walked from my youth... For I was hesitant, and had questions about this ordinance or that one, and if it "wasn't true", then what was it about it that I still resonated with...? For I felt so much about the LDS church wisdom contained truths...but knew there was something not ringing true as well...
The manuscript brought it home for me, explaining how all the "outward ordinances" were only necessary for those who could not bring the awareness within, that within is always the pathway of higher understanding...and with this peaceful insight, expanded upon in great deal over numerous pages, I continued to step "out"...
Soon after my official "excommunication" from the church, for my "sins" I decided to "right myself" again with the church, so as to leave on my own terms if I so decided. So, I went through all the necessary "repentance" processes which included not "being able" to partake of the Sunday bread and water sacrament as well as exclusion from attending the temple...which only "card carrying worthy members" may attend.
After several months, I made my way back into "good standing" and re-attended the temple in hopes of feeling a great sense of goodness and peace at having "made it back into the fold"....I did not. I felt it flat....I was uninspired and instead felt to "see through it all" in a new way...I was no longer under the illusion that it was the "way"....and my experience reflected that. After trying to attend several times, go back to church, etc... I finally decided it really was time to seek the ways of truth that were coming to me from beyond my past.
I set the church of my youth aside and began to more fully explore other knowledge. For the first time, I looked at the possibility of reincarnation, which the church I grew up with always denied (at this point in my reality, however, my father has enlightened me to the fact that now even that is up for grabs). I read eastern scriptures, I learned to meditate, I studied the Tao, Zen, Paganism, Mayan traditions, Native American traditions, Yoga, Astrology and whatever I could get my hands on.
After a brief relationship with a man who had left the church years before, and using that relationship as a stepping stone of sorts, making it easier for me to "leave the flock", I continued on into deeper realms of inquiry including the study of entheogens and plant medicines.
My journey took me to the other side of the globe with the man who had been the catalyst for my leaving my marriage. He and I partnered and stayed together for 8 years. He showed me many places, and in many ways he was like a father figure in my awakening process. He introduced me to the East and to the rawness of life "out there". He was a "psyconaut" and used entheogenic herbs to explore the spiritual realms of self . His way of approaching such fields with the reverence he seemed to have for life and spirit was inspiring to me, to say the least. I too wished to know what he seemed to know, to see a new way.
My exploration allowed me to touch realms previously unknown to my mortal eyes and heart, though I knew I had always known these things in another time. It was akin to coming home and remembering a part of the Oneness, a part of myself and I was in awe, in love and in deep, continual gratitude.
After many years, I began to see that my partner was more interested in continuing his relationship with the plants than transcending them, as I was...so we went our separate ways.
My first child came to me in a totally unexpected and unique way. He became the shifting point of my reality, and where I had previously felt selfish, to an extent, I was suddenly in surrender more than ever before. My life began for him alone. I sacrificed my wishes to travel more and live more freely for the opportunity to raise such a magnificent boy. My choice to keep him, at that time, caused nearly all of my friends and acquaintances to leave my life. And just like when I chose to leave the church, I felt all alone with my decision, once again, to seek God by myself with my new reality and to ask for Life to send me those who would love us and be our family.
You see, for about 7 years after leaving the church of my youth, my family and I were out of connection, we hardly spoke but a hello on holidays and no resonance was felt between us. I felt as though they knew not what to say to me, and honestly, I felt the same toward them. We had a valley of unknown spread out between us....and where they believed they "knew" I was still exploring what it was I was choosing to believe.
My first son brought a healing to my family separation, for even though my mother was not at all pleased with my single status and the pending child, a child was coming none the less, and as grandparents, they embraced us.
While pregnant with my first, I was always filled with an overwhelming sense of blessedness. I had just returned from an immersion course in India, at yoga school prior to my impregnation, and I was in a wonderful space of peace and centeredness. His pregnancy brought me joy, and though it was difficult to endure alone at times, Life brought me a partner, who eventually committed to be my sons dad, for all intents and purposes, as he was born to me in the spring of 2007.
Let it be known, at that time, I had been away from the LDS church nearly 10 years. I was happily teaching yoga for many years previous and was settling into a new routine with myself and life.
Another year brought me under the studies of one amazing woman, Almine, who became a mentor for Goddess energy in my life like I had never known possible before. With my studies, which included inner alchemy, my partner and child's dad, and I grew further apart. A distance came as he did not understand what I was learning, nor did he wish to. After some time alone and away for some of my studies, I felt, as he agreed, that we were better off apart, but we both wished to continue to share parenting.
That was a difficult time for me and for my little one, who was only 2 years old at the time. The last thing I wanted was to separate the family, but I could not deny my need to be connected spiritually to my highest truth, and felt deeply the need to be supported in that.
My boy and I lived with friends as I passed in and out of brief relationships over the following several years. One man seemed to fill the shoes of the perfect mate exactly, but I fear my own fears crept in to say it could not be...I was not ready to face myself so purely in the face, though I had declared my readiness time and again to the Infinite, requesting a mate be brought to me who was my equal....when he showed, I could not dance. Shamefully, I left the relationship somewhat scarred, as I feel he too did.
Years more passed before I met another who could equal me. He arrived and I was intrigued by his presence, his ability to meet me where I was and even challenge to surpass me in some instances. I rose to the challenge...one that soon took me away from the life I had built for myself, all my new friends, who had become like family, and the work I had spent so many years building up as a strong hold behind my little family. The new relationship brought hardships and difficulties I would never have stood for nor endured with any one else. For some reason, at the point of my life wherein this man entered, I had committed deeply within myself to not quit any more...to stay, to commit to something, to someone...no matter. Here was the opportunity. But it meant sacrificing every comfort, every "known", my home, family, friends, business, belongings, everything....would I do it?
I moved...time and again....I drove in circles trying not to betray myself again...though I questioned time and again if I was -despite my efforts not to.
Circumstances and relations resulted in the pregnancy of my second child....the clincher that kept me from disregarding yet another man....this one was most difficult to "stay with" as he matched none before him in adoration for me, nor ability to see me for who I felt myself to really be...instead it was pure karmic, cosmic challenge.....and I loved this man. I love this man. From the start it was like I was seeing myself through him...a felt pushed to excel and stripped of ego previously known as the identity I knew and loved.
His lifestyle life-cycle created many hardships for us and me in the pregnancy....I was back at the home of my family after so many many years of living off on my own, taking care of myself and my own life and living the way I chose and loved.
Even after one last retreat back to my own "land"...I now, again, find myself in the home of my parents, raising my kids, living with this man, my partner and who I have known to be my husband on a deep, spiritual level, though not always joyfully,..and we are struggling to find our way out of this maze into a place we can live and be and thrive on our own.
Here is where the cosmic and karmic loop comes around to bite me in the butt....and where I wondered if it might, knowing this man I wander with, knowing this home I stay in, knowing this state we now call a temporary home....might infringe itself upon me.
Nearly 20 years have passed since my first wedding in the LDS temple....and all that transpired after that fateful day.... missionaries of the LDS church have chased me around from state to state until I gave the letter of request asking to be left alone and removed from the records... but alas, this is not so for the one with whom I walk now.
As of late, over the past few weeks, this man, my partner, has been seeing the Mormon missionaries, and recently reading the Book of Mormon. He has been challenged to prepare himself for baptism and to pray about the truthfulness of the church for him....this comes as quite a challenge to me.
My first response is WTF??!! Seriously. Is this some kind of cosmic joke?
Wouldn't you agree?
When I ask myself why it challenges me so? ? .... I must consider all the time, prayer, reading, meditation, travel, self-care, mistakes, mishaps, guidance, insights, teachers, friends, etc. which have led me down my own path to the place where I happily have been for many years. To a place where I know myself to be an aspect of the One Life, living the embodiment of joy - out pictured from the One Infinite Being...I have spent many years resonating deeply in my heart with the way I feel truth around this knowing...the sense it makes to my body, mind and heart that there is only One of us here....only One being....manifesting in many forms...for the enjoyment of knowing the Self....The way it feels to be true, that Love it all there is...that the Cosmic being contains all possibilities for the pure sake of experiencing the Self in all the many ways it can.....the truth it feels to be, for me, that we are each a unique and beautiful perspective of the One...that by knowing each other, we can know, more fully, the One Being who we are.
I feel it took me so much of my life to feel my way into this place,,,one where I feel I don't have to have others agree with me, that I can just be in the Oneness, and love from that place while others go through their processes...that I can be a light for the illusion shattering, around duality -as we come back into the remembrance of Unity as all there is....of no religion being the way but only Love, only Oneness, only kindness and breath, and the Cosmic Om....pulsing, beating, being.
With this, I realize that I have had a sort of desire/expectation, that my "partner/husband" would share such a viewpoint, that we may trod the path together in joy and bliss, emanating the light of Oneness to all - together, as we went along in love and harmony...allowing others to find the way to their own heart around us, while we held Love together for the All...as ONE....
In this realization that, though my partner may not join the LDS church, may not be baptized and go on to "do the ways of their religious directing"....he may. He may not ever be or believe or do as I do...he may not even ever come close....and if he does, I may be in another place altogether.....this is a shocking realization....it is something I have resisted wanting to think could be so. I feel core beliefs are something that two people in partnership, especially with children, should share, to a large extent,...even though I know many people have made it without sharing such.
I am left wondering what has brought me to this point. Knowing that only I can decide for me what is best...and if it is the best interest of the children that I put first, or is it my own interest, which in turn is for them...? I certainly am left contemplating the LDS church again and why I left, what is good about it and what I could never agree with doing again....
You see, there are many good things about "mormons"....those who call themselves members of the LDS (Latter Day Saints) church..... - they are a community that works together...the likes of which I have rarely seen....though I have experienced to a large extent and even surpassed in greatness at the New Thought Center where I attended and fell in love with a family of people - in Lake Oswego, Oregon - - though they are in one location, where the Mormons spread abroad, worldwide.
I don't know what to say about all of this....my mind and heart race at what is not yet, nor may not ever be, though is in my field...this conversation, these missionaries asking my partner to make certain covenants and be baptized....I am disturbed, I guess, when they don't know the name Shekinah....and do not acknowledge the Goddess of All. I worry that my children, on some level, would ever be asked to do what I have decided is not best for me, nor them.
All in All, I wonder what kind of crazy wheel am I treading and does it always come back around? Goddess....I am trying to laugh at all of this and find my center....chant Om Shanti God is Love....I am Light and I am Truth.....
Can the Universe please teach me the cosmic lesson and transport me out of this city into my own place, free and clear????? Wow..... I love my family, but get me out of here.
This is Perfect, That is Perfect
From Perfect Wholeness, Perfect Wholeness Springs
If you take the Perfect from the Perfect
Perfect Wholeness still Remains.
What did I do to get me riding this ride, and facing these questions?
I know who I am.
I surrender into the Grace that I know God IS...The Universe IS.... And Reclaim my sovereignty in Peace....in my Heart. And Stop looking for another to agree with me....for I am All there IS in the truth of the Oneness. . . in my reality. . . in my sphere.
Spinning off cosmic, karmic garbage from the second chakra again.....I suppose.
Seeing it clearing.
Asking for a sponge so as to clear off the splatter.....
What is beyond all of this....?
This is a major processing session....thank you for witnessing this with me and for me.
I will speak only briefly to the knowing that many truths have been carried on through the LDS church...this I know. I even believe Joseph Smith actually saw what he did and translated an ancient record....I even believe those words were really written..... The problem I have is that I also know that God/ The Universe/Source speaks to all who are available to listen with purity in heart....and I too have heard the words/ the callings, the beckonings of Spirit....and I believe that no message is more true for a people, for a person, than the ones spoken directly TO them....to me. The Greater Portion....of the "law"....even in the case of the Book of Mormon, was said not to be given, as the people could not handle such high truths.....
Not in an egotistical way, at all. I am always ready to be trampled by the word of the Great One and come to the next level of understanding...please.... break me down out of everything I knew and was comfortable with, even if it takes it all from me.....and show me the truth.
I know that choirs of angels surround me and friends are given to those unafraid to stand in the fire.
Surrendering the need to know an outcome. Just being true to who I am, where I am. Arms open to receive the Grace, as I do.
Om Shanti and So it is.
Bliss in the House.....cause "this too is Bliss" ya'll