Finding Faith

finding faith

Lately I’ve been feeling like I am on the Bipolar Expressway and most of the exits loop around Crazy Town. So I mindfully begin my mornings with an hour of prayer and/or meditation. I cannot miss a day or I begin to feel ungrounded. I lovingly light my candles for those who need light. Every day is different. (If you’ve been to my house you have witnessed the bucket with a hundred plus tea candles). I light my sage and incense. I wait for the break of day reciting gratitude mantras. This ritual is imperative to continue driving along the expressway of life. Some days are awesome (no traffic from looney tunes) and others are bumper to bumper chaos that require my complete (Im)mature level of patience (I have patience for most people. It’s patience in myself that is a constant struggle). Life is a magnificent teacher. It will provide all the lessons needed for the evolution of the soul. Stay on your lane. Breathe. Get off on rest areas that bring momentary peace. Find center somewhere in the pit of your spirit.  This is part of spiritual life.

Spirituality has a personal definition to all.  There is no right or wrong answer to how it is perceived. It is a personal belief. There is something larger than our selves but it is definitely unique to our individuality. Is it the sense and acceptance of allowing spirit to lead?  Is it the releasing to something greater than ourselves?  Is it the soul parts of the self?  Does it change depending on the circumstances?  The questions are endless!

A while back as I sat with a friend drinking tea staring at the gorgeous scenery of our pond, a comment was made, “This living on radical faith and trust is not for sissies.”  I believe that one statement holds the true meaning of spiritual growth and allowance.  Spirituality is about the unconditional trust in that which we cannot see.  The moment we let love replace the fear of the unknown I think we find the Divine holding space.

When I am having a difficult time in waiting for things to happen I stop.  I get off the Bipolar Expressway.  I take the scenic route. I go deep within me to find Spirit.  It is there that I find that eternal happening of intuition.  There are those moments that my impatience becomes too much for me because I ask for something and expect the result immediately.  But the lesson in spiritual growth is allowance.  There is no time limit to our prayers.  We place those restrictions in our asking.   There is no quick-fix solution.  We interpret the answers however we want.

I believe spirituality is about letting those magic-mystical moments enter and exist without obstruction while allowing the universe to be the only thing in control.  This sense of allowance is part of having the courage to accept things as they are, not as we want them to be.  Living a life of faith requires the release of all control.  It requires that we leap into the unknown without fear.  Just like my friend, Tom said… “It isn’t for sissies!”   But, it is one way of living a deep authentic life of truth and grace.  This is the difference between just surviving and truly consciously existing in the world. Find solace in a breath. Search for God’s presence in you. There, inside that space of love, you will find faith.  And, don’t be so quick to press on the horn when someone is changing lanes or cutting you off.  You have no idea what that person is going through.

“Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.”- Elizabeth Gilbert

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The Mind

Last night while searching for something I found an old notebook from when I was 16 years old. I used to collect inspiring quotes (no internet then) and I would create some of my own. Amongst them was this one that kinda stopped me for a few minutes. What did I know about anything at that age? I also wrote another, “The paradox of man is striving for success and then dying in the pressure.” I cannot imagine what brought that on since I was so young. But, that’s the thing about youth: we Write and Create without inhibitions. We move through self and forward into the world before we begin to believe what others want us to follow. I wanna go back to that over zealous, tenacious and audacious girl who believed she would conquer the world through love. I am beginning to reconnect with her and she’s marvelous. She is a unicorn-rider-fairy-lover-nature girl that has fought the dragons and won! Whatever she began to accept as a false belief is being demolished. Ohhhh! To finally let go of old paradigms. To finally be free to embrace the authentic self.

We are magnificent and divine. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Mucho love.

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Obstacles 

  

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Stepping Stones

  

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Be the light…

light

When you blow out the light of a candle where does this light go to? It becomes part of the darkness…but the ability to turn back on is still there. This is how we are! At times the light is blown out and we need a reminder to light up again. We need others to guide us. Be the match that lights another. Be the light that finds the wick and illuminates. Don’t allow darkness to take over forever. You have the most beautiful ability to cast radiance over others. Use love to reach another. Have the courage to explore the darkness but the knowing of when to cast light on it. You are the light of all lights!

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”  ~ Plato

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There’s no shame in asking for help

depression

There comes a point in everyone’s life where there’s no return. You pass the point of certainty and assurance. The doors close. The windows are nailed shut. Surviving is too much. The darkness embraces you in a warm blanket of despair and it just feels better to stay there. Depression hits anyone. It doesn’t care about social status, gender, age, race, or ethnicity.  Depression doesn’t care that you are “tight with God,” a church goer, a monk, or even the most spiritual being out there.

In 2001, right after 9/11, I woke up on a cement floor in a park close to midnight. I didn’t recognize my surroundings. I walked out of that park and believed that it was 1987. I had blood in my hair and forehead, scratched knees, my body was mangled. I was in search of a home I had in 1987 which was nowhere near where I was living in 2001. In my disorientation I could not make heads or tails of who I was or what I was doing in that neighborhood. After a long and brutal awareness with the police I ended up in an ambulance alone on the way to a hospital. I looked like a drug addict, rape victim, all bruised and disoriented and because my answers didn’t coincide with the events of that year, I was treated unjustly. Later when I woke in the ER I found my life had moved many years into the future. The husband I had at 19 was not the same at 33. I had six children and couldn’t remember a single face.  I had no clue what had happened to me. The new partner in my life was a man who truly manipulated everything and just being in the presence of this stranger made things worst.  How could this be my life?  I had entered The Twilight Zone.  The universe was playing a sick joke on me.  I surfed a million of emotions during those days.

When I was released from the hospital, still without a clue of how I lost my memory or what I was doing in that park so late at night, a friend visited me at home. I didn’t recognized her, but she sat with me outside as I held my head sideways on my shoulder. The spinal tap had done a number on my system. I was leaking spinal fluid and nothing was holding me up. The headache and pressure were astronomical and I have never felt such severe pain ever since. My life was being sucked out of me every second. But, this friend confided that days prior to this event I had called her and told her that I was going to end it all. It was time to check out.  The struggling was way too much.  There had to be something better. We had lost all our money. We went from being millionaires to having $10 in our account. I told her that I had driven my car on and off the expressway ramp to an overpass bridge and I was going to ride myself off it (but the fear that I would hurt another was too much to bear). She continued to tell me that she had been so worried that she prayed that someone would knock some sense into me. Her prayers were answered. Hearing this about my life as if it wasn’t me made matters worst.  I was listening to a story that didn’t pertain to me. I had no recollection of such an event. What a horrible life I was living! NO wonder I got a break.  The injury was a blessing and the lessons from it transformed me into a different person.

Days later, after being admitted into a psych ward, the memories began to reappear slowly. I had been hit on the back of the head by a teenager with a racket and left on the ground. I have no clue how long I was unconscious. The thoughts began to collide with a new reality. I fell right back into the deep depression. The universe gave me a small pause, an opportunity to regroup, but the emotions were still deep in there. The worst part of all was not being recognized, not being heard, and the delusion that everything was perfectly fine back at home. The weeks that followed became a game of survival. No one spoke of the event. No one asked me how I was feeling. Things between my ex and my mother (who was living with us) moved in their own narcissistic way. Dying was easier than living. But, on that psychiatric floor, witnessing true devastation, and many who had lost loved ones in 9/11 I began to count my blessings for a short period of time.  And, although I have a huge memory loss of events before that accident I can still remember the smell of waking up on that park floor, the taste of blood on my lips, the lemon size clot on my forehead, and the disorientation of self.  I was given a second chance.

There’s something about the dark hole that doesn’t understand rational analysis. This place doesn’t care how much you try to correct the behavior or fix the initial problem. It’s not just one problem. It’s not about readjusting thoughts and aligning them with happy ones. That shit doesn’t work when you are inside the hole without a ladder, food or light. Depression is brutal and it requires a village of hands to pull you out of it and sometimes some excellent drugs to help get to the root of how you got into that darn hole. As I write this I am thinking of a dear friend who is battling through this. I have lost several folks in my life because of this tyrant goon. I don’t want to lose anymore. I understand the hopelessness, helplessness, and faithless behavior. Ego has a way of adding more to the stories than are really there. It’s part of disorder.

I have been fortunate to have people who love me and see when I begin to slip. I am not always up in the air with joy. I am human. We all have sad moments. But when the sadness starts to take over and living becomes a challenge….darling, that’s time to get help! This is nothing to conquer on your own. There’s no shame in asking for a hand. Vulnerability is part of the process.

I say this from the bottom of my heart: if you are reading this and there’s a struggle (a tug and war) between living and dying PLEASE get help. Spirituality and psychology can only go so far if you don’t reach out to another. I can pray and meditate and distract myself for days, but if depression is lurking none of that helps. You are not alone. You don’t have to feel alone. That’s an illusion. Make a list of all the things that bring you gratitude. Make a list of the things that have brought you joy. Get up and make the call to God, a friend, a therapist, and take the hand of someone who cares. Depression is not something to battle alone. I am still here. You are still reading this. There is still HOPE!  Please don’t be another statistic.

Have a blessed day. Make it a great one. I love you. I love you. I love you.

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Make it sparkle

make it sparkle

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