Beyond Religious Dogma: The Path of Oneness
At the age of 25 years old I had achieved all that society deems necessary for one to be placed into the category of success. I was identified as a White Female, Christian Protestant, University Educated, Attractive and Married to a Man of the same standing.
Together we were picture perfect, we had it all.
I was in the fairy tale that young girls are read, from times long before they can even remember. When ideas and expectations are being ingrained into the sub-conscious mind that “This” is what happiness is.
I hadn’t always bought into the fairy tale story, however. There was a time when I knew that it wasn’t my truth. But, after attempting at an early age to follow my true path, hearing the call of my Soul from an early age, I ended up in a situation of being judged, misunderstood and finally labeled and outcast from society. I was too free, too spontaneous, too rebellious, too outspoken, too passionate, too…, too…, too..., the list went on.
I gave away my power and decided my way must be wrong so, okay, I would do it “their” way. I would tow the lines of society, settle down, go to school, get an education, career, husband, mortgage and a white picket fence. I even converted to Christianity, built my life on the teachings of the bible, baked pies for church fundraisers and went to scrapbook Saturdays with the other church ladies. I played by the rules and I did it well.
For seven years I sacrificed everything that came natural to me. I learned to conform, to follow the way I was being instructed; which notably was the way that I had resisted my entire life, as I knew in my heart it wasn’t the life for me. I was fascinated by the magic, by the stars, the moon, I wondered how I got here, for what purpose and how do I get back to where I came from, because surely I didn’t belong here.
The catalyst of change came for me while sitting in church one Sunday morning. The pastor during his sermon asked the congregation a question, what was to my surprise a rhetorical question:
“How many people in this room can say the have seen an angel?”
Sitting alongside my husband at the time, in the front row, I eagerly raised my hand as this, I thought, was about to get good. The pastor stood on the platform in front of me, made eye contact, waved his hand to dismiss me and said, “well besides this girl right here”.
I cannot express the astonishment I felt in my body as I looked around the room and realized that he had asked a question that I didn’t, yet again, answer correctly. Even more so, I could not understand what had just happened, a room full of 300 plus Christian Believers and not one person, but me, had ever encountered an angelic experience. It was too much. I decided right then and there that I was no longer where I needed to be. A place where the magic and wonder of life on this earth can not be shared. I never went to that church again and I would never walk blindly into any other religious organization there after.
A drastic change was now necessary. I was tired of trying to be someone I knew I wasn’t, tired of being misunderstood; tired of the masks I was expected to wear. Always pretending, never allowed to be real, to be authentically who I was. Although at the time, I hardly knew who I was, but I definitely was beginning to see who I wasn’t.
I walked away from everything I had built up in order to listen to the calling in my heart that told me there was more. A seeker on the path always, I never doubted that I was a spiritual being, with a purpose, so off I went, in search of the truth. The Truth that would resonate so deeply in my Heart and Soul that I would dedicate my life to understanding it.
That moment in the church brought the first piece of the puzzle and now, after four years of living in India and Central America where I have dedicated my time to nothing other than finding the truth of who I Am, the remaining pieces have begun to find their home.
I have found my-Self through the quiet stillness of my mind. The space between the thoughts. That place where a thought is just a thought and an emotion is just an emotion and I know, without doubt, that I am neither, and neither one defines me. That is my truth: where everything that exists is nothing and everything at the same time.
I have worshiped along side Catholics, Christians, Buddhist Monks, Hindu Priests, Islamic followers, the Mayan’s and Wiccan Worshipers. I have studied Plato, Bertrand Russell, Patanjali, Osho, and love to read Celtic Mythology and listen to the stories of the First Nation Peoples. Through this I have learned that we are all the same. I have learned that the reverence for devotion and truth looks the same in every religious group. I have learned that this is in fact the truth that I have been seeking: The truth that we are ALL ONE. One and the Same, each of us, seeking to find in our own language, in our own culture, in our own stories a way to express the connection that we are all seeking to find. The connection to the Divine Creator, through each other. Now I know, there a many paths to the top of the mountain, and we must each find our own.