My Spiritual Journey: How I Got To Where I Am Now
First off I was born and raised in a Jamaican household in the Seventh Day Adventist church (that is a form of Christianity). I come from a family of Prayer Warriors. Growing up a lot of church people would fuss at me because I was always doing things that I wasn't supposed to be doing (like reading Harry Potter books aka witchcraft in the church during service...boy did they think I was the devil ) and I questioned everything. I just didn't get it. I always went up for altar calls to give my life to Jesus/God and change my sinful ways, to live a Christ-like life, to do better. I had family worship. I got baptized. I did all of that. At one point I made it my mission to read the whole bible through...I only got to the middle of Exodus.
Either way, the church was all I knew and I was struggling to live a life that was pleasing to God because I sinned numerous times every day. I always felt guilty. I was so scared that I would end up going to hell.
Fast forward to me going away to college. Everyone knew me as "the church girl". I would always get teased when I would drink or go to parties...people telling me that what I was doing wasn't godly. For a long time I didn't have a ride to go to church, so my sabbaths ended up being me just staying in my dorm room or hanging out with my friends. Mind you, I would either have gone out the Friday night or was planning to do something as soon as the sun set on Saturday night. I had already shared that I had been raped in college and that sent me on a rapid downward spiral. At one point I remember feeling like I lost God, that even if I tried to talk to Him, He wouldn't even answer. I was so stressed, I was so depressed. I was in one of the most toxic situations of my life and I had so many thoughts of just ending my life. The one thought that kept me here was that I wouldn't let the devil win. If I killed myself, that would be the easy way out & that wasn't about that weak life. One day, I hit my rock bottom and sobbed for at least a good hour in my friends shower (I didn't have housing so I had to hop in between friends dorm rooms). I literally wept to God, asking him to help me because I couldn't do it anymore. I told him I was so weak and I couldn't do it by myself anymore...I needed a way out, I needed a sign. I literally heard a voice say, "Leave. You have to go." A few weeks later, I ended my sophomore year and never returned. Everyone thought I was crazy. People told me I was a "fuck up" numerous times. They told me that I was making a big mistake, that I was going to be another black woman without an education. I ended up attending another school for two semesters, but the way the universe is set up, I had to leave there early as well.
When I left church I picked up going to church again. I was reading my bible every day, praying every day, went to church religiously (no pun intended) every Saturday.....but still I couldn't understand why I couldn't change my "sinful" ways. I was so confused. I couldn't quote bible texts like everyone else. I couldn't tell you half the stories in the bible (besides the really popular ones). I just didn't get it.
Between the years 2010 and 2013 I went through so much. Problems at home, I was in a very unhealthy relationship (although we are cool with each other now), I just didn't know what I was doing with my life. I couldn't get a grip. I was suffering from heavy anxiety and depression. Not too many people knew that I was in so much pain. I just hid it very well. I kept praying to Got for changes, for answers...but I didn't get anything. I still went to church every week and kept on singing & praying.
Between late 2012 and early 2013 I had about 3-4 really bad anxiety attacks at my workplace. Bad as in chest pains, I'm hyperventilating, eyes rolling back, dry heaving/throwing up mucus, passing out, can't move, stopped breathing. I was also very dehydrated and had dangerously low blood pressure during most of these fits. I went to the hospital twice I believe. These attacks rendered me so drained and tired for days afterwards. One of my coworkers who always happened to be there to help me through my anxiety attacks recommended that I start practicing yoga and meditation because it would help me gain control of my breathing & keep me calm. After a few attacks...I finally took her up on her advice. Little did I know that that one decision would change my life forever.
My practice started out simple, in my living room. I remember picking up a book titled "You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life" by Jen Sincero. That was also a game changer for me. There is a section where she explains how to meditate. I did it and I kid you not, I felt like I was floating and directly connected to God. There was a literal light beam shining from the top of my head up to the cosmos. I kept practicing my yoga and meditating. I was getting a lot of backlash from church people, of course, saying that what I was doing was of the devil, it wasn't Christ-like, etc. All I knew was I felt good, I felt lighter, and my anxiety attacks were diminishing.
I started doing this thing where I would practice yoga, pray to God and then meditate...waiting for God to respond. Sometimes I would get answers as soon as I came down back from my meditative state.
I also attribute a part of my spiritual growth to social media. I say this because I followed so many people that inspired me on numerous levels. I built so many relationships with people that I "met" on social networks. They helped me develop myself. I would see things on peoples pages and research it. If it was in line with my spirit, I would try it out and if it really resonated with me, I made it a part of my spiritual practice. That is literally how I got my information. Seeing something on Instagram and then doing my own research on my own.
I was, an still am, always on google looking up different natural remedies and spiritual practices. RESEARCH IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. Do not depend on one person, not even me, to provide you with all the information that you use.
The next major upward shift came when I had a dream. (*BACKSTORY: I come from a long line of dreamers on my mothers side of the family. Our dreams are extremely lucid. If I tell you my dreams, you would think that I was telling you something I watched on TV. Also, our dreams either always come true or hold a heavy meaning). I will skip the details of the dream, but one thing that stuck with me was a number, 1117. There was such a great emphasis on this number in that dream. When I woke up, I wrote the number down. I thought something important was going to happen on that date 11/17. I kind of forgot about the whole thing until a few weeks later. I just remember it being heavy on my mind. I looked up its meaning and when I read what it meant, I literally broke down in tears because it was exactly what I was going through and exactly what I needed to hear at that very moment. I had always caught 1111, and I learned the spiritual importance of that number a few months prior to my dream. I would also see my birthday as a time, 415, ever so often. 1117 was a game changer for me. I kept praying for signs. I kept asking for a clear sign. I demanded that the universe give me clues as to if I am doing this whole life thing right, if I was on the right path. 1117 was my sign. It made me dive into numerology.
Ever since seeing 1117 and acknowledging that the universe sends me spiritual signs in the physical manifestation of numbers, so many more numbers have been revealed to me. There are probably over 20 different number combinations that have come to me. Sometimes I will see the same combination multiple times a day, or whenever the Universe needs me to understand that something is urgent and immediate action needs to be taken, I get them in my dreams (I've literally had dreams where either all I see is the number or I hear this clear, deep voice saying the number and telling me not to forget it). Although I still meditate, I accept the signs that the universe sends me. There is a constant line of communication. A seamless talking and listening that happens almost unconsciously.
I kept going to church (I just stopped last year). I still enjoyed the praise and worship part of church, the sermons always bored me. I remember one of the last few times I went to church, during sabbath school, we were discussing God and why people were hesitant to really live a God-like life. My response is that it is scary. When you have this information and grasp the concept of the real power you possess, it is overwhelming. It is also an extremely heavy responsibility and people love ignorance, so they cower away. I also said that God is infinite, most human beings try to box God in this little box. How in the world are you going to put the infinite universe in a 2x4? Nope didn't make sense. But I kept going to church, kept going up for prayer and altar calls, kept getting anointed, kept honoring the sabbath.
I started weaning away from church first because I wasn't getting what I wanted spiritually and musically from the local churches, second because the churches I really liked were over an hour away and I didn't have the money to spend on gas + toll like that every week. So I started watching the live broadcasts of the services. It also clicked in my mind that I didn't physically need to be in a church building to worship and honor God. That went on for a while and then out of nowhere, my spirituality took another turn. I'm not exactly sure when it happened, I just know there was a shift. On Saturday mornings, I found myself just relaxing, meditating, playing my singing bowls. Then another shift hit when I realized that religion was not for me. Why do I have rules to worship? Why do I have to do this? Why can't I do that? I questioned everything. Something in me told me that I am a direct extension of The Source. I have direct access to the power of the Universe. I am my temple. I have the right to honor this temple which ever way I see fit. The bible started to look like rubbish to me and the rules of the seventh day adventist church seemed so absurd. I would listen to sermons and literally look at the pastors with a serious confused face. I would watch people completely contradict the lifestyle they portrayed in church as soon as the sun set. I wondered to myself, is that how I looked to other people? How in the world are they supposed to convince people to join the church when they act like this and condemn anyone who doesn't believe what they believe? What makes their way the right way? I also felt that Christianity was centered around fear, not love like they claim they advocate. You fear this terrible God. You fear going to hell. You fear punishment. You fear committing sin. You fear that God will smite you for some said sin(s). How is this God about love when all He does is kill people and make them afraid of him? I do believe in a higher power, a God, a Source Energy, The Universe and I believe that it is absolute love. Not this love that you have to question, tip toe around, an make sure it is constantly praised and worshipped in order not to die. I also feel that religion goes completely against natural human behavior. I feel that it is a tool used to divide and control the masses.
(**Disclaimer: This not said to offend anyone who still does go to church. This was just my thought process through my growth. Although I do not agree with Christianity, I respect other peoples choices as far as what religious or spiritual path they choose)
Being more aware of what I put in my body have also helped my spirituality. By becoming vegetarian, being conscious of what I eat, and minimizing animal products, my mind is much more clear. You start to eat life, you become life. When you consume dead flesh, that is what you become. You are what you eat, literally. What I put in my body isn't just pertaining to food. We have a few other holes in our bodies where we can take in information and energy. I stopped watching television, occasionally watching documentaries and I stopped listening to the radio. These two things were such a distraction and the cause of me having a mental dumping ground for all sorts of bad things. My mental changed DRAMATICALLY when I did this. You begin to think for yourself and you see past the cover that society tries to put on you. Entertainment is a form of mind control, in my opinion, and eliminating that allowed my own thoughts to fill my head. Now, by no means am I saying to never listen to music, to never go to the movies, watch the news, etc ever again....I am saying you need to have BALANCE. Know your limit to how much information you can take in at time and how much time you need to just relax your mind not think about anything.
Another thing that I had to take seriously was the people I allowed myself to have sex with. There was still a lot of spiritual and mental damage due to years of abuse, mistreatment, and sexual trauma that I had to fight alone. I dealt with so many toxic men in my lifetime. There were a few situations where I could literally feel the life force being sucked out of me while I was having sex. One situation, I was physically exhausted for two days after my encounter with this guy and I could not physically use the bathroom for those two days. I called one of my best and most spiritual friends Dr. Crystal Jones and she pretty much told me that my parasympathetic system shut down because of my encounter (mind you this is the system that is usually over active when meeting someone for the first time...you know when you get nervous and you feel like you have to poop). I was so upset.It took me a few days to get back to normal. I dealt with these toxic parasitic men for far too long. I decided that I wasn't going to let just anyone in my space or my body so easily, just as I had a particular way about letting people enter my house/sacred space. There are such things as soul ties and I had to work my butt of to sever those ties.
I noticed that even from 2013 when I started to adopt a more spiritual lifestyle, my life did begin to change. More information was given to me and as I sorted out the knowledge that was presented to me, my true being started to blossom. I still feel as though I learned more on my yoga mat than I did sitting in a church pew. I know now that my body physically manifests spiritual problems in different ways.
This is why I tell people not to look at what other people have whether it be material things or spiritual things. You don't know what that person had to go through to get where they are now. The past 7 years have been my real growing years and the last 2 years have been so intense. I am grateful for everything that I went through, because if I didn't, then I wouldn't be where I am spiritually. Some of the lessons I had to learn were physically painful and spiritually draining, but I take it all because that is a part of my growing process, my journey.
I consider myself a syncretist, as I have stated in previous posts. I take things from different cultures and religions and apply them to my spiritual practice. Let it be said that I do thorough research on what I do and use as not to disrespect someones was of life. I don't dabble just to say I dabble. I take rituals and symbols seriously as well as honor the in their own rights. My spirituality is definitely that of more African and Eastern beliefs. I try to find their common threads and string them together in my own beautiful mosaic of what I interpret as the Universe.
Through yoga I have had some amazing euphoric/orgasmic meditations. I have literally been projected in the cosmos and surrounded by love. It is probably what people call that "heaven on earth" feeling. I'm still in the process of mastering energy control (within myself). I can meditate and allow the kundalini energy to move freely through my body (where my body rocks and sways). Ive become more secure within myself and the universe. I've learned how to work with each chakra. I have learned how to use scents and crystals to heal myself. There are so many things that I can say I know and do.
I still learn every day, I still grow every day. That is the responsibility that I have taken on. To never stop growing, to never stop ascending. I am not necessarily on a path to enlightenment, but my spirit is infinite and I plan on acquiring as much knowledge as I can in this lifetime. My spiritual journey is not done yet....this is only the beginning.
I use as many things as the Universe can provide. Herbs, oils, rituals, candles, healing crystals and stones, tuning forks, singing bowls, mala beads, tarot cards, nature itself. I am nature and nature is I. We were given all of these resources to heal ourselves and help us along our life's journey...I would be a fool not to use any of the tools provided. Doing what I do feels natural to me, almost like I am not learning new things, but relearning things that I already knew, doing things that I haven't done in a long time.
Talking from experience, this is what I want to leave with you. Your journey is not going to be easy, it is not going to be perfect. In life, growth hurts sometimes...but it is all for your greater good (that is one thing to always say aloud when your going through your painful metaphysical "growth spurts" as I like to call them, *EVERYTHING IS A LESSON, THIS IS HAPPENING FOR MY GREATER GOOD, EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON* Always try to look at the lesson in everything, ESPECIALLY the bad things. Try to always find balance. Do your best to focus on your breath as many times a day as you can. The MOST IMPORTANT thing that I want whomever is reading this is to know that you need to do what feels right to you! (So as long as you are not hurting yourself or others) You will be criticized, talked about, demonized, and probably looked at as crazy, but this is YOUR journey and no one elses. Remember that. This is all about you and you need to do whatever it takes to grow. If that means removing certain people or taking drastic measures...then so be it. This is your path to walk on, only yours.
I pray that this helps someone.