Level 2 Member
Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 11:19 AM
Dear Christian God,
I was raised in your church and I was taught the Bible. I was taught some good moral values and some that are very destructive that you espouse. I have believed the good part of my whole life without questioning you. I have put faith in you, I have prayed in tears to you. I have asked for your help numerous times. I have been taught that you are all loving, all forgiving, patient, and kind yet, like brainwashing or an abusive relationship, you threaten me with Hell if I do not believe in you. You threaten me with punishment for Sins that are not mine...sure I will take responsibility for my choices and actions but DO NOT hold me accountable for "original sin". I have been utterly dependent on you and our relationship. However, all I have experienced from you is emotoinal distance, rejection, and guilt. You promised to be there in my hour of need, you werent. If you WERE you were lurking in the shadows, sadistically watching me suffer. You see my heart and my dependency on you and you use me. You used my love and trust...now I see it for what it is. You only want what you want without regard for me. You dont love me, you love yourself. Yes, I am imperfect and self-absorbed at times but then I never claimed to be God. And so, I must find the strength to say goodbye...at least until you live up to your promises. Maybe we will meet again maybe we will not. I hope the best for you. I keep thinking of the parable Jesus used about the Shepard leaving his flock to find that ONE lost sheep. If this is true, then you find me. I am tired of looking for you. I am tired of the rejection. I am tired of the distance. I am tired of your emotional disconnection. I am tired of your threats of punishment. I have TRIED my best and if that isnt good enough for you, then I will never be. Call me Doubting Thomas if you will but I need more than legends and tales from the Bible. I need something REAL. I will be in the Woods if you want me, I will be in the only place I DO feel the Divine...nature. IF you really want me you will know where I am. If not, then this is goodbye. I cannot suffer this way anymore.
Thursday, August 27, 2009, 1:27 PM
I have been practicing my meditation skills and shamanic journeying. In doing so I have found my sacred space in the Otherworld...a dimly lit grove that allows beams of golden sunlight to stream in...a boulder on the eastern edge facing a forrest stream that marks the boundary of the grove. I visit here when I meditate..for a while now I have been alone and never experienced anyone or anything there. However, a few days ago I entered the meditation and was greeted on a path entering the grove by, what I knew by heart not by sight, was the Mother Goddess. She lead me into the Grove which was on a Full Moon. In the Grove there was a bonfire in the center and torches marking the boundaries in a full circle. There were beings dancing and celebrating in Skyclad...I was skyclad...everyone was and it was so peaceful, so natural. The Mother welcomed me home and led me to the Father God...horned and all. Together they sent me on a journey across the water of the stream to get a necessary message about my recent spiritual struggles. Here is my vision:
When in the Otherworld I am a wolf called Running Wolf...as the mental pictures I see are a wolf/me sprinting through the night in ecstasy...anyways, I encountered three animal totems the deer/stag, wolf, and owl. Deer = balance in spirt/physical/emotional, develop sensitivity psychically, and cultivate a gentle heart. The wolf = Gaining freedom, a need for balance, developing individuality while cultivating a sense of belonging in the community. A balance of power and gentleness...have confidence in your selected path. Owl = wisdom, extra sensory abilities, a guide through the dark...death and resurection...a letting go of old ways and emerging into a new life. Encouragement to holdfast.
This was the answer I have been seeking for so long. I have struggled with insecurity, uncertainty, and doubt and this answered my prayers...to find balance through cultivating sensitivity, gentle heart, courage to forge new paths. There will be a guide to help you through this time of hardship. Be kind to yourself. Trust.
In an additional meditation/ journey the Lord of the Forrest spoke tome and encouraged me to "follow the spiral path". I am not sure what that means but my intuition says that it means to continue following the spiritual path I am on, look inward deeply, be authentic and genuine in my search for truth and I will find what I seek.
I feel a very strong connection now to something, someone powerful...like the sun about to crest the horizon in the dawn. I will see what the dawn brings.
Blessings to all.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 2:47 PM
I want to say thank you to my clinical supervisor, and now good friend, for teaching me what really matters most in being a psychotherapist, and a human being. Five years have passed and we havent missed a weeks session. I would like to share some of the more poignant lessons I've learned from my supervisor.
1. Relationships are what matter most in life...not money, power, fame. Relationships are the substance that holds life together, some are born in situations where they cannot get this basic need met and are deeply wounded. However, in the human spirit lies a greater power, a power that instinctively seeks growth, healing, and connections...our job is to help remove those barriers to growth and let the person do the rest.
2. Listen deeply, say little. When you do speak, think deeply before the words exit your mouth. Besides, letting the person talk freely will always lead to the heart of their issues. We humans have the need to process our thoughts/feelings...we dont like to admit it, but we do. We often try to hide such needs through drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, etc. Those are just band-aids.
3. Never judge. You dont know what you would actually do if you were in the same position. I have worked in a community mental health clinic with the poorest of the poor and the sickest of the mentally ill. I am still amazed at the need for love and connection that even the most grossly psychotic person needs...people are people no matter what color their skin, no matter how much money they make. Love them all just the same.
4. Be Genuine. Learn all the techniques, theories you can...then forget them. Being real is what matters with people. Especially with people who have been hurt, burned, and abused and can smell a liar a mile away. Besides, those hurt people are all of us to some degree.
5. Boundaries. You gotta have them. The are what determines what defines you individually and relationally. They make us and break us. People will try to draw you into their life drama, to play a part that is not originally yours, help them have an emotionally corrective experience by showing them a new relationship through good boundaries.
6. Never assume you know what another person is thinking, feeling, experiencing...more times than not when you do this you are wrong and you are actually talking more about your own issues than listening to someone elses.
7. Know yourself. Know your vices. Know your biases. They WILL come through in your relationships, whether personal or professional. Go to therapy. Society makes fun of therapy but thats because most are afraid of what is really going on inside them. This fear imprisons people, makes them slaves to themselves. Growth is about letting go of fear and gaining strength/freedom.
8. Service. Give freely withut expecting something in return. Our job is often not immediately rewarded. We plant seeds in every contact we make with others, what kind of fruits will those seeds yeild? Good, empowering, growth fruit or something more sinister and destructive.
I will miss you greatly. Thank you for the invaluable lessons in life and work. You've raised me, a great therapist. Now if I could learn to apply all those lessons...lol. We all have our vices! haha.
Monday, August 24, 2009, 9:01 AM
Sitting and waiting for the mystical experience of God/dess is driving me insane. Cant sit, cant wait any longer. I can only take charge of my life and my actions and my relationships. I will no longer be the hunted, I will become the hunter. I will hunt for the Divine and I will rest in the assurance of knowing I have done my best, even if I fail. Truly the journey, rather than the destination, is the purpose. I vow to listen to my heart, to follow my intuition, to question both and what is left standing will be the path I follow. There seems to be no clear path through the Dark Wood rather I must blaze my own path. I can only do what I can do. Peace and Blessings. Pray for me.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 12:07 PM
I have been wondering...what IS a spiritual experience? I hvae been thinking so much about this (I admit I often over analyze things): If we are physical beings that are also spiritual beings...and there is overlap between the physical and spiritual worlds...should spiritual experiences be more concrete, discernable, and exact or must they be mystical, vague, and intuitive?
I have had what I thought was spiritual experiences but I am wondering if they only sprang from my unconscious/subconscious desires for connection to the Goddess (or God or Universe...whatever).
If then, there is a God/Goddess who desires a relationship with us...how does he/she communicate with us...through mental impressions, feelings, intuition or through literal verbal/audio communication...or through signs in the natural environment?
Oh, I realize everyone will have their differing opinions of this subject but it is still one I am trying to figure out. How do I trust my intuitions?
The conclusion that I came to is that when the divine speaks it must be in such a way that we cannot attribute the experience to our own desires and expectations yet will have a very significant personal meaning that we cannot deny it as anything BUT spiritual communication.
Being raised Christian, we were taught that if we prayed "right" God would "speak to us". I havent found it to be so literal despite the literal teaching of such communication.
So now as a pagan, what am I looking for...what should I expect from the Great Mother? I at times have a sense of her presence, a constant animal companion or totem follows me (which could, in reality be my own interpretation instead of reality). What to expect?
Should I look for the concrete direct communication or trust my gutt?
Thursday, February 5, 2009, 1:51 PM
So, here is my problem...Just as I get comfortable outside Christianity and up creeps the doubts and the insecurity. How can one be so sure what is real? It seems I am split, for whatever reason, between paganism and Christianity still. I have asked myself over and over what it is that keeps me clinging and being so wishywashy over this. And the only answers I come to seems to reflect fear of punishment and fear of being wrong. So, I suppose I answered my own question just now...what keeps me hanging on to Christianity is FEAR. I hate this feeling...like I am going to be punished for openly seeking truth. How is that fair? Its now like I reject Jesus but I havent had any experiences to suggest his Truth. I have had experiences with the Goddess in which prayers were answered so that lends credence to Her...but still there is that old fear lingering around. I cant seem to shake it. I hate this, its my obsession. I need answers but questions are all that pops up.
Should not prayers be answered in ways that you can uniquely understand and that they cannot be attributed to chance or subconscious desire? Should there not be an element of supernatural experience to encourage faith? Should not God or Goddess be real and personable in our spiritual lives?
When I pray to Jesus, I get nothing. When I have gone to worship, I have felt nothing. I havent heard anything from Jesus. Even in my deepest hour of need, while I was at the height of my zealousness...nothing.
As much as I have wanted Jesus to be real in my life, the hard answer is that he hasnt been and I havent an experience that I can say, "look here is an answer that can be no other than jesus". Then you are made to feel guilty because "you didnt have faith"! HA! That is the contradiction, how do you have faith in something that you have never had an experience with? Blind faith is foolish, I think. Accepting what you have always been told is truth and never questioning it, i think is foolsih too. Its not that I deliberately want to be defiant, I just want to know what I believe in is true.
So, I guess that is my hell of a mess. I know what my heart wants but my fear is strong, too. Please, send me blessings so I may have clarity and understanding of these spiritual matters.
Thanks!! Sorry to rant so much but that has been a burden on my heart as of late.
Many Blessings to you all!!
Thursday, January 22, 2009, 1:44 PM
If in the end, I am wrong about my spiritual path, then I will gladly walk my way to Hell. At least I tried to find peace while I was on Earth, at least I tried to understand God/s laws, at least I tried to live a moral life.
If in the end, I am wrong about my spiritual path, then I will gladly walk my way to Hell. At least I pursued and searched for you. You cannot deny I looked for you. You cannot deny I was open to you. You cannot deny I prayed to you.
If in the end, I am wrong about my spiritual path, then I will gladly walk my way to Hell. At least I meditated on spiritual matters, debated doctrines, looked at multiple perspectives, adhered to a rigid doctrine, and confessed my "sins".
If in the end I am wrong about my path, I will gladly walk my way to Hell. At least I sought your face, your hand, your heart. I might have missed but at least I tried.
You speak of Grace and love but condition them with the threat of Hell. I have done all I can, all I know how to do in my humanity. For in the end that is all I am, HUMAN. Flawed and imperfect. What more do you want from me?
If in the end, I am wrong about my spiritual path, I will gladly walk my way to Hell.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009, 5:00 PM
In all honesty, I am so fed up with all the mysticism, the believe this way or go to hell mentalities, I am so freaking sick of unanswered prayers...only to have the pious say, "well you cant expect God to give you everything you ask for...God isnt a Genie in a bottle at your beck and call." I am so SICK AND TIRED!!!! I try to keep an open mind and to allow God or Goddess to speak to me in ways that I cannot attribute to my own ingrained human values or thoughts or feelings. I am tired of feeling like spirituality is so freaking black and white. As if there is some roster for the "good guys vs the bad guys". I am sick of it. God has never spoken to me as a Christian. I HAVE had some very peculiar experiences when praying to the Goddess which draws me on to paganism. But that damned fear of being struck down for not being "saved" nags at me. Why cant I just try my best and not be condemned if I dont get it right the first time? If my soul is eternal why cant I have infinate number of chances to get it right? Why does hell have to be the consequence if God is so eager to save all people. What a freaking contradication!! Grace and Condemnation in one doctrine.....it makes me sick. Whats more disturbing is the amount of emotional control that doctrine still have over me. I hate it. I just want to know the truth. Struggle, struggle, struggle. I am tired of the rigidity. I am tired. Some days I feel strong and sure about my beliefs....others, like today, I feel frustrated and sad.
Please dont tell me to have faith because I have had it...held on to it with a death grip in the depths of depression only to have my faith fail me in my hour of greatest need. I found then that theonly person I could trust was myself, that the power to overcome was mine alone. Ugg. I am tired and this is just how I feel today.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 3:08 PM
Have we lost balance with the natural order of life? Has the human race become a cancer for all of Nature? Of all the creators of this Earth, we posess the greatest potential for growth or destruction to our world. For far too long, there has been a doctrine of "elevation"...that we humans are somehow above nature or separate from nature. The point of view has seemed to be that the Earth is Mans footstool and his stool pot...a tool to meet His ends. A vivid dream of cancerous cells spurred this meditation. Normally, cells work in unity and synchronicity for the betterment of the whole body...a system. But cancer cells destroy instead of build and repair...they are rampant and uncontrollable. Have WE become Earth cacner? Look around! Pay attention....all of nature has a cycle and it all works together...are we working with nature? We have lost ourselves and we have lost our place in the great cycle. Where has our sensitivity, our reverence to Nature gone? I am not a hypocrite because I readily admit I am as addicted to modern convenience as most, I use gas like it is heroine, I contribute tons of trash to the landfill without recycling all the time. I admit it. I feel GUILTY for it. There is so much we can learn from our Heathen, Pagan, Native, Earth loving ancestors. Is it me or do I feel the Great Mother calling me back alone? Nature has a way of purging Herself. What that means, I have not a clue. But the evidence is in all the cycles of nature...will you pay attention to it? I am trying, too. I will have to go through withdrawals to get there but I am trying. Are you?
Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 10:57 AM
One of my greatest philosophical debates is that regarding death and the afterlife. After all, death is life's inspiration. What we believe will occur upon our passing significantly affects our Earthly behavior. And so, my debate, as I converted to Paganism, was the old Salvation/Damnation paradigm vs. Reincarnation/Spiritual Evolution. Now, I understand not all will agree with me and thats ok because the following is just my evolving opinion.
Soon we will be celebrating Imbolc and welcoming the returning Light and new life of Spring. The Wheel has spun again. All of nature has cycles that reflect continuity of life through death. Everything hails rebirth of life. This cycle is so very beautiful and natural...there is an evolution...a growth that one can almost feel when one is mindful. This awareness gives me such joy to know that I am also a part of nature and my life will also transform, evolve, be reborn upon my death. The spiritual journey is one of learning and growing. Death is just one more portal to further development. Although I have my flaws I know I am actively trying to learn and grow in life and in spirit. Is that not the essence of spiritual life? Learning, Growing, Evolving?
However, this isnt a common belief in my family as most are in the belief of humanities "sinfulness", life is singular/linear, and death is final. All the spiritual growth will occur in this lifetime alone and depending upon your acceptance of salvation you will either go to Hell or Heaven. It works for some but this approach greatly saddens me. I have to ask then what is the purpose of spiritual growth if it merely depends upon believing in a savior? Why develop at all? I am often confused by the double-bind of this approach: the expecation of perfection and the inability for humanity to reach perfection. Why give us unique personalities if we cannot develop and reach different spiritual levels? Why should death be the end of ends? I cannot imagine the "father" damning his "children" for being imperfect while creating cycles of life/death everywhere else in creation.
I will take refuge in the knowledge that there are signs of life, death, and rebirth in abundance around us all the time. I cannot accept that death is the final chapter to our development and I cannot believe that any diety would be so punitive as to damn souls for not being as adavnced spiritually without giving them the chance to grow. Just my thoughts on that.