What if everything you thought you knew was wrong?
Take a moment and imagine that you belong to a religion that teaches it is the one, true path; the only way to get back to God. Now think about how you would feel the moment you discovered that it was all a lie. Think about the fear you would experience once you realized that all the answers to life's questions you thought you had, were not answers at all, but created by men (literally, men) as a way to make sense of the world and establish order and control over people's lives. You would probably feel lost, afraid, disallusioined, disappointed.
The moment I allowed myself to question whether the church that I had been raised in was actually the one and only true path back to God, I opened myself up to discovering real truth. I suddenly became more in tune with and connected to my inner self, to humanity, to Mother Earth, and to the Universe/God. This spiritual journey has taken me to the most terrifying depths, and the most awe-inspiring heights. But in the end, I'm incredibly grateful for the ride. To live with both eyes opened is worth any amount of pain and discomfort.
Recently I realized the need to use my masters education and experience as a counselor to further develop one of my gifts and passions, as a life coach. As a coach, I help men and women who are feeling a loss of control over their lives, overwhelmed and disconnected from their true selves, and I guide them to navigate through life's challenges with more peace and acceptance, while connecting to their cores and uncovering their true potential. The results have been life changing, and it's been a huge honor to connect with my fellow humans and be a part of their own transformations. (For more information on my programs, click here.)
Despite finding my calling as a life coach, I still struggle with many elements of leaving a religion that was such a central part of my identity up to this point in my life. One of the most challenging aspects of this faith transition, has been navigating relationships with family and friends who are still believing members of the church. According to their beliefs, I am spiritually deceived, weak, distancing myself from God and his "true church." In addition to feeling deep sadness for my choices, they have told me they feel like they don't know me anymore, that they can't relate to me, and that having a relationship with me now that I've left the church will be difficult for them.
Imagine what that feels like. To be told, in essence, that your relationship was largely based on your mutual faith, not on your spiritual connection to each other's souls. While I completely understand why they feel this way, having felt this same way when my sister left the church several years ago, I am saddened that this church has such an influence as to creep into our family relationships and cause them to crumble when one person chooses another life path. Any religion that has such an influence is harmful and needs to be exposed for the damage it is doing to countless other family relationships of those who are going through similar spiritual awakenings.
My spiritual journey has put me on a path to uncover the beauty in myself, in others, and in the world. I have found so much goodness, truth, and joy as I have sincerely sought to understand the mysteries of the universe. The scripture "By their fruits ye shall know them" has always resonated with me. And I cannot deny all the good that has come into my life as I bravely listened to my heart, and trusted myself (over the voices around me), when what I was taught was not lining up with what I felt inside. Standing up for what I sincerely believe has been one of the hardest things I've ever done, with repercussions still showing up as friends who tell me I'm making a big mistake and to pray harder so that I can get my faith back, and those who have stopped talking to me entirely.
Despite the negative feedback I've been getting, through this blog I hope to share my journey, authentically, and unashamed. There may be some who feel uncomfortable at times, or awkward reading my posts or watching my videos. Sometimes we feel uncomfortable when someone we have grown up with does something we don't feel is aligned with our idea of them. We might feel confused, disappointed that they are not following what we think is the best path for them, embarrassed for them when we come across something we feel is not appropriate to share publicly.
And when you do, I encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself why you're feeling that way. Really evaluate it. Are you attached to this idea of who I am? I invite you to let go of that attachment, and realize that you cannot see my heart or know my inner experience. Usually these are issues with yourself that you will need to overcome on your own path to enlightenment. You will begin to realize that your view of others is not a complete & accurate picture of who they are at their core. So instead of imposing our own dreams and desires on our loved ones, I propose that we all try to encourage them to find their own connections to their true selves.
For, therein lies true beauty.