Spiritual Transparency

Rays Up?

The day and age we are in currently calls for transparency, fully and in every aspect. There is so much information out there, so much to absorb, yet we only take in and assimilate very little. The “New Age” spirituality that is being promoted at this time can be so confusing for people, especially our younger generations. Whilst I am very appreciative that the younger generation is able to have some insight into thinking about how their brain works, and questioning everything, some caution should also be advised. It is not advisable to be so open to everything that one does not develop a focal point, a goal that they are working towards. I don’t want people to be that open-hearted, scattered “light-zombie” accepting each and every scenario with “love and light” and then wondering why they feel so used, and “not very enlightened.”

Before one comes to the light, they are usually enveloped in complete darkness, just as in the womb. Everyone is being taught that one can simply, “choose a better thought,” or “don’t entertain the negative thoughts and life will be just peachy.” I have even been guilty of attempting to shine the light so brightly that it straight disorientates people, and turns them off. When shining light into darkness it is important to remember that this creates shadows. People often don’t want to face their shadows, myself included. I know what I have experienced first-hand in my own life, and in past days, and I had wanted everyone to feel this immense euphoria I have felt as well! This is just not so, and not a realistic way of thinking. I suddenly became completely un-relatable, and superimposed this “perfect person” into my persona. This was the moment I delved deeper, I had an epiphany.

Unless I am projecting my true, raw and authentic self into this reality, everything else is just a façade. No matter what I feel drawn to write about, no matter what inspiring quotes I post, no matter what…. People can only meet you or I as deep as they have met themselves. Period. Thus I imposed the question upon myself, “Am I meeting myself as deeply as I think I am? Who am I doing this for? Am I doing this for others? Am I doing this for myself?”

After asking myself this question I realized that I was doing this more for others, I had become entranced by a familiar pattern created by myself from a young age, and now find myself working with my own darkness, my shadows, yet again. I think it is important for people to understand that I did not suddenly wake up one day and say, “hey! I feel like being this super-light being, who wants to help others become their best selves, make a difference in this world, be a vegetarian, love others as myself, and be healthy while doing it!” I went through several dark periods in my life, more than several, millions, of moments where I felt like throwing in the towel, and not even existing. If I don’t shed light on the dark areas of my soul, who will? If I don’t let my readers know what I have been through, to get to where I am, how in the heck is anyone going to relate to me… to even begin to understand where I’m coming from?

Here’s a brief background for you, complete with rawness & transparency to boot, I say brief, but it’s definitely not so.

In this lifetime, I was the first-born to my mother, into a hospital located in a very small town at 5:05am, on September 12th. For the first few years of my life my mom and dad lived with his parents as he worked construction, and my mom worked as a babysitter to make an income. My dad stopped drinking and smoking when I was born to be a better father and all was well in that aspect for some time. Seeing as my dad worked in construction he was always super tired when he got home, and I knew that he worked hard to provide for his family, I loved my dad immensely. I was blessed to grow up around my grand-parents as they helped to instill some excellent qualities in me as well. My grandma was always very social and upbeat, we would cook, clean the kitchen, bake goodies, and play. My grandpa taught me the value of hard work, how to be organized, and how to clean up and put away things that I used. I learned how to love others as myself from my mother, and she always sought to instill deep-seated Christian values within me. (For the astrology buffs, yes, my Dad is a Leo, mother a Cancer, Grandma an Aries, and Grandpa, a Virgo like me)

In 1996 my family purchased their own home, still in the same town, and not far from my grandparents. My brother was born soon after, and all was peaceful for the time being. Around the age of 7 I remember my mother being overwhelmed with much in her life. She would often talk about what was going on in regards to her relationship with my father, money troubles, etc. I remember listening and wanting to help, so I would pray for her. I would pray for my family, everyone I knew; I just wanted everyone to love each other. I didn’t understand why life had to be so complicated, as any 7-8 year old would think, life is supposed to be simple, right? Looking back now I realize that I made that decision to listen to my mothers’ heartaches, to step in and try to help in any which way I could. I tried to intervene, because I did not like the current reality.

As the years went on my dad turned back to alcohol to quell his days’ stresses, he would often come home in a rage, destroying everything in his path. My mom always tried to stand up for herself and us, to this day I will commend her for standing her ground no matter what. However, there is a saying that goes something like, “choose your battles wisely,” to which I think she took no heed most of the time. There were many nights I would wake up out of a deep sleep to my parents screaming at each other, and come downstairs to try to break them up. I took it upon myself to help my mother understand my father, and visa versa. After all, I loved both of them, and wanted them to see each other in a different light. Do you see the pattern here? I was always wishing to project a different reality than the current one, and not understanding why nobody could accept the concept of getting along.

There were many times in which I was the object of rage, or so I thought, and would often cry for days on end in my room wondering what I had done, or my mother had done to deserve such harsh treatment. The very fact that I was blaming myself shows me that I had very unhealthy coping mechanisms when it came to verbal abuse. My mom was often embarrassed, wanting to seek help from the church, yet feeling she would be judged for it. She didn’t want to stay with him any longer, yet stayed, knowing she would be judged as well. So many things we don’t do for fear of judgment!

As I got older, my mom sought to instill the qualities that helped her through her roughest of days, to instill Christian qualities in a different manner. She enrolled my brother and I in a Christian school, a school I attended for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade. I learned to set goals, to memorize scripture, and to collaborate with a very small group of students. At the time I had a best friend, who had stuck by my side since the 1st grade, she ended up going to the school as well. I suppose I should bring up the fact that I had been painfully shy since around 2 or so years old. My mother never forced me to “speak up,” or to talk with others as she was perfectly fine doing everything in life right by my side. It was through these formidable years at the Christian school that I began to find my own voice, my own likes and dislikes, and to be able to form an opinion on my own, without her approval. I began to assess and break down systems, and often felt much personal power through doing this. The school system did not take too kindly to my assessing of their systems, as I was always looking for a better way to do things. The way in which we functioned there, and the amount of time things took, really rubbed me the wrong way. So in-turn I did things my own way, which were met with an expulsion from the school. (I cheated okay guys, we scored our own work and I’d memorize the answers and go back to my seat and fill them in rather than finding the answers like the traditional student) My best friend’s mother at the time also sought to remove me from her daughter’s life, as someone who seeks to destroy systems, or rather deeply assess them, was not welcome to their family any longer.

I started at a public school in my sophomore year of high school, placed myself into the swarms of people, cliques of humans, and delved in. Here at this public school, where I no longer had to wear a uniform, I realized that everything was highly materialistic. Girls wouldn’t talk to other girls if they weren’t wearing a Hollister sweatshirt, or if you weren’t wearing eyeliner, or had a crush. Girls thought you were weird if you read books, kept to yourself, and were an all around shy person. Although it wasn’t relatively difficult to get attention from guys, so as long as one looked cute, approachable or innocent. There were a few guy friends I had for some time, and they were actually some really cool, genuine people, until they threw the “I like you card” in the deck. That was when I realized how fake everything and everyone was, they weren’t truly my friends, or were they? I distanced myself from everyone; I became depressed, I wanted so badly for people to like me.

It hasn’t been until recent times that I realized how badly I was over-compensating for the inner storms I had been battling for most of my younger years. Every day before high-school I would make sure that I straightened my hair, did my makeup, and was presentable; even if that meant being late. I would accessorize, wear earrings, bracelets, rings, adorn myself with external items to make up for the turmoil going on inside. I still had deep-seated issues, blaming myself for my parents issues, getting mad at myself that I couldn’t “fix” what was going on at the household I lived in. I also had some intense self-esteem issues, my view of myself was completely distorted and I had little, to no confidence.

I met a friend in high-school, who is still one of my best friends to this day. I know deep down that our souls must have formed some sort of pact to teach one another in this lifetime. She was the complete opposite of me; loud, rambunctious, and most of all, she didn’t give one hoot what anyone thought of her. I’m pretty sure we bonded in the girls’ bathroom over some eyeliner that we both wore, although I’m not even sure how the conversation started.  In-turn we spent a ton of time together, she taught me how to begin to live in a more carefree manner, and how to express myself regardless of who was watching or listening, and how to live in the moment. For some time I was the only one with a car so I would drive her around, we’d visit with friends, and do best-friend things (like locking my keys in the car at a secluded lake and breaking into my own car before night-fall and getting eaten by mountain lions) together. You see, back then, I thought I was doing her a favor, when in reality; she was teaching me more about myself than anyone else ever could have.

Throughout high school I had entertained a couple of relationships, two of which stand out to me most. The first relationship was formed at the rather young age of 15, to which I had no confidence, and was still seeking approval and happiness in external things, in people, so to speak. If I had known what I know today about interpersonal relationships I would have run for the hills, however, I am a sucker for experiences. I wanted to experience love, the highs and lows, the thrill of being “in a relationship.” This relationship went on for a while and ended on the note of, “the spark just isn’t there anymore.” The guy I was in a relationship with simply decided that we weren’t working and ended it. I can’t tell you how long I sulked and cried for…. I’m sure we all remember our first heartbreak right? In recognizing familiar patterns in this lifetime, I realized that during this heartbreak I had two options: To rise and become a stronger, wiser, human or to fall down to the depths of the abyss into a black hole. The easiest route is always the more detrimental and harmful one, always, and thus I fell. I really don’t mean to get all dark here, but I contemplated living quite often. I wondered how many Tylenol I could take to not wake up the next day. I had placed my happiness in a person, rather than tending to my own heart, my own soul, and this was my very detriment. From then on, I sought to fill that hole.

My best friend and I spent a lot of time together throughout high school, and she did not like this particular boyfriend. She had a very strong aversion that I needed to simply stay away from him, to which of course, I did not listen. (Sagittarius are always very insightful, whether they know it or not) After he entertained his harem of girls, he found his way back to me and we dated for some time, yet again. Little did I know I was digging out a wound until it was raw, filling it with gauze again and letting the wound erode over and over again. I did not take the time to let my own self heal; fill that hole with love overflowing, or to understand my suffering.

After high school my boyfriend and I were still together on and off. We even got to the point where I lived with him and his family for a couple of years because the turmoil at my parents’ house would wear on me to the point of mental and physical exhaustion. I would let myself fall into that bottomless pit of depression whenever I was at my parents’ house, and escape was definitely looking like a bright light at the bottom of the pit. If I was to assess my current understanding now, with that of my past understanding in that relationship, I would tell you that I was placing band-aids all over myself without getting to the root of the problem. My boyfriend and I were simply together because it felt “familiar,” and we were both so accustomed to that comfort that we or I did not seek anything else because of it. He was overbearing at times, wanting me to be home when he got there, and when I would spend time with my mom 1 on 1, or do something for myself, he would get angry with me. I knew part of him was being protective because he knew of the issues I had dealt with for years, yet part of him was also doing to me exactly as I had done to him. After all, I had created this reality.

I had let someone break me down to the point of not wanting to exist, let them back into my life, and never went to heal the wounds on my own. I looked to this person for all my happiness, all my confidence, and all my joy. I depended on him. The moment I did not depend on him, or look to him for my happiness, he became confused, and resentful. After all, was he not treating me the way I had treated him? An escape? During the years I was living with him, my best friend and I completely stopped talking. She knew that I had created my self-image and self-confidence around a completely unhealthy relationship. I did not respect myself, so why should she respect me?

I started writing poetry at the Christian school in my down time, to release some of the pent-up issues I was holding onto. This poetry that I’d write would contain letters from the deepest, darkest parts of my soul. I have gone back to read some of this poetry during the “first-love stage” and was amazed at how far I have come. I had such an unhealthy view of myself, my happiness depended on whether or not my boyfriend liked me that day, and I questioned what in the heck was wrong with me as a person if he didn’t feel like being nice on any particular day. Again, always blaming myself for the reason peace wasn’t being achieved. As an extremely depressed and defeated person, I wondered if there was something wrong with me physically, if my boyfriend would finally care. I questioned whether or not he was really in love with me. (Ladies & Gents, if you have to question, the answer is right in front of your face! NO!) It’s really hard to accept sometimes that someone doesn’t love you the way that you love them. If you think about it, our creator, God, energy, that HUGE force out there that created us, LOVES us so much, so incredibly much. Now do we honor life on this planet, exude love in every single thing we do, and respect each other as a loving human would do? NO! That’s a prime example for you.

The law of attraction came into play within my relationship in full force, and this is why I know from the core of my being that what you rest your mind upon, thoughts, wishes, etc. ALWAYS come into your existence, no excuses. I’ll touch on three things here: I ended up having a pretty intense health issue, and I also caught my boyfriend talking to a slew of women, and cheating on me. There was also an instance in which my life was almost taken from me. Now, in the midst of my depression was I not asking the universe to present me with a health issue to see if my boyfriend would care? As you read above, I put that thought out there, I was so empty and hopeless that was really my last resort? Here comes the universe, you got what you asked for!! I didn’t explain to you all that I often had thoughts of my boyfriend leaving me, after all, if he didn’t really like me, couldn’t he just dump me? I often envisioned him running off with some perfect woman who was nothing like me so that I could just be alone in my stupid, hopelessness of a mess. I wanted him to be happy, although I knew that it was just our personalities, we just weren’t’ going to work, yet I couldn’t accept letting him go.

There was also an instance around this time where I was working at a check cashing store and was held-up at gunpoint. Up until this experience I had always been a pretty “fragile” individual, as you probably can tell from this article. This experience shook me to my core, and I often had flashbacks of what would have happened if he had just taken my life for the money, instead of sparing me. I wondered if this was my punishment for all those thoughts of not wanting to live any longer, was this my wakeup call? I was promptly enrolled in sessions with 2 psychologists, and had appointments with them weekly. Perhaps this was the counseling I had needed for my own little counselor, at the age of 2. I knew what my own soul needed at this point in my life, and this was it. I reflected on every little aspect of my life during these sessions and received tools for accepting and moving past these instances.

After enduring through what was second worst of my experiences in life, compared to my family turmoil, I came out ALIVE. My boyfriend didn’t offer help during the health crisis time, the arguments between my family members were still in full effect, and all the anger and problems directed towards me were still there, but you know what? I was still ALIVE. I guess I had what you would call, an “ahaa moment,” or my first epiphany. I realized that no matter what was going on in my physical body, in the external world, between people, etc. that the strength I pulled from inside was what kept me going. There was a force at work between my soul and the universe, a pulling if you will. I began to have this yearning to understand what caused my health issue, to understand the root of things, how personal and physical issues start, how to understand people, how to heal the human body, even down to a cellular level. I wanted to know more about my inner strength, how to harness this strength, how to channel it to others.

Simply put: I wanted to know everything about health on a natural level. I came to realize that whatever we hold in our hearts as our truth, replicates itself in front of us every time. I held it in my heart that I was to be my parents’ and families’ counselor that I HAD to be the one to fix their problems. It is not so. Until I relinquished myself from this “duty” that I had called upon as a title, I would not be able to move forward. There is something to be said for observed conscious detachment, for lending a non-judgmental ear to my mother’s issues, without attaching me to them was pure freedom. After removing myself from my parent’s issues, and realizing that it was their own truths they were running from, I was able to feel free. I had been attending a local gym to be healthier which I found to also be a source of tremendous release. A friend of mine invited me to a yoga class at the gym as well to which I found a new sense of self, I was finally beginning to shine light on those dark corners of my soul that were filled with spider webs, creatures, dragons, etc.

This process of life that we all go through is often not so pretty, not so perfect, and filled with many dark times. There is no perfect way to do anything, or right way to approach a situation. The most important thing we can do when it comes to other people, is to make sure that we are loving ourselves first. It may take the scariest situation of your life to make you realize that when all else falls away, all we have is that strength inside to pull from. People might embrace you with hugs, you might be sent cards, people will tell you to stay strong and be there for you. However, when you lie awake at 1 in the morning and nobody is there to comfort you, that’s when you turn to inner strength. There is always a force working within each and every one of us, conspiring for goodness in our lives. So often we don’t think that we deserve this goodness, we have gaping holes we strive to fill with everything but unconditional love that we are always worthy of receiving.

I made a decision a few years ago, and that was to RISE from my present state of mind. I knew that I had to climb out of that pit and to begin to dust off the dark corners of my soul, to clean house, to get rid of everything that no longer serves me. I strive to help others because that is what I’ve known how to do from a small child. However, this time I am helping others by making a change within myself, so that others may see that change and aspire to make a change within themselves in order to turn their lives around. Many, many people have had crazy experiences in life, every one of our lives is different. There is no possible way to generalize and tell people that they should live life in a certain way because that is impossible. We are united by our inner strength, we are united by the fact that we are all humans, with emotions, soul families, and we are ALIVE.

No longer am I striving for my external perception to be accepted by anyone, no longer am I involving myself in people’s problems, for they are not “of me.” I write what is on my heart to share with others because I have been in that dark place, and I know what it is like. When everything seems hopeless and forlorn remember that you are alive, no matter how bad things seem to be, in this very moment, you are here, breathing, and ALIVE!

Peace, peace, peace.

-Rays Up!

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