Today I Learned To Speak My Truth...

“Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.”

- MAGGIE KUHN -

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Everything has led me here.

Call it a spiritual awakening. Call it a conscious emergence. Call it karmic enlightenment.

Whatever you call it, I don’t think there’s anything that can explain the profound beauty and powerful experiences I’ve been encountering these last couple of months. Even now, it’s difficult to write about – because how do you verbalize something like this? How do you write about something that is so far beyond words and transcends what we consciously know?

Sometimes I fear the words themselves. As powerful as they are, they’re all too easily misconstrued, too easily warped, and I don’t want anything to taint this experience. And how can words ever encapsulate the sheer magnitude of an internal experience, anyway? The emotions, the feelings, the inner-knowings…how can something like that be described and shared?

All I know if that I have to try.

But, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s start at the very beginning…

I’ve always had a keen sense of self-awareness and, being a sensitive person by nature, I learned early on to trust my intuition to lead me through this life. That yearning for self-discovery began in the pages of my earliest diary and would translate to my blog decades later, where I would spend over five years attempting to figure out who I am and why I’m here and why the world is the way it is (and how to change it for the better).

But that journey of discovery didn’t have a place in Sunday services, where I was encouraged to find all my answers in one book – without instead of within. I felt disconnected, more confused by my faith than calmed by it. And so, when I was around 12 years old, I rejected my Catholic upbringing. As soon as I was confirmed, and therefore considered old enough to make that decision, I stepped away from the church for good. Catholicism laid the foundation for my beliefs, but I always felt that there was something more, something that religion itself couldn’t provide me.

It was like we were a part of an infinite puzzle, its pieces scattered throughout the universe, and religion held only one piece of it. I wanted the rest of the puzzle. I wanted the big picture. I wanted to know more.

But I was 12 and didn’t know that at the time – I certainly didn’t know how to verbalize it – and so I began to take my first steps on a journey of self-discovery and faith. Little by little, life began to align itself with what I was searching for, and it’s only in looking back that I can follow the threads that have led me here.

I remember sitting on the pink, carpeted floor of my childhood bedroom around this time, cutting out pictures and quotes from “Angels Among Us” – a Reader’s Digest-type magazine that my grandmother subscribed to because she wanted to win the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. I taped my favorites to my mirror and meticulously glued the rest into a quotes journal. Later, when I was a year or two older and watching daytime television while home sick from school, I discovered Sylvia Browne on the Montel Williams show. I don’t know how or why I began reading her books, but after feeling so lost, I felt a renewed sense of faith.

Something was waking up inside of me – a spark of truth igniting my beliefs – though I didn’t have a name for it. I wanted a name for it. I wanted to find myself, to figure out where I belonged. And so, I began to research other faiths, hoping that one of them would speak to me, that I would have that “a-ha!” moment and the rest of the puzzle would fall into place.

The problem was that all of them spoke to me.

And instead of belonging somewhere, I felt like I belonged everywhere.

My childhood best friend was Jewish, so I knew a little about Judaism, and Christianity was my building block. I didn’t understand the oneness as described by Buddhism, but I felt connected to the idea and filed it in the back of my mind. Hinduism’s general belief in karma and reincarnation helped to explain the feeling that I’d lived a thousand lifetimes – and maybe even gave a reason for why I was so tired in this one – while Paganism spoke to my appreciation for nature and belief that “the forest was my church.”

The more I studied, the more I realized that my beliefs weren’t founded in religion. At least, not in any one religion, and certainly not one I could name. The fundamentals of what I believed, however – what felt true beyond my cognitive understanding – crossed those boundaries: life comes from a source. Some call it God. Some call it the Universe. Others call it the Supreme Being. Whatever its name, its source is love. Love. Love and learning, I began to believe, was life’s purpose, and so it became my purpose.

When I was in the 9th grade (give or take a year), I read a quote from Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man in which it was summed up: “my country is the world and my religion is to do good.” Those words resonated with me like nothing else. We’re not divided, I finally understood. We’re all the same. Just be good – to yourself and to each other.

Simple. Honest. Maybe it didn’t have to be so complicated, I thought to myself. Maybe it really was as simple as knowing that we’re all on this planet together. Maybe it’s as easy as being a good person. It made more sense than anything else I’d read or studied. Religion was too confining for me, too structured. There were too many unanswered questions, and I couldn’t accept that faith meant being led blindly when we have the capability of seeing for ourselves.

Why can’t we have the answers to our questions? I began to wonder. Who’s to say that what’s written in a book is the be-all, end-all, when so much can be lost to translation, interpretation, and time itself? Why can’t we fill in the missing pieces for ourselves?

Faith, I began to see, was about trusting your own truth.

These past few months, I’ve discovered mine.

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I feel like everything in my life has been leading me up to this point. I’ve certainly felt that way about other things – my career, my friends, my writing…Life isn’t just a series of events, but a succession of experiences, building blocks put into place to help us grow, evolve, and learn. I never understood this connection to my spiritual journey until just now, with these words.

Finally, I feel brave enough to speak it out loud.

They say that when you’re in the beginning or middle of a spiritual awakening, you feel like you’re lost and alone in a desert. They say you can’t see the light until you’ve been among the darkness. I’ve seen my darkness. My struggle with Lyme Disease brought me to a point of such darkness that I didn’t think I would ever escape – it was only the love of my dog that saved me that night. It was only in needing to care for him that saved me from myself. But maybe these aren’t singular events.

I’ve always believed that Lyme Disease affected some part of my brain, that it “woke me up,” making me more aware of myself and my place in this world. I’ve since learned that the Lyme was only a catalyst, necessary for my learning and evolution, just another step on a journey.

And soon, I would leap.

After a few years of fighting disease and unexpected loss, I found myself desperate to reconnect with who I was, particularly through my writing. Admittedly emotion-based and reflective, my writing has always been a form of expression and self-discovery. I mask my truth in fiction, letting the story and characters themselves lead me to my own understanding of life’s lessons.

But I’d stopped writing. Somehow, I became so bogged down by the harsh realities of my experiences that I’d lost the joy of creating, of losing myself to the art and letting the words flow through me. I was desperate to get that back – to write my way back to myself again – and so I googled books on nurturing the spirit and channeling your writing in the hopes of finding some nugget of wisdom that would lead me back on the right path.

Turns out, you’re always on the right path. It’s just hard to see sometimes.

I’ve since learned that coincidence is merely an ignoring of the threads that lead you to where you are, but at the time, it felt very much like a huge coincidence that I happened to discover Dolores Cannon’s The Convoluted Universe books. I was curious, intrigued by this woman who spent decades guiding people into past lives through hypnotherapy, only to discover something much more spiritual and profound in the process – her clients began to enter a somnambulistic state where the conscious mind steps back and what she calls the Higher Self (others call it God, the Universe, the Supreme Being – it’s all one in the same, it’s all you) takes over.

I’d always been interested in past life regression, especially after having my own moving experience, and so I read the reviews and checked out her website. Still skeptical and somewhat desperate, I ordered the first book.

Which I devoured in a weekend.

By the time I was finished, I was in tears at the sparks of truth that were lighting up my soul and speaking to my heart. Like my studies in religion, there were some concepts so confusing and fantastical that I found myself setting them aside while others seemed to sing, “Yes! This is your truth! This is what you’ve been searching for!”

All the while, my head was spinning with even more questions. I felt like I had woken up, that I had changed – irrevocably – and that there was still so much more to learn and know and grow. I felt like my conscious mind had expanded, that my way of thinking had been completely uprooted and turned around – but in such a way that created a better way of being. I felt more connected to myself than I’d ever felt before, and yet completely disconnected from the people I love and the realities of the world all at once.

Because how could I share this with anyone? How could I explain what was happening inside of me when I didn’t understand it myself?

That awareness and sense of inner-knowing and intuition I’d always felt as a kid was suddenly expanded – it was like I was reminded of how beautiful and fragile life could be, that even if the spirit is infinite, this experience in this place, this time, is not. Where I never knew where I belonged, suddenly I had a place in the world, and I could feel the connections that tied us all together. I knew who I was and what I was and, more importantly, I knew what I stood for.

But I felt myself struggling, fighting to find a balance between being a spiritual person and being grounded in reality, with bills to pay, promises to keep, and loved ones to care for. That strange juxtaposition plunged me into a depression.

I knew what was. I knew what could be. I didn’t know how to transition between the two.

I wanted to run, but I felt trapped. I knew I could fly, but I felt caged.

What made it worse was that I didn’t know how to share how I’ve been changing. Even now, I’m scared…afraid that I’ve been misunderstood and that I won’t be accepted.

But I’ve hidden myself away for so long. For too long.

It’s what I learned about myself on Saturday, which is when I had my first experience with QHHT – Quantum Healing Hypnosis Therapy – as created by Dolores Cannon and described (and transcribed) in her books. After reading The Convoluted Universe series, I couldn’t get enough. I was pulled towards learning as much as I could about metaphysics and spiritual healing, QHHT specifically. This was what I had been searching for my whole life – answers to questions that I’d always been taught weren’t available to us. And yet, here it was.

At best, I’d find my answers. At worst, I’d have a really great nap.

It turned out to be the most beautiful, life-changing experience I’ve ever had. So much so that I’m preparing to study the practice with the aim of becoming a practitioner and help others discover their truths and heal as I have.

I’ve shared my experience with a few people. Someday soon, I may be brave enough to share it in full here in this space. But growing takes time and is painful, and it’s hard to let go and speak what’s in your soul when you’ve spent lifetimes hiding from it and being afraid.

What I’ve learned is that I don’t have to hide myself anymore, that I’ve surrounded myself with people who love and accept me unconditionally and allow me to continue on this journey with a gentle touch and loving hand. The gratitude I feel for that love and acceptance goes beyond all words.

Sharing this today is not about having anyone believe me – you don’t have to. Instead, today is about taking that next step on my own personal, spiritual path. By expressing myself through my writing -- the language I know best -- I’m learning to recognize myself as I really am...

Someone who has a place in this world.

Someone who belongs right here, right now.

Someone who can share her truth at last.

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