When is spirituality a mask that keeps us separate, and when does it bring us together?
An ongoing inquiry...
When I first entered my spiritual path, it was from a place of devotion and prayer, in middle school and then high school, going on mission trips, and to youth groups, going to my family’s intuitive healer and psychic on the Rainbow Crest Farm and singing ecstatically in church. I didn’t know there was an option to use spirituality as a mask to hide behind until I was 19 and I discovered meditation and yoga, and saw that if I could “namaste” the pain away no one might notice the broken heart at my center and the pain I didn’t know what to do with…
(Spoiler: They eventually did!!)
But before that I was a teenager into angels and crystals and praying at church, just as much as I was into theatre and writing and dancing, drinking Smirnoff Ice, going to Phish shows, and making out with my boyfriend in my ‘89 Jeep Cherokee.
It wasn’t until I was about 30 that I used my healing journey woven with my spiritual practice to “fix” myself.
I could mask a lot of what I was doing as deep holy spiritual practice (some of it was) but under it all I truly wanted to figure out why I was having trouble with staying in romantic relationships, why they seemed to expire, and I bounced after two years, and why being loved and staying loved felt so hard.
Therapy helped me with this starting at age 22, but I didn’t get into the heavy or deep stuff in therapy until I was about 32. Childhood trauma. Attachment issues. Codependency. Enmeshment. Nervous system in fight / flight most of time…not special or uncommon things for many humans, I would later find out.
But somehow spirituality made it seem that I could pray my way out of it, or manifest my way out of it, or positive think my way out of it all.
I found myself around people that were saying they manifested millions and quantum leapt their way to stardom and financial success, and it felt lonely, and I felt out of place often, but at other times I felt like “Thank goodness I’ve found a subculture I am safe within.”
I agreed with a lot of things that existed outside the mainstream perception of reality and talking to others who also had psychedelic experiences, mystical ones, and devotional moments felt good. But mostly conversations turned to social media, pictures being snapped in every “sacred” moment, thin bronzed Botoxed bodies encircled me, grief and sorrow and social awkwardness felt unacceptable, and so I still felt alone.
Luckily, in these years I found a few other mystical and flawed and slightly awkward humans I could feel safe to be with. Who were also admittedly depressed or anxious at times, battled with addiction to food or tobacco or TV or sugar, but still loved to pray and practice ritual, eat mushrooms, run around in the desert, laugh hysterically about some of the shit we’ve done, and also sit in deep quiet sacred moments together.
Finding community and belonging and stopping fixing continues to be huge for me. I’m a seeker by nature. But that doesn’t have to mean I need to be fixed. Or sit in rooms where people say things that like “ICK” in my body.
Yearning for deeper more meaningful culture and traditions and rituals makes total sense to me, but it can be a slippery slope when seeking ritual or deep practice is mixed with quick fox methods that promise a feeling of belonging or healing…but then again there are things I paid a lot of money for that I am happy I did, and things I got for free that changed my life forever.
I’m a holder of both truths, in fact many truths…but more questions than anything.
I can love certain aspects of a this subculture of seeking and perhaps attempting to establish traditions outside American TV, mega stores, shopping, and success and step into real healing. That I see as wise and well and advancing for humanity. But I can also comment on where the culture creates the same thing it was trying to get away from…
Thanks for joining me in my ongoing memoirs on sex, love, spirituality and being a woman…comment below, share your own tales with me, and stay tuned for more ongoing inquiry.
I find myself so often in your words; you perfectly mirror back the 'manifestation trap' where I went through as well & which I now see as beautiful lesson to learn from and to go deep. It's all about the balance & harmony between the infinite/spiritual realm and the human 3D world/life
I love this so much! Can’t wait to deep dive with you and take in all the magic that is Zion ❤️