Lately I’ve been thinking about my life journey so far, especially my spiritual journey. How did I wind up choosing to live by Buddhist teachings and incorporate other spiritual practices?
I wasn’t raised in any particular religion. I can’t remember ever going to church with my parents. God and religion were never topics of discussion in our house. When I turned twelve I did go to a local church a few times. Actually it was bible school for kids whose parents were next door listening to the sermon. I don’t know why I wanted to go. Maybe it was the arts and crafts. I always liked art. I still do.
When I was nineteen, I met a guy who I later married. When I was looking for a church to get married in, I clearly remember sitting at the desk of a minister and getting yelled at for not “knowing Jesus”. Forget about getting married in his church, I was on the fast track to Hell (at least, as far as he was concerned).
I finally did find someone to marry us but I was afraid of anything having to do with church or religion for quite a while.
Many years later (and married to my third husband) we were at a friend’s house and the dinner topic was about the “Sandinistas.”
Politics was something I didn’t care about. Shopping was my thing. I considered myself quite the “clothes horse.” I politely listened until the person sitting next to me asked for my opinion. After what seemed like an eternity of silence, I admitted I didn’t know what a Sandinista was. The group (without judgment) gave me a crash course on them and our president who was Ronald Reagan. Then someone suggested I take a course at the local city college if I wanted to learn more about politics.
It turned out I did. That Fall, I enrolled as a full time student. I soaked up the course teachings like a sponge and before I knew it, I was an activist. That went on for almost a decade. It was the critical thinking classes that really got me to think about why I believed the things I did. Where they my beliefs or were they handed down to me? I discovered most of them were given to me by others.
During that time I got interested in religions. I even took courses on them. I wanted to know why everyone believed the things they did. At the time though, I read those books through the lens of an anthropologist. None of the teachings had meaning in my life. They were simply words on paper. I ended up going to a university and got my bachelors on Social Science. I admit, I never did anything constructive with that degree but I did know who the Sandinistas were and could carry on a political discussion.
In the 90s a friend was moving and didn’t have a place for his large bookshelf that contained an assortment of books on spiritual beliefs. I agreed to keep the shelf and the books until he found another place for it. Within two weeks I felt those books “calling to me.” That is the best way to describe it. I started reading them and to be honest many of the books like ones about the Pleiades aliens were to weird for me. I did find some writings that I resonated with.
At the same time I had trouble with anxiety. I went to a psychologist who assigned me several self-help books to read. I found most of them at the library and began to practice the exercises in them. Those books led me to spiritual authors, some of who, crossed over from psychology to spirituality, namely Dr. Wayne Dyer. His writings changed the way i looked at life. He is still my favorite teacher.
In my mid fifties, I was diagnosed with cancer. That is when I discovered Buddhism, along with Louise Hay. My life completely changed that year (2011).
I discovered who I really am and decided to live an authentic life. Buddhism, Goddess energy, Angel teachings and Abraham Hicks became part of my spiritual life. I resonate with all of them.
So that is how I ended up on my spiritual path.
There were lots of twists and turns which on the outside seemed disconnected but looking inward, I now see everything in my life experience were like bread crumbs leading me back to my true self.
What is your “spiritual” story? Feel free to leave a comment.