Let Them Eat Cake……Some Other Time

Source: thecomfortofcooking.com

Source: thecomfortofcooking.com

There’s a beautiful blend of the moisture of yellow cake and the sweetness of butter cream frosting that I fell in love with as a kid.  My parents didn’t seem to mind, considering their only goal was to keep me from not eating chocolate for a fear of getting cavities.  But there was only one catch: I could only enjoy this treat whenever someone had a birthday.  So I grew up with this being a luxury.  Of course as time has progressed, I’ve gained a love for a lot of pastries, but traditional (or as i call it, birthday cake) cake always wins with me.  So imagine my surprise when last night I got a craving for cake and didn’t eat any.

Source: birthday-kid.com

Source: birthday-kid.com

Usually when I get the craving to have some cake, I get it.  It’s there, I have the money for it, and I get to go home with either a small 9-inch cake or a single layer sheet cake.  So it doesn’t have to be my birthday for me to have any cake.  So yesterday I was at work doing what I normally do; spreadsheet work, part-time therapist for whoever comes into my office to vent, and meetings.  I began to just crave something sweet, and since I had to go to the store for groceries anyway, I figured, “Why not slide a sheet cake in my basket?”  So I made my way to the Bakery.  First off, they had nothing but chocolate, which I’m not a fan of.  So I went to the display case and looked at all the cakes.  Finally, I found a traditional cake.  My birthday cake.  I went to reach for it when that little voice said,

“You know you don’t want that cake, for real.  Why are you reaching for that cake? What value do you get from having cake right now at this very moment?  Maybe you’re just thirsty.  What does this cake mean to you, honestly?”

Source: onesilentmoment.com

Source: onesilentmoment.com

Traditional “birthday” cake symbolized in that moment for me instant gratification.  I don’t need permission to eat it, I don’t need a special occasion to have it.  When I cut my slice, I can make it as big or as small as I want, every time I want it.  It’s what I want.  That’s when it hit me: I wasn’t getting what I want in my own life, so I go for the one thing I can get easily and be happy in that moment. There’s a void in my life that I was going to fill up with cake.  I’m aware of this now because in the past, I would just eat cake until I got sick, THEN feel bad that I ate so much.  But now I see this void as being a lack of fulfillment.  That I’m not asking for what I want in my own life.  That it’s time to get focused and honest about what it is that I need for me to feel satisfied.  It’s time for me to claim it; the things, the situations, the experiences that I want for my life and not being afraid to say them aloud.  Then, go for everything or at the very least, believe that it’s already coming.

I’d still love some cake.  Just not today.

Hoarders: Traveler’s Edition

I’m planning a very big trip this year.  I’m talking international big.  Big as in, “You may want to spring for the wi-fi on board, cause it’s gonna be a long flight” big.  Big that it spans a few oceans.  Scratch it off your To-Do list, big.  I’ve never taken on anything this big before in my adult life.  Yes, I’ve been on vacation before, but it’s always been with family and friends and the costs have always been split fairly down the middle (or in the case of my parent’s anniversary, taken care of completely!). But this experience has been a new one and showed me a side of me that I still need work on.  I’m a bit of a hoarder of money.  And when I have to spend a great deal of money…I get really, really, anxious.

Source: twinfinite.com

Source: twinfinite.com

I challenged myself a few years ago to open a savings account and pay myself with each and every paycheck.  For the last two years, that’s been working for me and I managed to save over $2,000.  I was proud of myself; proud that I was disciplined enough to not spend it on myself (or give it away to a friend who you know can’t pay you back.  lesson: learned). I took pride in knowing that I had saved all of this money to use at my discretion, but for what?  A car? A security deposit on a new place?  Shoes?  I didn’t know but I figured when the time is right, I’d use it.  Then my South African trip came and I moved some of the money to purchase the steal price of a lifetime!  I had my plane ticket.  I had a date.  I even had more money to use towards my trip.  Then I got into the planning stage and wanted to save as much as I possibly could.  So I started looking at sales and began to get a plan in motion: I would pay for my trip in increments.  That way, I won’t feel so overwhelmed.  But then I made a very crucial mistake: I started sharing my plans with others and getting their feedback.  What was it?  Well, it was pretty much unanimous:

This trip sounds like it’s gonna cost you a lot of money

I didn’t want it to cost me a lot of money, I wanted to get the best deal that I could.  So I started researching my ass off for the cheapest deals around.  I signed up for more travel groups than I knew existed.  I had several apps and airlines send me updates weekly on plane ticket prices; wanting to snag not only the best deal but keep my precious in the bank.  I thought I was being resourceful and smart.  What I was doing was hesitating and stalling.  The more I did that, the more the prices began to rise.  I started thinking, “Maybe this trip is too much for me to handle all by myself.  Maybe I was too ambitious to plan a trip halfway around the world.  Nothing is paid for and I have to still factor in food and activities.”  I started to give up.  I started to feel overwhelmed.  I started to mimic other people’s perceptions and fears about my vacation.  It just became all too much for me to deal with.  The byproduct of that was I was holding on to my money even tighter.  I didn’t want to lose it, even though I saved it to be used how I wanted.

Source: bingebehavior.com

Source: bingebehavior.com

Over the weekend, I decided to step away from the trip planning phase and really sit with my anxiety.  I’m becoming really huge on meditation and being still.  So, I got still.  I listened to my own voice and not the voices of others.  Once that was clear, I was able to hear my scared voice.  It didn’t have to do with the money; like I said before, I had save more than enough to start spending it how I felt.  Plus, I had an actual plan in motion and my hesitation was hindering that.  I was standing in my own way because I was afraid to fail.  Yes, I was afraid that I would make all the wrong decisions with planning my trip.

What if I buy the tickets now and they’re cheaper in April?  This hotel SEEMS nice, but what if I just booked a room at the Roach Motel?  Will I even have enough time or even feel up to doing all of this at once?  

This is where trusting your gut comes into play.  I had to trust myself that I was making the right decision for me.  Also, there’s no “perfect” time to pay for anything, just like there’s no “right” time to seize an opportunity. Sometimes, you just got to go for it.  To just dive in and go for it!   So that’s what I did…and I managed to pay for 80% of my trip.

It also helps that airfare is cheaper on Tuesdays.  What?  I said there’s no perfect time…I didn’t say anything about a perfect day.

Is It Safe Yet, Mercury?

Yes, I believe in Mercury Retrograde.  Yes, I understand that the planet doesn’t actually “revolve” backwards.  Sure, maybe a lot of what happens during those two weeks could all be a figment of my imagination and that I’m “attracting” all of this in my life.  But, and smirk all you want to cynic, when Mercury goes backwards, a lot of things go bad for me.  Actually, the typical things that’s associated with the retrograde happen to me.  But this particular cycle seem to hit me the hardest. In fact, this was one of thee most difficult retrogrades I’ve ever experienced.   I’ll just highlight a few.

Electronics

iphone

You want to know how I knew Mercury was in retrograde?  Yep, my cell phone started acting crazy.  If I wasn’t losing my signal for no reason, the screen would freeze up.  At work, my entire Z drive just magically disappeared before my eyes as I was working on a spreadsheet.  Text messages would come out of order, phone conversations would be inaudible, and more recently, a slew of social media sites blocking you from posting due to “suspicious activity”.  Even when I got home, I couldn’t connect to the wi-fi and most of my movie streaming networks just failed to work properly. Anytime my electronics act up, it gives me another reason to just unplug and unwind.  I don’t need to tweet out everything at the moment.  I got to journal a lot more and just sit still with no distractions.

Travel

traffic

You’re always told that during a retrograde, you should give yourself some extra time for traveling (I’ll keep this in mind for my trip…which is the second round of Mercury’s retrograde…..I know, I know).  Well, I didn’t take heed to this and suffered greatly.  I’ve been in traffic before but these last couple of weeks, some days have just been ridiculous.  I also take public transportation and there have been days….DAYS….when the bus just didn’t show up.  Literally.  There was no bus.  I’ve never seen anything like it, especially not consecutively.  The silver lining for me with this is I’ve learned to trust my gut.  There were some mornings where I just didn’t feel the need to “rush” to get out the house.  I took my time because I knew that Mercury was going to do a number on me.  While in traffic, I spruced up on my French (thanks, Duolingo!), watched Netflix, and read a book.   Traveling during a retrograde teaches me patience all over again and I’m grateful for the lesson.

Relationships

Every ex you could imagine showed up during this retrograde.  Now, this is actually something that’s never happened to me. I’ve only read about how people from your past come back into your life.  Some of my exes came up in my thoughts, which of course was annoying because, well, who wants to constantly think about an ex who (if you’re anything like the ones I got) is happily married?  Well..there’s a reason for this.  During retrograde, when an ex appears back into your life, it’s the time to settle some “karmic debt.” Meaning?  Time to forgive, beloved.  The person you need to forgive is entirely up to you.  For me, the exes that kept coming up in my thoughts for “karmic debt” was for me to finally forgive myself.  They weren’t the source of my pain; I was.  I didn’t understand how to love another person.  I was young.  I gave up easily.  So the person I really needed to forgive was myself.  I would meditate with the ex in mind at the time and would forgive, then release.  It felt great…until actual exes started showing up in my physical life.  One in particular brought up a lot of past hurt that I thought I had worked through.  I just merely pushed it down from my memory because it was too painful to deal with. When he came back, wanting that old thing back, the feelings resurfaced.  I have cried so much during this period.  It’s really been therapeutic.

So yes, this retrograde has been intense, but it has been the most eye-opening experience I’ve ever had. I’ve become more clear with how I communicate, how I view myself, and others.  I’m also glad that today is the last day.

Extended Deadline

This morning, I received a rejection letter…..and it was the best thing that’s ever happened to me!

I learned my lesson.  I wasn’t going to let another opportunity pass me by this year.  So last week, I saw an opportunity to do a fellowship for an online travel website. I was focused, I meditated daily, and filled myself up with enough affirmations to publish a book.  I kept telling myself “This time around, I won’t punk out.”

Then I read the application.  And found myself ready to punk out.

exhausted__or_dead__by_ImSHOE

I didn’t run from the feeling, I actually ran towards it.  I was intimidated; they were looking for a legit writer, where I felt that I wasn’t.  The questionnaire was personal and made me think deep.  So I took a deep breath and just answered straight from my heart.  And let me tell you, the words just flowed from my fingertips.  I answered each question with ease and a confidence that was startling, but welcomed.  I knew that I wasn’t qualified for the position, but I applied anyway.  In my mind, if I just poured my heart out on this application and do my very best, that maybe the person over the application would see some potential in me and make me an apprentice.  Once I clicked “Submit”, I wanted to cry tears of joy.  The crippling feeling I felt the last time I applied for a fellowship that I felt grossly unqualified for, I pushed through them.

Well, I didn’t get the position.  But I’m grateful.  I proved to myself that if it’s something that I really want, I can go for it with no regrets.  I want to live my life from this moment on with as little regrets as possible.

The List: 2015 Edition

Happy New Year!  This is pretty much a tradition on my blog as I do a list every year.  Some people call it a resolution, but I like to think of my annual lists as something to aspire to in the new year.  Now, let me admit two things:  1) I wrote this list on December 21st, and……..I’ve never completed a list before.  I know, I know!  But this year, I feel that it’s possible.  I aimed big. I believe in myself (and in making smaller goals) and this year already feels magical.  So, here’s the list!:

  1. Go skydiving. If you follow this blog long enough, this has always rolled over from year to year.  Last year, I had it all set up: I set the date.  I got the directions.  I even rented a car to drive out to the flight site and then……brick wall.  Truth is, I didn’t plan my time better.  I had scheduled a mini-vacay during the weekend of my jump; trying to do everything at once.  The result: a super tired Tiffany wanting nothing more than to go home.  This year will be different.
  2. Go to one music festival. Last year, going out of town to see Outkast perform live sparked something in me.  After missing Prince at Essence and D’Angelo at AfroPunk, I made a pact that I would go to some sort of outdoor music festival.  Even if I don’t go out of town to do so, this year I’m making it a priority to get outside and enjoy music.
  3. Visit two countries. Remember, I created this list on December 21st with one goal in mind; I wanted to travel internationally.  To finally step out of the Atlanta-Miami-Vegas matrix and really see the world.  I’ve been dreaming of doing it, but it never went past that.  Thanks to a Christmas miracle, not only will this be scratched off the list, I’ll be able to scratch it off before my birthday.  All I wanted was two countries, and I’m actually visiting two continents!
  4. Learn French.  Because, why not?
  5. Save $3,000.  I did a 52 week money challenge last year where I successfully saved over $1,000 for myself, but I wanted to aim higher.  Can I save more?  Of course I can!  Plus, I’m not just saving for me, I’m also saving for my daughter’s college.  So what better challenge to take on.
  6. Have a spa day.  I went to a spa once….and loved it.  Having a day dedicated to relaxation and not worrying about bills, deadlines, or even laundry sounds heavenly.  I’d love to have these once a month in the near future.
  7. Find a new job.  February of this year, I would have been at my current job for 4 years, and while most people would see this as a blessing and ride it out (I see the blessing in being employed, too), I feel my time here is coming to a close. There’s just somewhere else I need to be, something else I’m suppose to learn, some other way I’m suppose to be of service.  I don’t know where it is, but I’m open.
  8. Get 500 readers on my blog. Vanity?  Maybe.  I’m looking to grow as a woman and a writer and I’d be honored if I was able to reach this number this year.  It’s a lofty goal, I know.
  9. Buy a cruiser bike.  I want one.  I want one. I WANT ONE!  Always have.  It could be a city thing, maybe a dash of a hipster thing.  Either way, when the weather gets warm, I want a bike to travel.
  10. Donate $500 to charity.  A carry-over from last year, I would like to give back however I can.  I realized that this goal will probably be spread out throughout different organizations, which is fine with me.  I’ve also expanded this to include helping fund small businesses as well.
  11. Weigh 190 lbs. This goal isn’t impossible, because I can do the work necessary to make this a reality.  What I’m focused on is the self-sabotaging that I’ve done to have my weight creep back up past the 200s again.  Doing the internal work will show in my external and I can’t wait to write about this success.
  12. Take 13 weekend trips. Re-defining my weekends.  Another push to travel more.  Three-day weekends especially.
  13. Get a sew-in weave.  Because lazy.  Also versatility.  Plus, I haven’t had one since I was a teenager, so it would be fun to play with a different look for a while.
  14. Cook 100 vegan meals. I’ve done the math on this one.  I also at the tail end of last year begun to purchase more vegan cookbooks than I could count.  My challenge is having the energy to actually cook them.  This may have to be a weekend thing *looks at goal #12*…..oh y’all keep me lifted in encouragement.
  15. Go on 3 vacations.  One down, two to go.  Again, a way for me to relax and reconnect because my job won’t give me the time off, so I’ll take it for myself.

That’s my list, folks!

All Guts, Some Glory

If someone were to ask me what the theme of 2014 was, I’d tell them without flinching, “Trust your instinct”.  This is an aspect of my life that has been weakened because I’d always look to others that I felt were smarter/wiser/sharper than me to tell me how to maneuver through this life.   Over the last few years, I’ve been on this hard but amazing journey of finding out who I am and what I want and what my purpose is in this lifetime…and on this journey, I’ve learned that the internal voice or nudge is the best guide I have; if it was stronger.  But it’s coming along nicely.  I’ll tell you two major times this year where my instincts kicked into super high gear.  One was a success.  The other was a failure.  Let’s just get the failure out the way.

The Little Intern That Couldn’t (the failure)

Because I dedicated a whole post (go on, read it) about it, I won’t go into a whole lot of detail about it.  That missed opportunity really gets to me from time to time.  I look back sometimes and wish I had more confidence in myself and in my abilities.  I couldn’t go past the “what if…” about all of it: quitting my job to move to New York, starting at the basic level, being critiqued by not only mentors but other interns, the next step afterwards.  I just couldn’t see past my own insecurities and that became louder than my instinct to just go for it.  Maybe I would’ve gone further in the internship.  Maybe I would’ve been stopped at the interview.  Maybe I would’ve seen the opportunity for me to be bold in other areas.  I’ll never know the outcome, so I let it go.  Just know that I absolutely learned the lesson

Run The World, Girl (the success)

Christmas Day was like any other Thursday for me; it just didn’t feel like a holiday.  Still, I was able this year to give my family gifts (pretty awesome ones, too!) so I was more excited to see them open their gifts than me receiving one.  So while I was in the midst of waiting for everyone to open their presents, I decided to go onto Twitter and my timeline just seemed to be all a buzz about going to Abu Dhabi for under $200.  Curious, I went to see my favorite travel account, Travel Noire, talk about an airline having amazing fares to different places internationally.  So I went in with the intention of going to Abu Dhabi, but something else caught my attention.

Johannesburg.

Immediately, my instincts started kicking in and this time, I wasn’t going to ignore it.  I played with the departure and arrival time.  I took their advice on which dates to book (Monday-Thursday have the best deals) and I fell on the perfect date: May 18, which is exactly 2 days before my birthday.  Then I saw the price: $355.  My instincts went into high gear, but I was paralyzed with fear.

OMG…are you really about to do this?  It’s South Africa!  You’d be going to South Africa for your birthday!  But you’d be alone.  And you know nothing about where you’re going.  But this is could open your traveling door.  Am I really about to do this? 

I saw this as an opportunity that I would not pass up.  I could afford the ticket, the departure date gave me plenty of time to plan and prep however I felt it to be necessary, and how dope would it be to go to SOUTH AFRICA!!!  I pressed through….and bought the plane ticket.  Then I looked at my itinerary: a day in Paris, then Johannesburg, then another day in Abu Dhabi on the way home (see!  I still get to go to Abu Dhabi!).  My instincts got me a trip to South Africa for my birthday.

Fear is natural.  It’s also normal.  I’ll probably never rid my life of fear…but I’ve learned that my instincts, that “gut feeling”, will always guide me in the right direction.  Here’s to letting it be my compass in 2015.

Saturday Sitdown Vol. 7

It’s the last Saturday of the year and I have to say, this has been a real eye-opening year full of incredible highs and some heart breaking lows. So as we go into 2015 together, my message is to enjoy the sweet spots.

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What is a sweet spot? Well, it’s whatever makes you feel good in the moment. So often we’re rushing through life; bouncing from one task to another. We feel overwhelmed with e-mails or the morning news. We get to work and get piled with deadline after deadline…all while being everything to everybody else. So a sweet spot could be lunch at your favorite restaurant, a song on the radio, a conversation with a good friend. Whatever moment that allows you to really slow down and feel fully present are the sweet spots in life. This year, I’ve been paying attention to mines. It’s the few extra minutes in bed when the alarm goes off. The morning cup of green tea. Yoga. Moments of silence in my office. They all keep me enjoying daily life just a little more.

Think about how you can luxuriate in the sweet spot more. If you don’t have one, then what a beautiful place to be! Think of what one thing you can do daily to bring sweetness into it. Is it a trip to a coffee shop? Meditation? A scented soap to use in the shower? The choice is yours! I challenge you to really get still, get centered, and enjoy the sweet spots today and the days after that.

That’s FOMO!

Over the weekend, I had a taste of what it was really like to disconnect.  I talked about how I would be more present in my life and I even started implementing a few ways to just connect back to myself:

  • I stopped using my cell phone as an alarm clock.
  • Actually, I stopped bringing my cell phone into the bedroom, period!
  • No social media app will be opened until 8:00 a.m.
  • No reading or responding e-mails until 9:00 a.m. (my inbox overwhelms me on a daily)
  • No text messages, unless it’s an absolute emergency, until 8:00 a.m.

I did all of this in an effort to put myself first in the morning and it worked.  That is, until I woke up Friday morning just not caring.  I didn’t care what the trending topic was.  I didn’t care to know whose aunt was coming in for the weekend or what holiday party someone couldn’t stand to be at.  I just felt out of alignment in a sense.  So I went throughout my day, at work (which is where I’m always on social media) not on any site.  I wasn’t connected….and didn’t miss it at all.

Saturday was a sweet repeat of Friday: I spent time with friends off the phone (they, on the other hand…..) celebrating a birthday and having a good time.  Sunday was spent in bed with Netflix, the perfect combination. I felt clear minded and refreshed  Then Monday came, and I broke my digital fast.  I saw tweet after tweet and felt completely out the loop on whatever topic was up for discussion for the day.  I’ll admit that I did miss some of my more mystic tweeters (because they’ve been so inspirational this month), but I didn’t get a big case of the FOMO.  What’s FOMO?

Fear. Of. Missing. Out. 

The biggest hurdle in most people putting their phones down is that we feel we may miss out on something.  What that thing is?  I don’t know.   Technology has made is so convenient to stay informed 24/7 about any and everything that we become overwhelmed.  Seriously, have you ever been in the middle of a meeting and have a notification go off on your phone?  Why do I need to know that there’s a 30% off sale on flights at 3:45 in the morning?!  But I’ve been a victim of FOMO before; I’ve scrolled down a page to see what was talked about while I was away.  I’ve clicked on a hashtag to find out why it was started or what people were saying.  I’ve glared at my phone in the middle of the night and refreshed a page more times than I can count.   Last weekend taught me that I can survive without checking my app.  Next year, I’ll probably go longer without being connected.   Maybe a week.  Maybe longer.  I’m sure I won’t miss anything.

 

 

Image

Dash

Life isn’t about the day you’re born….or even the day you die.  It’s the dash.  The line inbetween is what matters most.   – Mayor Marion Barry

 

Source: abcnews.go.com

Source: abcnews.go.com

Two things you should know really quickly:  I’m from DC and this is the only mayor I’ve ever cared to know.   If you’re really from the District of Columbia, then you know Mayor Barry because you’ve met him.  Several times.  He genuinely loved Washington, DC.  Washington, DC loved him.  Even in the midst of the scandal and the infamous “This bitch set me up!”, we still embraced him as ours.  He cared about us.  He fought for us.  He created jobs for us.  He was just a larger than life man.  So his passing yesterday really hit home for me.  Funny, I’m beginning to cry over people’s passing that aren’t my immediate family or close friends.  When I heard of his passing, I immediately remembered his quote about the dash between the day you’re born and the day you die.  “What do you do with the dash?  What’s in that dash is what defines you” is what I remember hearing him say, and it has stuck with me to this very day.  So, in memory of Mayor Marion Barry, I’m going to add to my dash.  Hopefully, you’ll add to yours, too.

The Devil. . . Is A Liar? (Conclusion)

Three-part blog.  Crazy, right?  But I didn’t want it to be too lengthy, so thank you for letting me get this off my proverbial chest.  And if you haven’t read Part One or Two, I suggest you do.  It’s not necessary or anything, but it would be nice! 

Source: miista.com

Source: miista.com

I had prayed and set my intention on one thing for a while: to meet and be a part of a sisterhood.  I’ve always wanted more female friends and felt like I’ve missed out on what women did around each other.  I had always befriended men easily and became “just one of the guys” but I wanted a group of women that I could laugh with, cry with, heal with, drink wine (if that was their thing) with.  So I looked to Twitter as that unofficial sisterhood.  I learned a lot about holistic medicine and natural care practices.  We share recipes and concoctions from green smoothies to whipped shea butter mixtures.  My astrology sisterfriend gave me a reading on my birthday and she told me that this year, to pay attention to my desires, especially when it comes to the occult.   That my interest and creativity would come from this exploration.  So is it a coincidence that through my Twitter timeline that I came across two modern witches?  Not necessarily.  It was my intent all along.  So here is where I am today; a novice in the occult.  Being swept away in healing crystals and cleansing baths.  Lighting incense for the first time since college and using candles during my meditation.  Just recently, I purchased thee most beautiful tarot cards and have found myself wanting to get to “know” my deck by using a card a day.  In fact, it was today’s card that caused this blog.

Don't be scared.

Don’t be scared.

After my meditation, I now incorporate a card from my new deck.  This is how I will familiarize myself with the deck and possibly start doing readings (on myself, for starters) next year.  So this morning, this is the card I pulled.  My heart froze.  For the past few days, I’ve been getting the pentacles; which represents harvest, generosity, prosperity.  Why would The Devil show up today?  Then I thought about what my friend told me over a month ago: that I was going down a dangerous path and further away from God, but I didn’t understand it.  My cards, like everything else I’ve been doing, was my way to communicate with God.  I invite Him into my practice all the time.  I still pray daily, but even that was beginning to feel empty.  Was she right?  Was this card right?  My mind was all over the place and I felt like crying.  This whole time, I felt I was on the right path.  Hell, I felt like I never got off it but here I was; derailed like hell.  I stared at this card for the longest time and then took a deep breath.  Usually with cards like these, they have a particular meaning that you have to dig deep to find.  This card?  It deals with addiction, negativity, toxic relationships, materialism.  Whatever has its claws (or hooves…thanks, goat!) sunk into you has to be addressed.  So what was it for me?  I sat silently and let the answer come from within.  From God.  The Source.  The Source I never left.  The Source that never left me.

Guilt.

My entire life, I had been made to feel guilty about being interested in the occult.  It started with my aspirations of being a medium (and a gypsy, which I’ve talked about before).  With wanting to look into crystal balls and read tarot cards.  People that have identified as Christians have told me that these things are wrong; that even the curiosity of it would allow the Devil to come in and destroy your faith.  Don’t even think about doing any rituals, because doing so just solidified your reservation in Hell.  Wanting to learn more was met with judgment and shame.  My friend constantly telling me that I need “deliverance” comes from a critical and judgmental place; she has spotted something within me that is “wrong” and it has to be made “right”.  But…there isn’t anything wrong with me.  Just like there’s nothing inherently wrong with her.  My mom, either.  This is what they were taught, so this is what they know.  What do I know?  I know that we’re all on this journey together.  Your path may not look like my path, but it doesn’t mean we’re not on it together.   This year, I’ve been feeling guilty about reading the spiritual texts that I have been reading; they contradict everything I was taught in the church, but they made more sense to me.  I felt bad for not seeing the elitism in Christianity anymore; that we were just like everybody else.  Spiritual beings having a human experience.  I stopped seeing our differences and started connecting to strangers.  Even pointing out that at our core we’re the same seemed to agitate my friend, who quickly dismissed my revelation by bringing up extreme examples of rapist and murderers (I wanted to challenge that, but I learned a long time ago that you let people like her just talk.  You simply nod your head in agreement).

 

Maybe my friend is right; I could be doing this all wrong.  Maybe I’m right; this is all a part of re-defining who I am.  What I do know is that I’m done feeling guilty about it.  The desire is in my heart and so help me God, I’m going with it.

 

 

 

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