As I look back at my life, just a few years ago, when I first walked into Plymouth Spiritualist Church (PSC), I was so broken. I remember sitting in service with tears streaming down my face. I only needed to hear the healing music and tears would just flow and flow. I had no idea how broken and wounded I was at that time. And even as I was crying, for what seemed to be no reason, I did not understand why then. I didn’t know that I had begun a healing journey.
I really didn’t understand my wounds or that I had begun seeing the world and life as I had never seen it before, that I had found something that had been hidden all around me for my entire life but had eluded me time and time again. I found myself in a new place of discovery.
Yes I had come to a place of discovery. I came upon this place of discovery by accident. I wasn’t searching for it. I didn’t even know I needed to find it. My past had led me to this place through much pain and what seemed to be suffering. I no longer use the term suffering because I no longer have a need for that label. That is what it felt like for my understanding at the time, but now I understand how it was so necessary for me. The person that I am needs the strong push to breakthrough and release what no longer serves me. I realize this and that I am stubborn in my commitments to beliefs. I can accept that I can be wrong or that there could be a better way, but I need proof. I have to be shown or I will keep going the way I always have gone and believe what I have always believed.
When I walked through those doors at PSC, I had just walked out of what I had considered to be a horrendous marriage. The only thing I understood about that marriage was that I was done with it. I stayed as long as I could and felt I should because after two prior failed marriages, I did not want to leave anything undone, unsaid or incomplete. I needed to learn whatever I needed to learn so that I would not repeat this same mistake ever again. It had been my third try with basically the same personality with the same issues. I knew I had to finish this lesson that I had not fully learned the other two times even though I felt the shame of a third try failure.
As I look back at this failure, I am grateful because this failure was one of the greatest lessons I ever learned. It pushed me into a space and a place I don’t believe I would have come to on my own. In so doing it helped me to come to understand something about myself. I don’t come to discovery or awareness easily. I need the hard push and that was a hard push.
This abusive marriage was my push, right out of a comfortable unchanging place into a world that was hidden all around me. I found this world as I contemplated taking my life. Having previous religious teachings about suicide, I started looking for a different answer to that no forgiveness part of it. I felt near death experiences would tell me more about the other side of death than any other sources I could find. The stories and experiences of those who had seen the other side and returned to tell it opened up a world to me that I had not expect to find. This world hid the answers that I had been asking the questions of all of my life. Finally I was in a place that made sense. I felt like I had awakened out of a sleep and suddenly discovered a world that had co-existed with my old world.
My discovery of this new world also led me to Plymouth Spiritualist Church. I walked through the doors and discovered many others who found their way to Plymouth as well. It felt like a return to home with long lost family. The years I spent at PSC were years of learning and growing into another aspect of myself which brought me healing, peace, love and knowledge that I need not fear death. When you learn that there is no real death or hell fire, it takes away the fear. I believe this is what Paul meant in scripture when he said “Oh Death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” (1 Cor.15:55).
When you come to accept that God really is love, many things are released and set free from within you. It allows you to live in love and peace. It becomes easier to make a better choice. Learning to accept this truth of Infinite Love takes so much pressure off. I dropped all of the needless concern and focus on sin and getting it right and no longer lived in the fear of getting it wrong.
I am grateful to be in this place of knowing. It has been a good journey getting to this place. However, in so doing, I realize there is more. I don’t feel that I am all that I could be. There is a missing piece that I feel is hidden in plain sight once again. I just have not come to discover it yet. I believe that when we set out on any journey, we take with us the very thing we are searching for. This reminds me of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She had the ability to go home all the time. She just had to come to the right place and time to see it within her.
The journey gives us an experience which awakens our awareness to who we really are, to release things that no longer serve us, and to meet others who will help us learn about ourselves. Meeting our challenges helps us to exercise and become stronger to handle the awareness as we awaken to new levels of ourselves. As I take this journey to self-discovery, there will be challenges to help me come to the awareness of who I already am.
May the past experiences become catalysts to help me propel forward on my journey to discover new aspects of who I truly am. May I not shrink back from any challenges that I may face but understand that they are a part of my progress and process to self-discovery. May I learn a deeper and greater love for myself and appreciate where I have come from as I learn to love myself fully and completely.