Heart-break, inside-out heart break, the kind that turns you inside out with all the organs hanging loose and languid. The kind that feels raw and exposing, yet numbing and surreal at the same time. It’s shock. It’s devastation. It rips everything apart and burns everything down. It’s utterly unexpected and rearranges your life. It reinvents you. But before it reinvents you, it destroys you.
I stood there in the ashes of my past, numb and shocked. I stood there like a fool. A fool grasping at sand castles dissolving in the waves. There was nothing. There was nothing left. What happened? I was haunted by this question. I was haunted by a past I could not understand. My past and all my accomplishments were no longer tangible. The only thing left was the ghost of them, and, well…letters to put behind my name that are supposed to tell people I’m “credible”.
I stood dumbfounded and blindfolded with no future-orientation, only the ghost of my past by my side. The ghost wouldn’t leave me alone. It haunted me in every which way. It came to eat with me, sleep with me, and cry with me. It tapped me on the shoulder with its wicked-long Grim Reaper finger to remind me of its presence every time I tried to move forward. It showed up in my dreams and said, “Hey, I know you went to sleep to forget about me, but here I am, cackle…screech…cry” All I could do was bring myself to befriend it. We would listen to the wind, watch the birds, and let the rhythm of the ocean rock us and heal us as we hovered together in an intermediary state between space and time.
More was pulled away, dissolved and purified without promise of rebirth. That’s an understatement. You know the kind of crying that’s mixed with screaming, yelping and deep guttural gorgon sounds? The kind that is doing psychic surgery on your insides down to the innermost crevices of your heart and somehow it even feels like there are tiny shamanic beings altering your DNA? I was in a liminal space of this level of painful purification and healing for a little over 2 years. I started to wonder if I was dying. I started to accept I was dying. I’ve experienced a lot of “spiritual deaths” or parts of my identity dying before, but nothing like this…this was death at a more profound level than the levels I already thought were the most profound levels. It felt like even my soul, the core of my identity, was in a state of metamorphosis, and I couldn’t rest into it for resolve. I’m a “soul reader”, so I would intuitively tune-in to the state of my own soul and be like, “Shit! It looks like an unidentifiable blob of nothing!” One of my closest friends psychically saw my soul while I was in this state too, and I felt embarrassed. She was like, “When I look at your soul, I see this big awkward blob of grey stuff. It’s kind of otherworldly, alien and a bit like Quasimodo.” The next day, I felt so vulnerable and exposed because she saw my ugly ass soul that I was small-talking to her like we had just had a one-night-stand while wearing clown-makeup and slapping each other with fine Italian meats.
So, I did what any ugly ass soul would do. I retreated into the wilderness. There was nothing to do or say. Only to sit in “nothingness”.
I was jaded, I was depressed, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what happened. I couldn’t manifest anything new in my life either. I went between “fuck surrender!” to “surrender” to “fuck surrender!” to “surrender more…” I could only let it all die, let the waves come in and pull it all out to sea. Let the salty air purify me. I was nothing, I AM nothing. “Nothing” had to become my friend. Even the dingle-berries of “pretty much useless somethings that are really nothings” got blasted by the fire-hose of God into “now they are really nothing.” I was embarrassed to be friends with “nothing”. I was embarrassed to be in a place where I couldn’t manifest or contribute to the world in bigger ways. I was more like the walking dead. A loving Buddha monk-like flavor of the walking dead, but still a version of the walking dead nonetheless. A complete fool; the clean slate of “0” after the divine and my own soul mutually conspired to press the reset button on my life (without the signed approval of my ego I might add). My ego was pissed, but lawsuits against divine order aren’t the greatest idea. What made me more of a fool was my false hope, my ego grasping at trying to re-create what I had known from my past into my present life. Like trying to grasp at a laser point on the wall, you just can’t do it. You end up looking like a foolish kitty.
The divine wasn’t having any of that, none of it! No, “nothingness” had to become my new best friend. Resisting was exhausting. The more I resisted, the more truth sucker-punched me. Resisting brought me to exhaustion which brought me to my knees. I surrendered deeper into the only thing left when everything else falls away. I surrendered deeper into the presence of God.
When I speak of “God”, I’m not speaking of dogma or a man-made organized belief. I’m speaking of the only thing that can never be organized, boxed-in or fully understood. It’s that huge! I’m speaking of a pure, brilliant, truthful, unconditionally-loving light within my own heart and along my spine. A cosmic liquid-light within everyone; no one is excluded. When I rest into this, I know I am worthy just for existing. I am loved just for existing. I AM this love. And this love is too big for boxes. This love lets me know I am special just as I am…like a unique snowflake, the only one of its particular design. This love also lets me know I am not special. I exist amongst a sea of snowflakes wedded to the same life-giving force. From afar, it just looks like snow. How humbling is that!?
This God is not mutually exclusive; it is all encompassing. This love loves every area of my identity that society has told me is “not ok”. This love even loves areas of my identity that self-righteous, God-loving people have told me are “not ok”. This God loves me and an earwig, a murderer and Mother Teresa. I mean, who has the capacity to do that? Only a fool… Only a fool in the most revered sense of that term. Only God.
The word “God” does not even capture this love. This love does not live within the confines of gender or religion. This love is pure essence. And it loves us constantly because it IS love. Even when we dismiss it, curse it, hate it, don’t see it or choose it…it still loves us. And our human minds might want to call something like that a masochist or obsessive girlfriend. Yet, it’s not a masochist, obsessive girlfriend or a martyr for that matter. This love does not fit labels. It is simply too big.
It inspires poetry because of its bigness. It’s so vast that there are billions of books with poetry, scripture, story-telling and song attempting to convey its message in different languages and form throughout the world, and although they give us a taste, we still can never capture just how big, limitless and undefinable this love is. It inspires the birth of humans, animals, the natural world, stars and galaxies. There are hundreds of billions of incarnations into different identities, expressions and geometric shapes just so that the sum-of-all-the-parts can come close to expressing the enormity of this love. That is why it is so vital for us to listen to every story and expression from each differing identity and know it is valid, because it is. Not only is it valid, it reflects and expands our own empathy, compassion and capacity to understand just how full this love is.
This love radiates diamond light, the full spectrum of light encompassing the rainbow of light visible to us humans, yet it’s way beyond what’s visible to us. It radiates colors, sounds and vibrations that we cannot even perceive. This love even radiates colors the mantis shrimp cannot see. This love is so vast and unconventional that it’s kind of ludicrous. Why? Because we are told every day that “God” fits conventional standards, religions and even politics. We are told this to the point that wars are started over boxed-in versions of God. We are told this to the point that being considered a “Christian” (along with being a white dude) is a privilege that helps get someone elected as president of the United States. Christian identity is used as a political strategy that boosts a candidate’s likeability and potential for more votes. This reeks of conventional norms of acceptance, yet God is truly anything but conventional, and Jesus Christ was an “unacceptable” Middle Eastern Jew that hung out with rejects.
The point is, God is weird as all get out. Jesus Christ is weird as all get out. I’m weird as all get out. And I’m sure if you gave yourself permission to be who you really are, you’d find out that you are weird as all get out too. So, when I realized God is weird as ALL, and so am I, it was L-I-B-E-R-A-T-I-N-G!
And this is coming from someone who was already weird… I have never “fit in” to any group, clique, mind-set or tradition. I decided to go to graduate school at an unconventional Buddhist University called Naropa. The first week I was there my heart sparkled with abundant joy and I was like, “Yes! I have finally found a place where I fit.” A year later my rose-colored glasses came off and I was like, “Shit, I don’t even fit in to a place with the name Naropa.” I could tell some of the faculty didn’t want to publically acknowledge that they actually liked me because it was too “taboo”. I represented something unacceptable to the established norms in that institution and I still don’t completely know what that thing is.
I’m white, able-bodied and predominately heterosexual, and I know these areas of my identity have always fit in to the established norms of a white-supremacist, ableist, homophobic society. Yet, despite my privileges, I still have never quite “fit in” anywhere. Maybe that is how everyone feels. Maybe “fitting in” is a huge illusion. I know many people represent something unacceptable to the institutions and societal norms. We are definitely not alone. If anything, we are all weirdos at heart, yet a fewer population of the “weirdos” actually acknowledges it. It’s too risky. The threat of being outcasted is too big. And it’s a real threat! Anyone who rubs up against the established norms will be demonized. And if you have brown skin, are gay, don’t fit the gender binary, or are an immigrant, the threat of being demonized is even higher because just existing in those identities alone are already demonized by the societal matrix (and people who unconsciously perpetuate it) EVERY DAY.
So, I’m unclear exactly what it is about my identity that has never quite “fit”. It could be that I’m psychic, which is definitely an area of my identity I stuffed down in myself and locked the door on. The thought of embracing that part of me made me want to throw up. Especially because I’m grossed out by the shadow side of the New Age, and all the psychics, gurus, cult leaders and shamans that are abusing their power, or choosing their line of work from a distorted ego place. That wasn’t how it was for me. My intuitive gifts pounded on the locked door of my psyche in my mid-20’s and created difficult situations in my life, or visceral nightmares in which I could no longer choose to hide it or ignore it. It’s also possible I didn’t quite fit because I went through a phase where I was obsessed with vaginas. I was passionate about the spiritual power behind the vagina, actual biological vaginas, vulvas and uteruses, and the vagina as a gateway to the Goddess. I even wrote my master’s thesis on the vagina and voice connection. Just say, “vagina” with big sparkly eyes of passion and people cringe in fear or disgust. No really, try it.
So anyway, I was already weird. And now that I have rested into an even bigger, more profound version of God within, it is exposing even more of my identities that don’t fit in. Sometimes I nervously wonder how weird I’m going to become. Other times, I cheer on a future version of myself that is as weird as Maude in the movie, “Harold and Maude” or Russell Brand at age 90 and I’m like, “thank God for weirdos!” When I think I’m done getting weird and that I’ll finally settle into a job or identity that people will take seriously or approve of, I outgrow myself and become even weirder. So, I’ve concluded that God must be the biggest freaking weirdo EVER. The more I surrender deeper into my relationship with God, the more I don’t fit any social structure that currently exists. See the correlation? Resting deeper into the God-within (that you already ultimately are) = unacceptable weirdo. The etymology of the word “weird” is “wyrd” which means “destiny” (Harper). So, I’m pretty sure we are all destined to be weird, it’s just that a lot of us opt out of that destiny and choose comfort or the legitimacy of safety.
Sometimes in meditation my ego has “holy shit” moments. These are moments where I think I know who I am, at least one little hair of identity I can hang onto in order to feel some semblance of comfort in “fitting in” to this society, then like an annoying younger sibling God says, “I know you are, but what am I”, that little hair bursts into violet flames, and my identity expands. “Shit, Not again!” I yelp as I cry, then laugh, and say, “thank you” because I’m really more grateful than pissed off. Or other times I’m sitting with all the parts of my identity that seem contradictory in society’s terms, yet they are totally connected in divine terms, and I don’t know what to do with it all. Can I be an androgynous, Jesus-loving, Kundalini practitioner that drinks coffee and doesn’t necessarily dig wearing Indian clothes? Can I be a feminist Christian nymph that thinks dirtiness is next to godliness? I mean, Jesus was born in a manger, right? Wait, back the truck up...can I even be a Christian Kundalini practitioner, period? Instead of being a nice church-goer that is “good wife material”, I’m kind of wild and don’t domesticate easily (in the conventional way at least), yet I’m super-duper loving, accepting, loyal AND a church-goer that is good wife material! Is there someone out there who will want to marry me when they find out about all this? What about when they find out that I’m not just a feminist in the verbiage talk about feminism kind of way, but that I actually embody it…meaning I challenge gender roles just by being who I am which is more androgynous than gendered. In the bedroom too…get what I’m sayin’? I like the no agenda, playfully-erotic, full-bodied, soul-sex that is akin to dolphin-sex. The kind where God is the hottest lover and I’m just surrendering into some sonar communication-like improvisational dance. I should just give-up now, shouldn’t I. I can’t imagine trying to explain all of this to someone. But God is like, “nope, I love all of this, you are right on path, keep it up sister, brother, or whatever it is that you want to call yourself!”
I love to worship and enter ecstatic states of pure joy with Holy Spirit, yet I also love to dig deep into the profane aspects of life. I feel my pain as deep as I feel the expanse of my joy. I spelunk into the shadowy realms, the occult, the places where “god forbidden” witches, magicians and wizards hang out, as well as Carl Jung himself. I’m a deeply sexual, currently celibate, person that’s not “pornographic-sexual”, but more like “nature-turns-me-on-sexual”. You know how dogs sometimes see a dead animal, notice the stank, then put their shoulder down and roll in that shit like there is no tomorrow? I don’t do that literally, but I do that figuratively, in the same way that Heaven makes unabashed love with Earth. Will God still accept me for being a “roll in the stank” profanely-sacred person? Can I be a Holy Dungeon? Can I be a Christian, and still praise my monthly blood and powerhouse ovaries for producing such bad ass, fertile-void, creation/destruction phenomena? Can I be proud to be in a female body, love my vagina, AND simultaneously feel like an androgynous sea creature?
The answer I get over and over again is, “of course!” Of course I can be all of these things and more. The love of God wants us all to be exactly what we already are outside the confines of the man-made, white-supremacist, capitalist, misogynistic, sizeist, xenophobic, homophobic, Earth-destroy, juggernaut matrix.
I know God is not a dude in the sky, but sometimes when I’m meditating I like to imagine God as Dumbledore from Harry Potter belly-laughing at me with a jolly attitude going, “of course! hahaha…of course you can be all that you are you silly goose! That’s what it’s all about, I love it all!” And every time Dumbledore-God laughs at me, I laugh at myself for taking myself too seriously. I’m like, “damn, I’m self-absorbed…”, then I relax and rest deeper into ALL of myself which gives me more permission to be just as I am. Then in subsequent meditations I’ll hear little gnat voices buzzing around, “Can I be a social justice-loving Christian that doesn’t vibe with the dominant Christian narrative, nor the shame/blame policing culture in some social justice circles, yet totally vibes with truth-telling and unpacking privilege?” or “Can I be a Christian New-Ager that doesn’t like incense, cultural appropriation or frou frou airy-fairy stuff, yet communicates with animals and dead people?” And God bless his heart…Dumbledore-God still laughs in a jolly, yet non-belittling way, and says, “yes, you silly goose, be ALL of it and more. I love ALL of you.” And then I laugh and cry at the same time, love myself more, and say, “damn, humans are self-absorbed.”
So, the inside-out, heart-wrenching transformation of the last 2 years has not led me to a new career, saleable identity, financial abundance or beautiful partnership. Rather, these past 2 years have led me into a deeper relationship with the love of God inside myself and a liberated knowing that God is way weirder than I’ll ever be. At this point, I don’t even care what God is reinventing for me. I care more about reminding everyone I meet that they are incredibly loved just for existing. I hope I can inspire people to dismantle conditioning and give themselves permission to rest into exactly who they are, even if its “edgy” or doesn’t “fit” societal norms. It is this very permission that makes our hearts huge and shiny, and naturally causes the juggernaut matrix to lose its powerful grips on us. So please, be ALL of who you are you silly goose!
Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, 2001-2017, www.etymonline.com/index.php? term=weird&allowed_in_frame=0. Accessed 23 September 2017.
Written September 23, 2017.