TO CELEBRATE THE OCTOBER RELEASE OF MY BOOK THRASHING ABOUT WITH GOD, AND TO EXPAND THE CONVERSATION BEYOND MYSELF, I HAVE ASKED 31 BRAVE PEOPLE TO SHARE A GUEST POST WITH THE THEME OF #IAMTHRASHING. THESE ARE PEOPLE I HAVE PERSONALLY DIALOGUED WITH, PEOPLE WHO I KNOW HAVE RISKED A LOT TO WRESTLE WITH THE HARD STUFF THAT COMES WITH SPIRITUALITY. OUR FAITH MAY NOT LOOK LIKE YOURS, BUT WE WELCOME YOU TO THE DISCUSSION.
I don't even remember exactly when my walk with the Divine began. It seems the chorus of "Amazing Grace" has been sung to me since birth, an ever present staple of my youth. I remember my blonde hair in pigtails, white cotton dress made for spinning until I fell down, black and white saddle shoes with white lacey cuffed socks and spearmint gum in the bottom of my granny's purse. Sundays were our dressiest days. I lived for those monents. I would hold the hymnal upside down while standing on the pews to sing. And I would sing so very loudly. Because I wanted God to hear what a good girl I was being. I was fearful that he might miss me and my dutiful goodness.
At some point in my troubling teenage angst years, I started to have deeply philosophical, questioning conversations with my family. I was under the impression that you were golden if you were a born-again Christian who gave your life over to Jesus Christ but I worried about people who didn't know of Christ. Who weren't Christian. I was told they would burn in hell. And all those people who had "weird" religions I knew absolutely nothing about (and quite frankly was way too scared to ask about)? Were they damned, too? I just couldn't understand how God could condemn someone for not believing in Him, for not knowing Him. "What about those poor people in Africa?", I would say with despair. "How is God going to send all those starving people to Hell?"
He cannot possibly be the loving and gracious God I hear about in between hymns on Sundays. Who does that to perfectly nice people? I was so disgusted by the simple fact that God would send people, who (I assumed) knew nothing of Him to hell, that I began to lose the faith. No one could answer my heartfelt questions. I searched for answers for years...
I rejected the idea of God entirely in my twenties. Maybe it was my depression, maybe it was being married to an atheist, either way, I thought you had to be smoking crack to believe in God. My very best friends and I had to call a truce on religious discussions because they became so heated, none of us really knowing ourselves well enough to banter definitively, we decided we loved each other enough to agree to disagree. I was angry that these strong, well educated women believed in a book that dictated their purity and timidness a well desired trait. What the hell was all that bra burning for anyway? And what if God were really a woman?
I still had so many questions.
Fast forward to my thirties, I was divorced, my world turned upside down. Everything I knew in my heart as truth was no longer. I spun out of control for a while. I'd always been a strong woman, I assumed I could handle everything on my own, and quite well I might add. I actually failed miserably. I was humbled daily. I had to learn to extend a palm instead of a fist. And then I fell in love.
I chose to believe in love again. Because what is life without love? He adored me. He encouraged me. He challenged me to open my mind, to trust myself, to question everything. He showed me true freedom in all forms. And I found myself along the way. What a gift.
I can say with my entire being that if it hadn't been for the wholehearted encouragement of my husband, I might not know myself today. At least, not the way I do now. I am eternally grateful to him for loving me enough to let me go. And boy, have I wandered.
I've delved into Buddhism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Zen, Wicca, Pagaenism, Theology, Faeries, Earth Medicine, Light Healers, Reiki, Yoga, Wise Women, Crystal, and many other areas of faith, belief and self improvement. I've held new moon rituals and burned my intentions into the earth on a full moon. I've given offering of love, sweat, ash and stone to the earth. I've gathered with women, exchanging prayers and stories, while holding our own sort of chruch. I've laid on the grass and watched the stars shoot across the night sky. I've never felt closer to the Creator than that night.
Through it all I've discovered that I am a deeply spiritual person. I yearned for a deepness to Source that you can only find by looking within and without. Do I believe in God now? Maybe. But I can say without a doubt I believe in humanity and the goodness that connects us all. We are all the same. Our lights beacon to one another, growing brighter as we converge. We ebb and flow to each other, showing up when the time is right, then fading away when time is up.
I could go in to great detail about my story, write a book even, but I'm firm in my belief that we each have our own path to walk. My journey has been long and adventurous, and it's not over yet. Finding yourself along the way is half of the battle when it comes to Faith. I'll happily give you directions through my part of town, maybe even a cup of tea and a muffin, but you'll have to walk most of it on your own. You will thank me in the end.
I am a believer of peace and possibilities. I am a Holistic Birth Doula, artist and stylist. I have two beautiful boys and a sweet girl. I am married to a man who challenges me daily. I am Deanna.
You may find me here: earthboundsouldoula.com.