Monthly Archives: November 2016

Spill

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spilled-coffee

(Disclaimer: None of the opinions expressed represent anyone’s but my own. My close friends and family can speak for themselves.)

I told myself that I would never write about religion on this blog but the journey to healing is not merely a physical one but also a mental and spiritual one as well. Maybe more so…

So there has been much wild speculation about what has been going on with me, where I have gone and what I believe. Some of these rumors have gotten back to me. The hurtful part about that is that people are guessing rather than asking. No one has bothered to talk to me but some feel rather free to talk about me. It’s pretty quiet over here. I’d prefer a lively debate in the simulation of concern but I have not even had that much interest displayed. I must be rather scary. I don’t know. Anyway, after reading this perhaps people can stop guessing if they are so inclined. Case closed.

One thing I can always promise is that I will always be honest and maybe at the end of the day that is what scares people. I am honest and I ask questions, uncomfortable ones. No one likes to be uncomfortable but at some point in my life that was no longer an option for me and I found my discomfort to also usher in freedom, surprisingly. I wasn’t always like that but now honesty is probably the most important thing to me as I have come to the understanding that I only hurt myself by being anything but. Dishonesty serves no one. Especially self-dishonesty. It is an illusion that it protects one from critics and largely the biggest critic of all, ourselves. I have found that people will criticize anyway even with the most erroneous “Intel”. This I have found out painfully time and time again. People have been a great disappointment to me but I understand that now to be because I had a faulty perception of them and as a result developed unrealistic expectations that could not be satisfied. I think I have had a nasty habit of wanting to see better in people that are simply not able to be better, for whatever reason, at this time. “The glass is always half full mentality” can get a person in trouble and I have seen my fair share of trouble, as a result of such thinking. The pessimistic response is equally as destructive for other, similar reasons. I guess that is because they are both typically based on ego serving illusion. I have decided that dealing objectively in the realm of reality and logic is the best approach to understanding truth with what limited amount of perception I do have.

If you have known me beyond a decade you know that I was a very zealous fundamentalist for a very long time. I wrote about religion, philosophy and right wing politics mostly. They seem to go together. I also wrote about health as my profession was in alternative medicine. Since I was a child I have been on a quest to understand what makes me and others tick and the origins of our creation and our Creator. It has taken me to some interesting places to say the least. I moved from being Agnostic to a Fundamentalist Christian and then to Messianic Judaism. I sliced and diced my way through languages, history, science and ancient writings only to learn everything filtered through the human mind is tainted in some way or another and it is frequently contradicting and often used as a tool to control the masses politically. That is because we are complicated and conflicted to our very core to say the least. I think by now I can say I have explored it all or maybe most of it. It all seems to follow suit no matter what label is attached to it.

A shift has occurred in me that will be difficult to articulate but I will attempt to. By and large a person has to experience something to truly realize the lessons it provides.

As it stands I have left organized religion, all of it. I am in the process of transcending it entirely. I say transcending because anything that still hurts a person has not been fully transcended and I would be dishonest to say that I still do not have wounds that are healing from organized religion. In other words if it still hurts you, you are not free of it. I am still in that process to be transparent. So, I will not be anyone’s guru religiously speaking. The lack of transcendence disqualifies me and I honestly don’t believe people should lead people anyway. I will get to that later.

My paradigm a decade ago was largely constructed around a social system known as “church”. My entire life and social structure revolved around an agreement to believe in a book and a leader and what it and he taught. You can see how in time this would be a problem thoroughly and carefully examined. People being people I witnessed leader after leader fall from grace in some really despicable ways and I saw “religious” people unceasingly wound one another with no thought. Books being books and written by people I found more and more problems and error the more I dug and researched them. During this process I adopted two children into my family which was a “good Christian thing to do” to enlarge our family. The suffering that a family faces as the result of a broken child coming into that family can be tremendous. It is not the fairy tale, always, that we are led to believe. Suffering became my teacher. It was the best teacher I have ever had. Joyce Meyer couldn’t do it justice. Suffering, daily, became the norm for me. The helplessness of not being able to fix a broken spirit and being the “stand in” for the offender (birth mom), paying for her sins, day in, day out, took me to my limit. My social system and my paradigm had no answers and no understanding to offer. What it did offer was judgement, criticism, abandonment, exploitation, blame and gossip. It offered more pain on top of what I already faced.

Could you say that I left organized religion because I was hurt? Yes, I suppose a case could be made for that. But you could also say I educated myself out of it. That is also true. One is noble, one is human.

So where does one go from there? For a season I entertained leaving Spirituality behind entirely because of poor representation. A lot of people do. I completely understand. They get hurt and they get tired. It is tempting to throw out the baby with the bathwater. I almost did.

There are some key realizations I have come to which set me on a new path. This path does not have a label or a doctrine. This path only leads to a place within. This path is the only one that has shown me pure, unadulterated truth as I am ready for it one step at a time.  This path hurts, but it hurts gently.

During my struggle with overwhelming stress and depression I kept hearing about meditation and how it can chemically and physiologically alter brain function so as to improve one’s emotional and physical health. I found out about Christian meditation (I don’t “need” that label anymore) and started to learn how to practice it and all the research was 100% correct. The outcome has been that I struggle with far less anxiety and depression than I once did. I am calmer and my thinking less cluttered. I am not fully healed but it has helped me tremendously and I know that given what I faced daily, in my home, I wouldn’t have fared as well without it or maybe not at all. Meditation has done for me more than religion or religious people ever did. I feel more connected with my Creator than ever while part of organized religion and I feel as if I have more understanding of His nature and more peace than ever in my life.  I cannot adequately describe to you what that is like. And it grows a little every day. It is a practice and something I must show up for to reap the benefits and it takes time and patience. I am a realist and I understand healing doesn’t always happen overnight. As I let go I heal.

The answers we all seek are not outside of us. They are not found in books and certainly not in Teachers or others. You don’t need a guru. Everything you need is within. The Kingdom is there….

So am I a Christian? Am I Torah observant? Am I a Jew? Am I a JuBu? Am I a Buddhist? Am I a heretic?

The answer to those questions largely depends on your individual perception, definitions and indoctrination and you will make up your own mind and form your own judgements. I don’t have a label to adorn myself with and I don’t want one. None the less my definition of the Creator is far more broad and beautiful now than I ever thought it would be and He more loving and inclusive to my fellow man then I had ever imagined…..as am I. I am different. So, if that makes me a heretic in your eyes I won’t argue with you. Those things are mattering less and less to me as time goes on. It is my journey and you have one too I hope you pursue. If I contribute anything at all I hope I have pointed to the door at least.

I love you more than you know and more than I ever thought I could. If you need more in depth answers I am open to discussing it respectfully and with people that want a relationship with me. I don’t respond to being fodder for idle talk.  You know where to find me.

Cheers!

April

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Letter from a Girl

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sleeping-baby

By AM Novoa

“Can’t we all just get along?” Rodney King asked in horror of all that had occurred that week. Despite everything, face bloodied and bruised, he was conscious of the ensuing insanity that had overtaken a city by storm and he called it out.

He called it.

Did anyone hear him?

I did.

Yes, I had that question too Mr. King.

I still have it.

You are now liberated from your body, as you were sadly unable to conquer your demons, but I remember that week very clearly and I shall never forget you.

I had just had our baby you see Mr. King and what should have been the beginning of a beautiful future for him and our little family increasingly appeared in my 22 year old mind to be teetering on disaster. It sure looked bad and I was afraid and confused Mr. King. I had a front row seat recovering from a c-section in my shabby little apartment. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be….

I didn’t have hate towards anyone.

I still don’t.

I couldn’t be angry at you or anyone. I was tired and sore from surgery and trying to figure out how to be a mom. That in itself was overwhelming to me. I wasn’t trying to oppress anyone. I didn’t have a political opinion or even a political party. Nothing but survival was on my mind.

I was just a girl with a baby and a husband trying to make ends meet in an unforgiving, unfeeling, hard, cold city we could barely afford to live in.

Most of us are just that.

We are just people trying to keep our heads above water in a society that moves along with its ebbs and flows never taking most of us into account. We try to set forth on a journey without being entirely clear about the destination, doing the best we know how. We don’t notice much. We don’t have that luxury. We are just trying to live and that takes all we have. That is all it was. That is all that it is for most of us. So I sat there alone in the dark, the TV flickering having watched Reginald Denney’s head being crushed on live TV, with my baby in my arms, looking down at him and I thought to myself…..

“What is wrong with us?” No, not “what is wrong with a political party, a race, a religion, a culture or a country”?! “Us, human beings, what is wrong with all of us?” I said out loud to myself and my sleeping son. Because you see, whether you like it or not, we are in this together and whether you like it or not, everyone is right and everyone is wrong to some degree. All of us just see in part. No one is really better than anyone else even though most entertain that grandiose illusion to some degree.

The question remains….do we really have to win at all costs? Have you considered the cost?

Martin Luther King said “we must learn to live as brothers or perish as fools. “

Another King called it.

Oh Father that they would be one as you and I are one…..Someone once pleaded!

“One” is what the best of us is. But we are far from that aren’t we Mr. King?

Can anyone listen, reason and try to understand one another? Or will it remain an unending game of back and forth insults, name calling, accusations, victims and “victimizers” and the like. Incensed when loosing and gloating when victorious and both equally unbecoming. It’s small. Violence, fear and despicable acts abound once again. This isn’t getting us anywhere Mr. King. I know you understand, now at least. Reaction, reacting and reacting again. Why do we do the same things continually expecting a different result?

Rodney, you asked such a good question. Probably the best I have ever heard.

Do you not see the destruction?

You saw it, didn’t you Rodney? And in the end you couldn’t live with it. It overtook you. I am sorry for that. All that you could have ever been never was.

Someone is winning and it isn’t any of us. Get that? The joke is on us….all of us.

We have been manipulated and toyed with for a “story”. The truth is boring you see. Figures, facts and numbers don’t thrill us. They count on our emotional reaction. They count on us craving it. In time we do. We simply can’t take our eyes off a good train wreck. It’s worse than any addiction and it marginalizes people and divides us. It sells papers and gets hits and that keeps “it” going. It is a sickness and we are all the carriers.

So here we are again. Captive to fear and it’s bringing out the worst in us. It is the worst of us. All of us.

Somewhere there is a girl with a baby and she is watching you. Only now, instead of the flickering TV displaying the horror in the night and rather than the grey matter of Reginold Denny’s brain spilled on the Los Angeles streets, she is seeing the contents of your heart spilled all over this monstrosity called social media. She is young, barely making ends meet and she just wants to live her life and try like hell to figure out how to be a mom. Or maybe she just wants to be able to pay the rent or afford enough groceries to feed herself this week. Can’t you be better for her? Can’t you be better for him? Can’t you be better for you?

We ARE so much better than this….together.

Thanks Rodney.

Sincerely,

A Girl