I’ve been on a particular spiritual journey these last few years. This has included in-depth reading, ceremonial exercises, and energy practices. I could tell you only vaguely from which religion I derived any of these components. I didn’t grow up in a very religious family. I stopped attending our small town church at around age 12, when getting more sleep was more important than my spiritual health. At that time my spiritual health was in an upheaval with the onset of puberty and the turmoil caused by my father’s affair. I was a somewhat withdrawn teenager afterwards.
My parents continued with their marriage for another decade and a half after that affair. I withdrew into my room, my dad hid in the garage, and my mom puffed away smoke after smoke in the kitchen. My father used to tell me that when something bad happened, like if I stubbed my toe, that God was punishing me for not minding my father. God knows someone should have been minding my father – maybe there would have been fewer trespasses. I think I projected a lot of distrust for authority figures from the distrust and disappointment I felt for my father. So, my distrust grew and changed my perceptions of the world as a good place full of love. I adopted cynicism as a defense against the betrayal my father wrought on our family.
Here I am decades later trying to undo the damage this distrust and cynicism have done to my spirit. It sounds terribly trying but truthfully, letting go of ideas, thoughts, and feelings that make you less is very liberating. At times, I feel a little stupid or ashamed when I discover some feeling that I’ve been acting on for years, which formed out of a misconception. I’ve held onto notions that long ago outlived their usefulness. So as difficult as this journey has been, it’s been deeply rewarding too.
Keri lives in Boyle Street.