I Am A Human Being Having A Spiritual Experience – This Is What I’ve Learned…

I Am A Human Being Having A Spiritual Experience – This Is What I’ve Learned…

My spiritual inquisition began at the age of 8, or 9. I would stare deeply into my own eyes, 2 inches away from my bedroom mirror, and ask myself “Who are you in there?” It was the first time I acknowledged a sense of being inside my body, and it felt mysterious, and good.

The trauma that I experienced while living in an alcoholic and physically abusive home lead me to be in such a depressed and anxious state that I began searching for answers…I wanted to know how I could find peace, self-acceptance and unconditional love because no matter where I went, or who I was with, I felt a void and emptiness in my heart, and that…I couldn’t handle anymore.

At the age of 19, I walked into a  little white house off College St near Little Italy, that had a sign out front that said “Brahma Kumari – Yoga Of The Mind” – I entered and learned that this was not a physical yoga practise, yet a sort of University on the theories of life, and human existence. They accepted everyone, of every religion and background, there was no cost, and classes were every week for about an hour.

In these classes, I learned the following:

Each human, no matter their race, gender, social status, or behaviour, is a soul that is here to gain experiences and wisdom in order to remember Self, and return to complete consciousness.

Each soul, no matter their behaviour, deserves unconditional love.

That we must not allow traumatic experiences or pain from relationships to keep us stuck, identifying with the story, or playing the victim.

I learned many other things from those teachings, though I took the learning and left out a major part of being a healthy, happy human being, regardless of the fact that I am a soul who needs to give/receive unconditional love and understanding…I’ll get to that in a bit.

I continued my search in the spiritual world, to find ‘home’ inside of me. To find forgiveness for those who abused me. To find conviction and strength in a shell that felt very thin and penetrable.

Vipassana taught me that everything is impermeable – do not get attached.

Kabbalah taught me that true love lasts when you give, unconditionally and continuously.

Tantra taught me to connect with and move my own Kundalini energy, and to become conscious of the energetic state I’m in when connecting with another human (as well as recognize the state they are in as well, then choose whether to engage).

Mindfulness meditation taught me to observe without judgement, and file my thoughts to create space, and peace.

Mind expansive drugs – well, I could write I book on what I learned during my time self-medicating with drugs, but I’ll leave it at this; I am an energetic being and the dimension I live in is not the only dimension. There are many, I would be ok no matter which I travelled to. Seriously.

In all of the years I studied these religions and spiritual teachings, I gained knowledge, wisdom and acquired tools, but I missed an incredibly important lesson…How to filter out the assholes and respect them, accept them, and not judge them, but from afar…very very afar.

You see, what I was confused about, or didn’t capture in all of that investigation was that you can detach, respect, love and so on though without putting yourself in harms way, or how to not allow every person, no matter their behaviour, in – because not everyone deserves to be in my life even though they deserve to remain un-judged or controlled.

People overstepped invisible boundaries because I didn’t know how to create or enforce any. I stayed quiet in situations where I should have spoken up. This happened because in difficult situations I would go back to the teachings I acquired and thought “don’t get attached to this feeling, let it, and their negative behaviour go” and “They are a soul, worthy of unconditional acceptance, and love, don’t project negativity or try to control them by speaking your mind or creating a boundary” – you can see where this was going, right?

Let’s backpedal a minute – here is a wounded girl, unknowingly suffering from PTSD, desperate for self-acceptance and strength. I learned a lot about how to interpret others, this world and this life, but what I was lacking was the ability to listen to my intuition when I sensed danger (gut tightening up, body shaking etc), and create a strong boundary, walk away, and never look back.

I got so caught up with being a non-judgemental, accepting and loving spiritual being, that I wasn’t honouring what I am, and exist as in this plane – a female human, who had been abused and neglected and needed strong boundaries to feel safe, protected and at peace.

I have spent several years now working with a wonderful MSW, Jennie K Ormson, who has taught me more about how to find peace in my heart, calmness amongst the storm, and self-acceptance no matter the criticism, than I did in 16 years of spiritual investigation for those same teachings.

My point is not to discount or bash any of the philosophies or ‘schools’ I attended, no, not at all actually. It is to point out to any other person who is struggling with PTSD, anxiety and/or depression, that there is incredible insight and experiences to be downloaded in the spiritual world, but we MUST incorporate the learning of how to self-parent, create strong and healthy boundaries with those who may hurt us, and learn to walk away from people, and situations who don’t work for us.

This thins the crowd. The friend roster becomes smaller, and that’s ok. One of my dear friends always says “It’s not lonely at the top, it’s just less crowded”.

As a 35 year old woman, who has survived an alcoholic, mentally ill and abusive mother, over 20 years of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol, even longer with debilitating mental illness and poor gut health, I can honestly say the turnaround was when I started to learn how to live life as a human and stop trying to live life solely as as spiritual being.

It’s not to say that I don’t believe in any of the teachings I acquired, or that I don’t identify as a spiritual being – I do! I just give equal, if not more merit to my human self. The one that isn’t all-accepting, the one that needs to say what I really feel sometimes, even if it isn’t completely “conscious and positive”, and it feels damn good.

I have my feet firmly planted in the ground when it comes to social interactions, physical health and healing, and most of all, relationships.

For me, strength has come from being able to say “no”, and not feel guilty. Say “bye”, and never look back. Say “no thanks, not for me”, and not wonder what could have been…

Not every type of therapy or healing is right for every person, though, I do believe an open and inquisitive mind finds the answers they’re looking for.

In constant awe of this life and all that comes with existing here on Earth,

Cassandra Hope

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