The path of spiritual awakening involves uncovering the values and ideas that are authentic to you, regardless of what others think. -Danielle Kloberdanz
As I sit here looking out into the lush and vibrant green behind the home I currently live in and watch how the trees adjust to the slow blowing of the wind I am so captivated at the stillness around me. I’m listening to a meditation by Lee Ann Rimes titled “Be Still And Know”. These are the only lyrics she speaks for the entirety of the song. Every time the words are spoken I feel this surge of light, love and energy running down my body. I feel the intense presence of the divine reassuring me yet again it’s time to reveal the part of myself that I’ve kept hidden for many years.
For most of my life I was driven by the opinions of others mainly because I was taught to do that by my dad. My mother really didn’t care what people thought about her and she was very vocal about it. My dad on the other hand wanted to keep the upstanding religious facade that he and our stepfamily were perfect. The obedient and loyal followers of Jehovah and the Jehovah’s Witness organization. I think about this now and remember how we were being loyal to men that had built this international religious institution of followers that governed how we thought, spoke and lived. It’s amazing how we can conform to things that we have no idea are set up to control us. I didn’t realize that I was being raised in a cult because again I was being raised in it and it was all that I knew.
During all of this time I questioned so many things about myself. One thing in particular was my attraction to women. Since I was young I’ve always wondered about my sexuality and felt like I truly couldn’t explore it because of how I was raised. I was told most of my life that being a homosexual was evil and God wasn’t pleased with it. So I took the straight and narrow road and followed what so was taught. I liked boys and enjoyed attention from them but there was always this void that I felt.
When I entered into the world of Christianity after coming to the South there was still the same viewpoint but also the fear of going to hell for it. The Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in the doctrine of hell but to be honest I feel like hell is a state of mind. So again, I suppressed this feeling within me for fear of judgement of others that were in the world around me. I can remember the slurs that would come out of people’s mouths around me about any homosexual. There was always this judgmental and elite like tone when it was talked about in both religious organizations.
I’ve found though in this last year that not only was I suppressing being gay but also I was suppressing my authentic and true self because of how I was raised and the fear of being judged by others. Again, the opinions of others has dominated my life for the majority of my life. I refuse to live that way anymore and I’ve already experienced rejection from an early age and throughout my life and I had to be willing to allow individuals that found fault with my new life fall by the wayside and make room for the people who are supposed to be in my life to enter it.
Being authentically ourselves always costs us something. Sometimes the cost is great! But in the end I would rather be true to myself than continue to be ruled by the opinions of man’s religion. Or to be judged by people who refuse to love and embrace me regardless of whether they agree or not. I wanted to live in freedom and I intend to do just that. Welcome to Nat Re-done!