Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Love is my religion...

I have been asked a few times what my religion is.  Some have expressed confusion stating that my posts show conflicting beliefs.  I thought I would share here with you a true story that took place not so long ago to clear up my feelings on religion and spirituality.

This is a very personal story one that is told in my book that I am finishing.  Please excuse the few curse words, I want to stay true to what was.  I want to share it with you to help you understand a little more about what brought me to this journey and how I feel about my Creator.

As told in "The Story Of Stella: on my "A Star Is Born tab" on the morning of her conception I said the "Great Prayer".  I named my prayer that as it is the first real prayer I ever said asking for anything for myself...

After a brutal attack and three weeks of turmoil ending in my trying to take my life I found myself awake after only an hour of sleeping off of the bag of pills I swallowed before saying goodnight to the world around me.  A world that had forsaken me, or so I thought at the time.  Truth is I had forsaken myself long before the great pain came.

Startled to be awake, something in me said "not yet baby, not this time".  I packed what I could throw in to a suit case and ran to my dear friend in the San Francisco Bay Area who counseled me and gave me shelter for the night in a hotel.

Upon waking after a good nights sleep I stepped out of bed still rubbing my eyes to regain my vision from the blurry view of the dark room.  I made my way to the window drawing open the drapes when the sun tumbled in and crashed down upon me like a wave.  Had it been so long since I saw the sun? The instant warmth and bursts of light upon my skin brought me to my knees where I lie down upon the ground sobbing.  So much pain, so much anger, from a place of utter hopelessness I began to pray.  Choking through my sobs with tears streaming down my face I begged God, the Universe, my Grandmother and all who would hear my plea for a new path.  That prayer must have lasted the better of 45 minutes.  Moments of silence mixed with moments of desperate pleas for guidance, a new path.  On that floor I surrendered all will and promised to follow.

A friend came to comfort me after hearing the news of my trying to take my life and the past three weeks of self punishment over a horrible attack that I did not deserve however, victims of violent attacks often blame themselves as did I.  He sat with me for several hours and that evening he comforted me a little more and at sunset on May 18th 2010 Stella Eva was conceived.  His comforting was never intended to go that far as he was not an available man.

Stella however, was intended to be here, she is no accident and from day one I knew that.  I had said the Great Prayer at sunrise the morning she was conceived.  It had been 22 years since I last had a child I began to believe that I could not get pregnant any more after 11 years with me and my ex husband trying and then a 4 year relationship also trying.  Here I was at 42, single and pregnant as a disabled woman with no income.

By my third month I lost my home.  Already on bed rest I began living in my truck.  I decided to go to Santa Cruz because I have family there and if your going to be homeless Santa Cruz is the place to do it, good weather, nice people, lots of programs to help the homeless.  On my way down I stopped in the bay at a friends shop to see if she would show some mercy on me and do my hair for little to nothing as my roots were showing and wanted to look halfway decent arriving in Santa Cruz.

My hairdresser is an old Italian woman who is very religious, Catholic to be exact.  She likes to wait till she has me under the suds to deliver her many God messages to me.  Over the years she has had many messages and I rarely honestly listened to her, more I humored her as my beliefs were a little different however, I always respected hers.

When I called her to see if she had time for me and would consider helping me out with a cut and color as I really had no money she burst out in excitement...  "JoJo, I have been trying to find your number, I have to see you...  God came to me in a dream." Before I could explain more to her she told me to hurry in and rushed me off the phone.  Once there and securely under the suds she delivered her message to me.  She started by telling me God had told her I was pregnant.  I hadn't told her that yet.  For the first time I was seriously listening to her especially when she told me that God had given me my new path.  Shocked that she said new path tears began to steam down my face, how could she have known about the great prayer? I thought.  She went on to tell me that I was going to walk this path alone but that I would never truly be alone, God would be with me every step of the way.  She also told me that God said my ministry is vast, but in his time not in mine.  She kept repeating that the entire time I was there... "remember JoJo, in his time not in yours".

Over the next three months I bounced from couch to couch in Santa Cruz sometimes sleeping in my truck.  Her words still ringing strong in my head I went on a major mission to serve God.  I went to church every Sunday, bible study on Wednesdays and read the Bible daily.  I wasn't sure what Gods plans were for me but knew that there for sure was a God, how else would she have known so much.

By my 6th month I was growing weary as I was still homeless and needed to secure a home for me and my baby.  My nutritionist told me of a convent at a local catholic church that houses unwed homeless pregnant women.  She went on to tell me that if you go through their program you go to the top of the low income housing list.  "There was the answer" I thought.  Housing would enable me to be able to afford to keep my daughter.  I called the number she gave me and scheduled an interview which went great, my bed was to be ready in a week.

I pulled up to the Church with relief that I would finally have a place to call home.  Got out of my truck excited to meet the other mothers and knocked on the door.  Two of the nuns came outside and closed the door behind them.  Puzzled by this I asked if everything were okay.  They replied that they had changed their mind and I would not be able to stay there.  They had a meeting and were concerned that with my many health risks during my pregnancy I would be a liability if I were to fall or get hurt.  Stunned and shocked I stood with my mouth dropped open and tears beginning to run down my face, pulling my words together I offered to sign a waiver, they said sorry and closed the door.

As it started raining I stood there in front of the convent getting wet and absolutely sure that God was pissing on me.  I lifted my fist in anger and yelled...  "NUNS, I AM BEING REJECTED BY FUCKING NUNS, REALLY?!?!.  A sea of emotions consumed me as I cursed the Heavens and returned to my car crying so hard I could barely get my key in the ignition.  As I drove away from the church I cursed them too.  Pure anger and confusion engulfed me as I drove mindlessly down the street and the storm picked up.

I called my friend Lavada and between sobs asked if I could crash on her couch.  Confused, she said "what the hell happened, I thought you were going into the convent today?"  "I have been fucking rejected by Nuns" I replied.  Lavada is the friend who is there no matter where you are or what you need, that is who she has always been to me.  She said of course I could crash on her couch.  She was canceling the rest of her day and would be there shortly after me as she exclaimed.   "I'll be there as soon as I can get there my bud, hang tight!"

As I sat outside on her porch swing waiting for her to get there the storm was getting stronger, the wind really picking up now.  I was still crying, feelings of doubt in my hope, doubt in my faith that overwhelmed me.  A million questions swirled in my mind, questions about what to do next.  I felt so alone, so lost, so betrayed by my belief that I had some special purpose some special path.

The tree in Lavada's front yard swayed in the strong wind now as I could see the approaching clouds that I had just out-driven while I sped down the many streets to her house, the rain was not far behind.  The air was full of scents of a big storm, the kind of storm with warm winds or anger.  As I sat crying alone a single little leaf fell from the tree and began a most beautiful dance on the wind.  Since the day of Stella's conception I had an unusual connection to nature that I could never put my finger on other than to say I could feel all lives energy around me.  Everyone thought it was pregnancy hormones, having had two sons already I knew better.  Still no one quite believed me and thought I was imagining this new connection to nature.  Yet another of the wonders of Stella that I experienced alone on this path.

I watched in awe as this little leaf danced on the wind, its energy was pure excitement.  It was as if it waits it's whole life for this dance on the wind then falls to the ground to die.  As the wind shifted the leaf took new flight in my direction and landed right on my chest, right over my heart.  There I sat crying as this little leaf comforted me.  It was at that moment I heard my hairdressers words... "You are never alone, he is with you always" and at that moment I realized God was in that leaf.

It was that day that I opened my mind and began to decide for myself who God was to me.  Today I value all beliefs as righteous.  I believe that all paths lead to righteousness.  I believe that no matter what we call our Creator by we are all seeking the same Creator.  To me God is in all of us.  The name we use to describe the greatness of creation is of little consequence to me now.  I know that all of life is a creation of Our Creator and Our Creator lives in us all, lives in every single thing we see, touch, smell, taste, hear...  God is in you and in me.  God is Love.  I believe that God is bigger than anything we have ever been taught, God is love and that is all there is so that is why I say Love is My Religion.

I adhere to no set organized beliefs of religion because I cannot limit my beliefs to any that discount any other beliefs.  I believe in love, forgiveness and love.  I walked that path alone as my hair dresser said I would.  I still believe God spoke to her in that dream, she listens with an open heart and really that is all we have to do to hear the truth inside of us.

As you know towards the end of my pregnancy with Stella I was still homeless and chose adoption to give my daughter more than I had to offer.  That is when I met two Angels that were sent to Stella and I.  My Baby Daddies, they are two of the biggest blessings in my life.

So when you hear me make mention of God, Creator, Spirit, Universe or any name I refer to my higher power by please know that I in no way mean to offend or discount your beliefs.  If my not picking a religion is of offense to you than I am sorry that your beliefs need me to do so for you to feel better.  I cannot speak your truth, I can only speak mine and now know that I can do so without fear of what others think because the truth inside of me is what sustains me in love today!

Thank you for joining me this morning, I have much more to share as I have made some new friends here and we have some great plans ahead of us for this community.  I will write more later.  It is only 3:30 am now and I am wide awake.  I think some music and coffee are in order.  These sleeping habits of mine are something else, haha.

Have a most blessed day, I love you all from a place of love and respect.

One Love

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