I have the day off from work today and wanted to spend some time writing. I have many topics and stories I’ve been wanting to write about, yet something completely surprising made its way to the foreground this morning… something I wasn’t even thinking of until my shower this morning. (Oh those fun shower thoughts!)
As many of you may know from my Spirituality post I’ve had a certain level of awareness (or some may refer to it as “being awake”) my whole life. I’ve questioned matters of religion and spirituality, and essentially have spent my whole life trying to figure out my truth of the Universe and what it all means to me.
It’s funny to say that last sentence, because as with most things I’m finding out these days, I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing at that age. But as I showered today, I randomly started thinking about my Confirmation.
My parents baptized me into the Catholic faith when I was a baby, and in fifth grade my religion class shifted to preparing us for receiving the holy sacrament of Confirmation. As it was explained to me back then, my parents made the choice for me when I was baptized to worship God. The sacrament of Confirmation is the time when individuals decide for themselves whether or not they will worship God and the Catholic faith.
I was hit with a memory this morning of taking this choice very seriously. I remember wondering how I was supposed to make that level of commitment at such a young age. How was I supposed to decide that, if I didn’t even know what other religions existed, and what else was out there?
At 10 years old, I didn’t have the courage to go against the crowd, so as I learned to do from previous times religious authorities quashed my questions (and also from being a victim of child abuse) I stayed quiet and followed the herd.
I played the part of saying the words in monthly mass, singing the songs with the choir, taking the required religion classes and objectively watching everything. Forming my own opinions on these topics as life moved on.
Thinking back on it, I’m now realizing that religion and spirituality is the first thing I ever formed my own opinions on. I spent much of my life walking on eggshells around various people due to my relationship (or lack of ) with my mother. My form of survival was to learn how to read people. Figure out what sets them off and then do whatever I could to prevent that from happening. I turned into a people-pleaser.
So what did that mean for me? It meant that I would easily assimilate to the beliefs, traditions, and customs of those around me. But for whatever reason, the one area that I held onto with such certainty were the beliefs I was developing of my spirituality, and the opinions I was forming of the church and structured region.
So, what does that all mean?
Recently, my cousin and I were talking about how we choose our parents when we come into each lifetime. This led to talking about my choice to be born to my mother. While there was always a disconnect between my mother and I, the actual physical and mental abuse started between 4th and 5th grade and ultimately stopped the summer going into 8th grade (when I finally had the courage to stand up for myself).
My cousin asked how I dealt with the abuse at that age. I always knew that it wasn’t my fault and that something was wrong with my mother. That’s not to say that her words didn’t affect me because they did. But I always knew that I wasn’t to blame. I wasn’t the cause for her behavior – even though she would have me believe otherwise.
My cousin commented on how remarkable it was to be able to not internalize everything that was going on with my mother at such a young age. I hadn’t really given it much thought up until that point, because it was just how everything went down, but in that moment, I connected my growth on a spiritual level with this particular lifetime.
I’m an old soul who has lived through many lifetimes. I came into this lifetime knowing that I would keep some level of my awareness with me. Luckily, all of those old soul lessons have have stayed fairly superficial and I’ve been able to readily tap into them.
When I started writing this, I wasn’t really sure why I was being led to this topic today. But now I see that it was an opportunity to learn more about myself and my journey. Hopefully this post will somehow help others. Maybe in reading my own self-insights it will help someone out there realize some of their own.