Starting this blog was a big step for me. Though I have read, reflected, written and even published my own thoughts on spiritual matters for many years now, I have never publicly owned my beliefs before. To a certain extent, I needed my belief to coalesce; this was a process which was in large part facilitated by exploring and testing many different dogmas and theologies including Islam, Buddhism and several branches of Christianity. But my parents are devout members of a sect which shuns those who leave its fold, and in the hope of preserving my relationship with them, I downplayed and hid my own spiritual truth for over twenty years.
Last spring, though, I was finally liberated from this deception. My parents, with whom I had an on-again-of-again sort of relationship depending on the messages they were receiving from their church leadership at any given time, formally informed me and my sister that they would no longer be able to associate with us. It wasn’t the first time they had made such a declaration, not for me and certainly not for my sister, who was first disowned at the age of 18 because she had the nerve to disagree with some teachings of the church. But in the past, we had both been able to ignore it; to a certain extent we piggybacked on our parents’ desire to see our children, and as their caregivers we were welcomed back into their lives.
But our children are growing older now, and this has changed things in two ways. First, it is much easier for our parents to have a relationship with their grandchildren, without me or my sister being involved. Secondly, though, the grandchildren are old enough to see what’s happening and to question it for themselves. And when my sister told me that her son and daughter were in tears over my parents’ announcement, my protective instincts kicked in and I kind of went off.
“Going off” consisted of writing two letters. The first was fairly harsh, and was directed to the church – an indictment of their teachings and request for removal from their member rolls. The second was a letter to my parents assuring them that my disassociation from the church did not reflect my feelings toward them, and that I would be waiting with open arms if ever they were ready to venture back beyond the wall erected by the church. More than 20 years after I first drifted away, I finally broke free.
More importantly, though, I began for the first time in my adult life to wonder if I might have an actual unique spiritual identity, and perhaps even a vocation or calling as I had always felt when I was young. I have come to believe that at a minimum we each have an obligation to share our experience and perspectives. This blog could never have happened without the freeing experience of cutting the ties to my childhood church and taking off the mask I wore for so many years trying to pretend my family had not fallen apart.
Now I feel as though every day I am coming closer to home, and to my Divine Family. It is in acknowledgement of my eternal family that can never be lost that I would like to share a trio of prayers that I have practiced over the last couple of years. Most readers will find the Our Father prayer to be familiar; and some may recognize the Our Mother, a prayer of Essene origin. Several versions can be found by doing a Google search for “Our Mother which art upon the Earth”; mine is adapted from these. The third prayer is, as far as I know, original to myself. I felt as I prayed as though a third prayer was needed to complete the set, and I share it here for the first time, the Our Child.
Our Father in the heavens, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us,
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
For thine are the kingdom, the power and the glory.
Our Mother upon the earth, beloved is thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in us as it is in thee.
As you send forth your angels every day, send them forth also to us,
And forgive us our sins as we atone our sins against thee,
And lead us not into sickness, but deliver unto us abundance,
For thine are the earth, the body and the health.
Divine Child within and all around me, help me know my name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in my life as love has purposed.
As you are one with Divine Source, help me also to be one with thee,
And teach me to forgive as I have been forgiven,
And leave me not in this darkness, but deliver me into the light,
For thine are the orphan, the ego and the soul.