This is a beautiful place to be...I wonder why I don't visit here more often. This is the place I share my soul. This is where I shine. Where I can instill my own light in others. How blessed am I? This is who I am described to the best of words' abilities. Stunning. I wish to teach you many lessons and learn many more of my own in the process. Life is so magnificent for that very reason. I am just like you. I have overcome much sorrow....I now know the answer. The key to happiness, the escape from mediocrity. The answer is within all of you as I have found my answer in me. I am an explorer! I've always been in search of...(you could fill in the blank here). Call it "something greater", call it "purpose", call it "God". Whatever you choose to call it, understand that it's all the same and anyone in search of... (____) will eventually find themselves all in the same exact place in the end. Home, God, Heaven on Earth, Inspired, In-spirit, At One, Self-aware, Self-Actualized, Fully Functioning, At Peace....Happy. From the wise, infallible words of Socrates you will "Know thyself." How complicated we try to make this world. The answer must be far too intricate for anyone to understand otherwise we'd all have the answer, right? In fact just the opposite. Maybe too simple to believe. Even for myself at times. I was raised with Christian beliefs only to eventually grow up to discover that some of my actions, or sins as they say God calls them, would make me unworthy of God's love and I would be shunned until I repent my sins and turn myself over to Christ. That meant giving up all my freedom, labeling my child-out-of-wedlock as something that I was ashamed of and remorseful for, and living in conformity with the rest of the living saints that are "more deserving" of God's love than the rest. What would any normal young adult do when living with this kind of pressure in this modern world today? Well....God was not my friend. He was not my father. I questioned whether he was my creator and frankly, whether or not he even existed. The only thing God ever did for me was make things go wrong. Interesting how things have turned around in such a short time for me looking back. I can completely understand how anyone would refuse any type of spiritual guidance or existence when for so many years there has been religious groups telling you that you have to be exactly like everyone else in order for you to have the privilege of a place in the sky some call Heaven that may or maynot even exist and you wouldn't even get to enjoy it until after you died anyway. And not for nothing but some religious people will fight you tooth and nail about how YOU'RE WRONG for not following THEIR religion. Those are the people that the Holy Bible like to refer to as "Hypocrites". Having always been a person in search of ...(something), this was certainly notwhat I was looking for. So I became one of the very many people that simply stated "Religion just wasn't for me." Beyond all of the concepts of religion, I will say that I've always felt a deeper presence at work within myself though I never knew what to call it. I always felt like even throughout the drama that I put myself through, there was a sense of me that was aware that I was causing this drama. I knew that I wanted to learn everything I could about life from a very young age and I knew that pain and trauma were aspects of life. It seems completely insane for anyone in their right mind to knowingly put themselves through sexual abuse, drug addiction, self-mutilation and all of the other harmful situations that I found myself in. But then again isn't this just an extremity of the self-sabotaging behavior that we are all guilty of yet, aware of at the same time? This is where my spiritual discoveries have become evident. I've found and experienced first hand that there are two definitive parts of ourselves. One that seems to enjoy the drama, the competition, the judgment of others, the one that is very opinionated, likes to argue and gets offended at the first sign of belittlement, the one that has to put a label on who we are, what we do or what we have in order to be validated otherwise it feels as if it would not exist. As if to say I AM a mother, a singer, a writer, a woman. I AM Caucasian, an American. I AM a messy person, I AM the life of the party. I live in a middle-class neighborhood therefore I AM middle-class. I AM a recovering addict, I was diagnosed with Depression therefore I AM Depression and must embody that. I could go on and on with this but hopefully you get the point. This all as opposed to just saying I AM...I simply AM. This part of us holds onto these labels and feels as if we would not exist without them. Which of course is completely false. This part of us is what many spiritual teachers like call, and was originally referred to by Sigmund Frued as the "Ego." And it's something that we all have. My ego was very prominent and took the lead in most situations in my life. Which only caused the vicious cycles I found myself caught in time and time again. But there was another part of me. That "knowing" part of me. There are many different names for this side: soul, sacred one, consciousness, awareness, the observer, enlightenment, the God or Christ within, home, spirit, conscience, first voice, instinct...etc. To put it as simply and relevant as possible, all these words are really just referring to your intuition. This is where the truth about religion and spirituality start to get really exciting! My advice to you before reading this next paragraph: Throw out all the negative ideas you have about God and religion, or really any ideas you have about them at all. Because that inner voice I just mentioned...that is God or at least a part of God. God isn't some man in the sky to be feared and judged by. God is all and all is God. God is not a being, "He" is the unmanifested essence beyond all being. The nothing where everything begins! God is the reason the Universe knows to self sufficiently stay in balance with or without our human intelligence. The human intelligence that comes along with that ego we talked about, the ego that seems to think that IT is the center of the Universe instead of being a part of it. The Native Americans have a saying that goes, "No tree has branches so foolish as to fight amongst themselves." Think about that. Everything in this Universe is God manifested. We are ALL no more and no less then anything on this beautiful planet and beyond. So for that reason alone, we are all just as deserving of God's love as the next being. The guilt that we harbor, the resentment, the old stuff that we hold onto...that's not what God wants for us. He wants us to free ourselves...Forgive ourselves...Love ourselves. In knowing that God loves us, we know that we are worthy of Love. In knowing that God forgives us, we know that we are worthy of Forgiveness. There is no difference between YOU...and GOD. I'll leave you with that today. I believe that is a statement to be pondered over for a bit. I encourage you to sit with it. Thank you for reading today and feel free to share your thoughts below.