Coming out of the (Spiritual) Closet!
Many years ago I was 10, and at that age people often asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was clear that my peers and I were rewarded when we responded with answers such as doctor, lawyers, teachers, or even anthropologists, the latter being my answer to these well meaning adults. Never in my heart of hearts did I think to say, “I want to heal the world with balls of light”, or “I want to share my knowledge of conjuring magic”. It just wasn’t something you said as a black girl growing up in SoCal, in a low-income household, in the 90’s. In fact, the most radical influence I had in those early years would end up being my 6th grade math teacher Mr. Maynard, who treated us like humans and kept it real. As he put it, “the real ghettos”, were places of internment for Jews in Nazi Germany. He spoke passionately of his grandparents and how they were barcoded and treated like animals. I would sit still and listen to his stories as if I was there myself, wide -eyed and woke. After all these years, I remember him and his boldness. Little did I know then his confessions of his inner world, would inspire within me the possibility of expressing a Queer uniqueness.
Ahhh, and now this brings me to the proverbial closet. The self-imprisonment chamber of which I’ve spend many times contemplating leaving, and never returning to. I suppose the deepest held fear in coming out of the closet, was the limiting belief there would be no viable place for me to stand in society once I did. My two top fears: 1.) No one would love me because they would be too busy fearing me. 2.) Most people would debate upon if I deserved to walk freely outside of an insane asylum.
Who will love me through becoming my expanded self? A self that maybe is harder to relate to due to openly expressed spiritual terminology and practices. Where does one honorably place a young, gifted, educated, black witch in 2017? Wait… did she just call herself a witch? Why yes I did. I am a powerful woman who feels the essence of life in everything around me, who senses the sacred spirit of mother earth, spirits that are an expression of the light of source energy. Furthermore, there is nothing on earth that makes me come alive than being in the flow of this stream of energy. The proverbial mother’s milk.
And no, being spiritually Queer is not a tread, I was born this way! From a very young age I could “see things” and had the maturity to know that the adults around me could not handle my abilities. So I ignored them and over time they faded away. Until in 2012, I experienced a great shift in my consciousness and began feeling and seeing energy again. Already fully immersed in the social justice world with my college education and career path, I noticed no one in my circles wanted to openly talk about spirituality. So I secretly studied metaphysical practices across continents. I began buying plane tickets to visit sacred sites in Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, and now Hawaii. I adopted teaching from ascended masters, angels, and goddess from all traditions that I had an affinity with. Meditation became my bedrock. But there was something missing in walking the spiritual path only on the “inside." Self acceptance.
The more I tried to suppress who I was, the more depressed I became. Until I developed chronic fatigue, barely being able get up out of bed most days. By the time 2014 rolled around, I was a wreck, full of anxiety, fear, and deep issues of worthiness. This struggle didn't mesh well with my participation within a vigorous master's program at the time. In which, I was studying health of all subjects, and was expected to exemplify a public health professional.
Then "it" happened. An event that would finally begin to push me completely out of my closet, I had a nervous breakdown. I was at Burning Man in 2015 (a transformational art festival) for my second time. On the third day of the festival, I had awoken to extensive feelings of darkness, the likes of which I would never wish upon an enemy. I crawled into a nearby meditation temple and began to cry. Wails seemed to come from the depths of hell, then mixed with emotional pain that was searing and unrelenting. It was in that moment I wanted to die. I wanted the pain of being in this body to seize. I wanted the anger of my ancestors to stop pouring through me. I wanted to feel worthy of this life and to be at peace.
After the releasing of tears for what felt like hours, I heard a voice whisper softly, “look up”. When I did, I saw placed on the altar in front of me an image of Amma, the hugging saint of India. I had hugged her couple of time on her visits to the Bay Area, and was deeply inspired by her spiritual guidance. As I stared at Amma, she beamed this energy of unconditional love and said, “look down”. On the table there was a rose quartz stone with one word inscribed on it. Adorable. I looked back at her and she said, “Yes, you are Adorable.” And that was the moment I knew that I had to devote my life to being 100% fearless and free on the outside. I knew that my purpose was to boldly step into the leading edge of where spirit meets social justice, for the liberation of myself and my generation.
The fact of the matter is, my bolting myself within the spiritual closet to “protect” everyone else, was really my stubborn way of not daring to fully claim inherited power. Power that those who came before acquired through sacrifice and shear determination. Power invested with the expectation of my full participation in this lifetime, on their behalf . And for that reason I know, walking the path of spirit is my birth right, it's at the marrow of my bones, it's the active expression of my DNA. On the other hand, not being myself meant I had inadvertently succumbed to holding the shame of ancestors who came before. Ancestors who were never able to freely be themselves without persecution. But, in the times we are facing, not letting our spiritual freak flags fly is possibly the worst crime against humanity. The world needs Spiritual Queers to be courageous and lead the way towards love and light. This what we are built for, this is who we really are. We have to come out of our spiritual closets and unite. Thank you for walking this brave journey with me.