For most of my life, I've considered myself "spiritually hungry". I was raised in a home that didn't have a strong religious identification. As I grew up, I found my mother's ouija board and Tarot cards that I believe gave her some spiritual direction, and my father has had a pretty intense flirtation with various forms of christianity (including Jehovah's Witnesses) since my early teen years, but I've never been able to say "I was raised (fill in the blank)". Living in a predominantly christian culture, being raised in a town where all visibly religious people were christian has had it's effect, I suppose, but I wrote christianity off as soon as I realized I was gay; there was no way that I would even consider a religion that said I was going to hell for following what feels like an integral part of my existence.
I don't even remember how it started, but the gist of the beginning of the crisis was the idea of surrending to god (big g little g, plural, I have no idea). The idea of surrender has appealed to me lately, to ask my creator for help so I stop feeling like such a loser or deadbeat when I don't take care of things that I "should" have taken care of. I also wonder if these negative feelings aren't a sign that I've made wrong choices, and I need to choose a different path. Thinking about the nature of hard times, I started thinking about how we are shaped by negative events, how they make us stronger and/or better human beings. I (think I) believe in reincarnation, and often ask myself what lessons I need to be taking from this lifetime.
Then I put it together like this: there are two possible options for my current bad feelings, one, they are just a product of my socialization and are not warning signs of having made a bad choice in the eyes of Fate, or, two, they are a sign that I've made a bad choice, and I need to choose a better path before Lachesis slaps me again. The answer to either path appears to be surrender to the will of the creator. If it's just negative feelings due to socialization, the creator can soothe me. If I need to choose a new life plan, the creator can offer me guidance.
Here's where I really started to panic, when I started to wonder about what kind of guidance the creator would offer me. What if I didn't want to do it? If I'm truly surrendering to the creator, I need to follow the path laid out for me, otherwise I should expect to feel negative consequences of my choice. I don't believe in a spiteful god, but you don't raise a healthy child by never letting them eat too much candy; sometimes, you let them have a stomach ache to remind them to make better choices.
and it kept getting worse. From here I started to wonder if feeling bad WAS my life's purpose. The early part of my life was full of foolish and/or cruel behavior. What if this lifetime is about finding wisdom and compassion through suffering, preparing me to become one of those "old soul" types that comfort the world around them effortlessly. What if I'm surrendering to a god who is asking for my destruction?
I think about that guy in the bible (abraham maybe) who was asked to sacrifice his son. I've never been that kind of believer, and I'm starting to think that maybe I'm supposed to be. Then, even if I'm feeling crappy, I should be able to feel that I'm feeling crappy for a reason. Sadness that has purpose. Now, I wonder if this is the reason I've never settled into any spiritual practice-I'm afraid that god is going to ask me for something that I don't want to give. To give an extreme example (that I don't think is part of this), what if god didn't want me to be gay? Could I stop?
(note: TMI warning) Taking a turn for the surreal, I spent some time thinking about what it would be like to surrender to my creator, to let her (him? it?) fill me with purpose, and it TURNED ME ON. Are my sexual flirtations with being submissive based in spiritual need? Some of my most intense emotional experiences have been during submissive fantasy; it seems plausible that this could be why.
I need to serve my creator, that has become evident to me. I'm so scared, though. I don't even know how to discover who my creator is, or how I would develop a true expression of my spiritual nature. Everything I've done up to now has been safe, and therefore meaningless, other than to get me to this point.
I'm putting this out into the world, lord, I'm asking for help. Help me find you, help me feel less lost. I need to serve you, no matter what the consequence. Hopefully, you can give me the strength to complete what you ask of me.