Here I Stand

Rachael Anderson 2015There is great importance these days on the number of letters after one’s name or the amount of qualifications we need to have. To be honest that has never motivated me. I have never been swept up in the need for more money or to reach a certain position of power amongst my peers. That is simply not wealth to me.

I have always tried to dedicate myself to the service of others. I don’t really know why to be honest except that I had some deep seated need to help and maybe see life from someone else’s perspective.

I worked in the community with people with severe physical disabilities. My job was to help them do the simply things we abled body people take for granted. I have worked with people who were deaf, blind, cognitively impaired, amputees and those born with conditions like cerebral palsy just to name a few. The more time I spent with people with limiting abilities the more I questioned the haves and have nots of life.

Why do some people have to suffer whilst others don’t? Where would I find true compassion and where was the humanity in the world? I’m sure my endless questions, rages and tears must have left God exhausted.

On my constant quest for answers I decided to turn my attention to palliative care. If I couldn’t find my answers in the living then maybe I would find them in the dying. I was honoured by many beautiful spirits passing under my care and every experience was unique just like them. This time had a profound influence on my life and left me confident that life is indeed a gift to be cherished because death was a certainty for all. Taking this profound yet confronting knowledge with me I began to search for a way to live the gift of life joyously and abundantly without the burden of suffering.

On my journey I encountered an endless supply of spiritual teachers, attended a variety of workshop on spirituality, read voraciously, banged drums on animal skins in tepee’s, had my aura cleaned, received a spirit totem,  got in touch with my inner child, did mirror work, prayed to Jesus, studied the Tora, had my aura cleaned again and found… well…nothing. Nothing even close to the profound truth that I was seeking. I couldn’t figure it out.

I was really busy being told how life worked so why wasn’t it sinking in. Why was this so hard? What was wrong with me? My despair saw me fall into a pit of depression a pit so great and so deep I thought I might be lost forever. It can seem almost impossible to reach up when you’re just so down but, somehow, a moment of profound insight told me I needed to stop seeking the answers outside of myself and start seeking them within. I just needed to trust.

I embarked on my study of yoga at this time never dreaming that one day it would be something I would teach and yet many years later it is. It continues to bring me unimaginable peace.

Today I am a little older and a little wiser and my inner teacher has taught me much. Here is my truth as I know it.

Life is a wonderful, joyous and exciting experience so embrace the good and lean into the bad. Respect that everyone’s spiritual journey is between them and God. Pain is inevitable but suffering is a choice. Experience is a great and patient teacher. You don’t need to find God, he never left you. Without humanity there is no community and without community there is no humanity. Like attracts like and finally my fear is no match for my strength.

I always follow my highest and truest feelings now.  God has a bigger picture for my life and so I will continue to trust.

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