What a difference a year makes. Where were you one year ago today? With what issues were you struggling? Which path in life scared you the most? What questions laid heavily upon your heart?
Religion was my answer, back then. Had you asked naive Ki these questions a year ago, my busy mind ticked: Why does religion scare me? Who is ‘God?’ and Why don’t I know God? I was confused about religion, scared by it, desperate for a connection with it – or so I thought, back then. I voiced my doubts concerning Christianity, hollered my inquiries regarding Judaism, and quietly hid my fascination with Buddhism. I laugh now because religion was not the issue at all! Religion was the symptom, not the root of the questions in my heart.
I blogged last December about uncomfortable feelings surrounding Christianity and ‘God’ in the post A New Year. A New Religion? (I know some of you remember!! I think I fluffed a few feathers). As I’ve said many times before on this blog, I was one lost, confused, desperate woman –pulling at the fray of ANYTHING that would prevent me from drowning in doubt, insecurity, and fear. I assumed religion was the missing piece of the puzzle. Yes, religion would save me from the negative feelings that flourished in my mind!!! I thought if I asked enough questions of each religion and fervently searched for a deeper connection that I would undeniably feel the presence of ‘God.’ I can assure you, life is never so simple.
There was a hole in my story, back then. I can truthfully say there still IS a hole in my story. The difference now is that I am fully aware that religion is the LEAST of my worries! The obstacle is not in finding ‘God;’ the challenge is in finding my true self.
I ask of myself this year – With what issues do I struggle? Which path in life scares me the most? I can assure you, religion is not my answer this year. I am not actually looking for God. I am not looking for a religion that fits me perfectly. I realize that searching for fulfillment in a religion leaves me feeling frustrated and defeated. Although diving head first into Jewish religion courses has been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life, I am finding each day that a desire to know ‘God’ is easily translated into: A desire to know myself.
Hahaha funny side note: I named this website after a novel that unbeknownst to me at the time of naming, is in fact about a spiritual, introspective quest. I mean, come on guys!! The answers have been in me all along! I just thought “LifeofKi” was catchy, and I kinda thought I might get a few accidental ‘hits’ from those searching for Life of Pi …. I had no clue that “LifeofKi” was literally THE MOST PERFECT name for what was about to unfold in my life. Thank you, Life of Pi!! Or should I say, thank you subconscious, true Ki?!
Okay back to seriousness………..
What am I afraid of the most? Honestly?
Knowing myself. Forgiving myself. Accepting myself. Loving myself.
Which road desperately needs fresh pavement and immense TLC?
The path to creating a healthier sense of self.
There is no need to look for a God (or energy, as I see it) because it is already inside of my heart. I thought I was waiting for God when in truth, I was waiting for acceptance. Acceptance from myself. I am beginning to acknowledge that I have neglected the one person who cries out for attention, love, and acceptance. I have let go of my mental self, my physical self, my spiritual self. Where I once saw a ‘yearning for a connection with God,’ I now see I need the one person who is keeping me from me.
I miss Ki, the free spirit. I miss Ki, the playful lover. I miss Ki, the confident woman with aspirations and dreams, big dreams.
I left my true self on the side of the road years ago. I gave my ego permission to reign over every ounce of my body, allowing for the rest of Ki to feed on the false perceptions of who I needed to be, ought to be, would never be. Readers, this is THE most frustrating dead end to find yourself. But wait!! Need a silver lining?? Well, you’re in luck.
When you find yourself in this destitute place, you will soon realize you were never lost to begin with. It isn’t about finding yourself. The key is in cultivating a true sense of who you are and who you are destined to be. You, like me, will get there. I promise you. Although religion has helped to calm my busy mind (and open my world to culture, compassion, and love) the only TRUTH is in getting to know myself. Readers, give yourself permission to let go of whatever it is holding you back. If YOU are what is holding you back, then smile. A beautiful ride awaits you. This is the toughest job in the world. Tougher than parenthood; tougher than tackling issues with others; tougher than giving birth! I say truthfully that cultivating a healthy relationship with myself has been the toughest challenge in my life thus far – and some of you know the hell I have seen in my short 23 years.
Let me show you that you can be in the midst of a hellish downfall and come out of it stronger than ever. Yes, as I said I have demons, but don’t we all? We all bleed the same; some of us just have a few more scars than others. And trust me: your scars are beautiful, just like YOU.
Begin with this:
Look in the mirror and say to yourself every day –
I am beautiful.
I am doing a great job.
I love you.
Your life begins with you.
Your love begins with you.
Take the first step.
***Photo courtesy of Courtney Venable Photography***