Years ago, I was at a workshop about social justice where we reviewed important concepts like equality, discrimination, privilege, opportunity, and more. We also discussed issues like immigration, discrimination, gender equality, LGTB rights, drug addiction, women’s rights, sexual abuse, and many others.
The purpose was to identify a connection to “our own personal cause” based on the “victories” we might have accomplished in our lives as a result of having experienced any injustices in our lives. This was where I had an incredible AHA! moment.
I realized that before we can stand up and feel empowered to take any action to help others or get out of our own challenging situation, we must heal the wounds of our soul first and that can only be healed through the connection to the spirit, through opening our hearts finding compassion for ourselves and connecting to Universal Love.
When we are in pain and our soul is suffering we can’t do anything; when we feel hopeless we can’t take action; when we lose our faith we don’t see the light on the other end of the tunnel. I was practically in tears having this revelation.
Ecstatic, I turned to the person next to me and shared it with her, that my purpose in life was to help people heal the wounds of their soul, because that’s what I had done in my life, that was my biggest victory. Without healing my soul I wouldn’t have transformed my life to create the life that I love today.
She looked at me said with a straight face: “You can speak like that simply because you are ‘privileged, look at yourself”. Her answer took me by surprise and I paused to understand where she was coming from.
She had known me for just for couple of hours and was speaking from what she was seeing and perceiving. She was looking at me and seeing a privileged woman. At first glance, I may look like a happy and priviledged person with no hurdles in life. Perhaps that’s who I am today, and I owe that to my spiritual life.
However, it has not always been like that…. I come from a family where women were not always empowered to be strong and independent. I grew up in a household where there was sexual abuse; myself and other women in my family had to endure this devastating trauma that occurs more often than we imagine in many families.
Figuring out how to trust others in life is a journey on its own, and learning how to trust life after being sexually abused as a child or young adult takes it to another level. How can you trust anybody for that matter?
When I was 19 my father passed, his loss left me with a feeling of abandonment given that he was the “patriarch” of my family who showed the way in life to everyone. Who was going to “guide” me in life now? This is how my quest in life began, how to find my path in life, little did I know that we don’t find a path in life, we create one as we go.
After college I moved from Mexico, my native country, to NYC on my own, part of claiming my identity as an independent and capable woman, I moved to NYC with $700 in my pocket. To be able to stay “legal” in this country and have a job so I could support myself was not easy; there were years and years of putting up with difficult job environments because that job was the “only way to stay legally.”
Not to mention there was an ever-present intense fear running through my veins every day that I wouldn’t be granted my next visa or green card; that the life I had would be taken away any moment – and it did happened once, it was very painful and disorienting to pack my life in two days and move back to Mexico.
Dealing with the discriminatory immigration system in this country given that I was Mexican was not fun until I was finally able to become a “legal resident”.
Later in life I also had to deal with the death of my brother to a drug related incident. Why? How? Who? When? These are questions about his death that are still unanswered in my family. We witnessed his life knowing that things were not going to end well for him at some point, without being able to do anything. It was extremely painful to see his light disappear on this Earth.
A few of years later, my mother passed; she went to take a nap and never woke up. She was living in tremendous sadness not being able to recover from the loss of my father and my brother. For years a tried to help her, until she finally accepted, I shared with her all that I knew and she developed a spiritual practice.
Through this practice, she found joy in her life again. One day she told me, “I think I am going to leave this year, I am done.” I didn’t believe her and told her to stop joking, but indeed she left that year. Having had time with her filled with love and joy before she passed is a beautiful gift that I am grateful for, as it created the space in her and within the two of us to connect from the soul.
Along with dealing with the death of my loved ones and making a life in a foreign country on my own, probably my biggest challenge in life, my most frightening experience has been to overcome my own homophobia.
Discovering that I had found my soul mate in life was thrilling, but that this soul mate happened to be a woman, was not as thrilling and definitely not what I expected from life. What? A woman? This was not how I had planned for my love story to be.
I felt pure shame for my feelings and feared that all the people that I loved would stop loving me. So, I decided that this was not happening to me, I denied my feelings and married a man to “fix” my heart. Needless to say, this decision brought much pain to my life and to the life of others around me. Finally after several years, I was able to gather the strength to accept my truth and follow the path of my heart.
All these hurdles have become my biggest masters, and I can tell you today that I feel grateful for each and every one of them. Could I have lived without some of them? Yes, I would have liked that, but that was not in my stars.
I had to overcome discrimination for being a woman, deal with the horror of sexual abuse, immigration issues, financial challenges, seeing my brother’s life being destroyed by drugs, losing my parents and the most challenging of them all for me, accepting myself for who I am, gay or straight, learning to love myself with respect and compassion, because that’s the only way others would do the same.
Having spirituality as my anchor and savior through all these experiences, it became clear that in order for us to solve any issues in life, first we have to heal the wounds of our soul. Nobody can heal us, we have to heal ourselves. Like I said, the answers are inside of us, the power to heal ourselves is inside of us waiting to be retrieved and that is Love.
I feel privileged today, yes, but that’s not how my life started. I feel privileged and grateful to have a strong soul that didn’t give up in the tough moments and whispered into my ear, there is much more than what you see and feel, all this will pass, you can co-create your life – just “trust”, have faith and build hope by connecting with source of love that is inside of you.
I feel grateful to have found in my path spiritual teachers, like Dr. Joseph Michael Levry who has taught me how to bring love, peace and light in our lives and in the world.
My purpose is to share how to anchor your life in love and spirituality so that the promise of hope can propel you in life because everything is possible and we co-create our reality day after day.