Parallel 12

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“Your redemption is at the gate of your conscience. You have been granted the power of a choice.” ~ Todd D. Boddy

On Christmas day I was given the gift of a silver crucifix by my mother. This is why….

You may be wondering what this is all about. What will be different? What does the title mean? Well, this is much more than a simple collection of words, more than a simple post about parallels, and it has even less to do with the number twelve.

This is about a moment; a moment of clarity. It’s about a woman’s words, a woman whom I’ve never met, yet her words etched in digitized media rang loud to me early one morning. This is about a sphere that I cannot yet describe; one that I’ve stayed cautiously away from for nearly twenty years, but it is also the same sphere that I’ve looked upon for far too long without action.

This is the sphere of salvation.

Many say that paths have more than one parallel, running straight, uninterrupted; side-by-side. Some believe these paths are but winding roads with bumps and turns and drops, dimly lit on occasion, or vibrantly colored elsewhere.

I believe both paths are true, existing for all to find if the desire to seek beckons the heart.

Sometime paths cross, true. Sometimes paths end, also true. But sometimes, regardless of faith, philosophy or life, paths become one, even if these paths are polar opposites, far removed from the other in every way, shape and form. This is the traveler’s true path, the singular spoke of the grand wheel of life that leads to the center; to the divine presence that pervades all existence.

This is how I learned where my path had been hiding, in plain sight, parallel to my where my feet were currently placed, opposite though completely entwined with all I had thought.

The day made sense to me, and so did the time. At the stroke of the clock, midnight, Thursday became Friday, and the date of 12-12 began. I was laying on the couch at my mother’s, home for the holidays wasting time, eyes becoming heavy. I was scrolling through Facebook looking for something interesting to read. I came upon a post from a woman I’ve never met. Her post was asking for advent music ideas for her playlist. The time was 12:12 am.

As it happens, this woman’s name is Leah Darrow. Former model now turned author, speaker and Catholic advocate for women. I wouldn’t have ever even known who she was had it not been for the fact that her husband, Rick, was a friend of mine during high school. Though Rick and I haven’t seen or spoke since graduation nearly 20 years ago, I finally clicked on her picture and read her profile. Then I became curious, and read her story.

I came upon an article which featured an interview with Leah. In this article she told the story of how, when in New York City she was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model. It further told of how one day during a photo shoot she had a moment of grace; a moment where she realized she wasn’t being authentic to her faith.

“She pictured herself before God after her death and had nothing to show for her life.”

As I read these words, my throat tightened. Tears began to roll down my cheeks and I was astonished. I didn’t know why I felt this way, or even if I was sad. But my heart instantly felt warmth; as if a lost yet all too familiar embrace had found me again. I was now the one having a moment of grace. I sat weeping, feeling as I suspect how Leah did years before.

You see, my family is Roman Catholic, but I hadn’t stepped foot inside a church to pray since age nineteen more than twice. In fact, the first time was during Marine Corps Bootcamp after a fellow recruit was killed in combat training. The last time was to deliver my grandfather’s eulogy after he passed away almost 3 years ago. Twice in twenty years, that’s it.

Since that time, since my late teens, organized religion had dwindled from my interests. Though I’ve remained spiritually aware, and an avid reader and student of all religion and philosophy, the idea of having my thoughts regarding God and faith somehow directed didn’t appeal to me. I thought it controlled more than it helped. I was certain that the answers I could find on my own would be blocked by dogmatic rhetoric, tradition or the so-called “word.”

It had been so long; too long to remember, too long to know where to start. I hadn’t even thought that maybe, just maybe, I was being missed. Maybe I was being called upon to remember, to remember the father and the son; the love of the world.

It was in these moments where I realized I hadn’t been home in almost two decades.

So, what is the sphere of salvation?

It is the realization that no matter where you stand, where you’ve been or what you’ve done, you still have a conscious choice; a choice to look at your feet and notice your path. It is in this moment of realization, this moment of absolute clarity, when we fully know that the divine is with us, and that God is all that exists; that God is never apart from us, and that it is God, the divine source that calls us home, to stand and face our reflection; to become exactly who we are and who we were always meant to be.

With God, we are capable of such love that the sheer mountain of its greatness is indescribable. We are born to know this, and as children we live in this world with full gnosis, yet as we grow, we move from this place of innocence into the void of dreams; into the realm of the world, we grow worldly eyes and develop worldly wants. With worldly eyes and hearts we grow older, yet blind.

In this dream we travel, doing as others do, as we think we should do, intrepidly moving with ambition and drive, but to where? Where do we travel if not for the sake of God and love? What have we done if we cannot stand before God with a life lived for the sake of love; for the sake of others placed first, before our own wishes? What is life if we do not lift up the weak, and inspire the hopeless?

We are never so far removed from this place of peace that we can’t realize, retract and find our hearts again.

This past Christmas morning the first in twenty years that I’ve attended mass, and prayed. And just as it is nice to have a friend visit in my house, so it was just as nice to visit the Lord in his, as if coming home from a journey that took me further than words could describe. Though my beliefs will always transcend what I find within the Catholic faith, it is essential to hold these lessons close; lessons that formed the platform for my understanding of God and salvation. These are the tools that helped carve the path, and set my feet upon this journey of truth.

My journey is far from over, my sphere of salvation is upon my life once again, and I am thankful for the words that I read; the words that came just at the perfect moment to bring me here; here where I’ve always been but never had the eyes to see. Here all along was my path, right under my feet, right in my heart.

I shall not stand before the divine and show nothing of my life; this precious gift. My path is and always was to help and uplift others, and I can only be thankful for the parallel to be shown, at the moment of 12, by the woman I’ve never met.

We are all truly just walking, simply walking; trying to find our way home. Find your lighthouse, find your parallel. Home is near.

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I am an artist, writer, author, philosopher and lover of nature and life. My blog offers a glimpse into my world, my thoughts, my sphere. Enjoy!

38 thoughts on “Parallel 12

  1. What a beautiful journey and beautiful crucifix. I have no doubt your purpose in every moment came shining through right when it was meant to. Many blessings to you as you continue on your path.

  2. I want to write so much more here than a thank you. That is, as a truth seeker, I want to share my similar journey; but it would take a bit of going back, remembering, and feeling. What I can write now, and what I will never forget, is that when THAT MOMENT presented itself to me after much searching and internal suffering, I felt a PRESENCE pressing on me—a mega offering. I knew right then that I had a choice; and yet, I felt that I didn’t in that I had to will myself or surrender to this PRESENCE. This was at the heels of my “bottoming out” and turning back/forward to my Greek Orthodox faith. Also, 12.12 shows up for me every so often. I see it and feel it as a signal from my Dad checking in at vulnerable times offering hope and praying the best for me. You see, his birthday was 12.12.12. It’s uncanny the times I have looked at a clock, a cell phone, or my desktop and become immovable and charged with warmth and gratitude. It’s all about God + Love + Gratitude.

    Thank you for—yet—for another reminder!

  3. Ahhh… as per perfect timing from the Universe… our parallel paths guiding, leading, allowing us to change and become that who we are/were/came here to be. A further awakening gong from perusing your much appreciated post. Thank you for sharing so wisely and so well!!!
    “.”
    Cat

  4. The farther we stray away, the hardest it is to resist His presence pressing on our very lives. I’m glad you took Him in. He was probably knocking on your door far longer than you would have ever known. What a wonderful gift you have given Him on His birthday. Belated Merry Christmas! 🙂

  5. Very interesting post. I work for an environmental press. While I totally understand how people can feel closer to the universe through nature, sometimes the Green Movement makes me uncomfortable because as much as I care about the environment, I never feel like the environment and nature are God or replace religion.

    1. Thank you for your comments. I too feel the most connection through nature, rivers in particular. Religion is simply a face of spirituality. But I believe that the divine can be realized within and through any medium. God, the image or face of which is different in every culture is hard to understand, but each person understands it differently. It is only love that is important, my opinion.

  6. Every so often your blogs pings in to my email~ you are compelling ~ familiar ~ attractive and ~ and I feel a connection in some long-distant way to all that you write about. ~ Being alive is of course an existential experience ~ But some souls touch us far more than others. ~ I should like to keep in closer email contact if you would too. ~ I too write about my own pilgrimage and something of your quite different one resounds within me. . . . Happy new year .x.

  7. I don’t think I know how ~ I don’t remember how I stumbled across this blog or how I linked up to it in the first instance ~ it just was one of those things that happened many forgotten moons ago . . . all I know is how to post a very public comment. God Bless you x To Love tenderly †’is †he only way x

  8. As soon as I read the message of your post I knew it was exactly what I needed to read, what I needed to take in. Thank you for that.

    1. I appreciate your comment. But no, I’m perfectly comfortable with everything I describe and write here. My spirit knows nothing of constraint, and with being an artist from birth, conformity is not even in my vocabulary. I simply share the moments of my life and thoughts that I find interesting and special.

      Happy Holidays and All the best to you!

  9. This gave me goosebumps. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story. I too was reunited with my faith two months ago. The person who brought me back to it was my father’s ex wife. Not at all who I expected, but you know what they say. His messages come in mysterious ways. Thank you again

    1. Thank you! It’s funny how we find such meaning, purpose and moments of truth in the most unexpected places, and at the most unexpected times.. I suppose the key is to never expect anything! 🙂 All the best to you and happy holidays!

  10. A very-well written piece about a moment which each and everyone of us had or will experience in the course of our lives. I am not sure though if everyone can put it into words as beautifully as you did here. Wonderful reading. Enlightening and inspirational. Thought provoking too.

  11. Hello and best wishes. I am glad and delighted for you on your journey of life. We all have our own journeys and some times our paths intersect with others. Some times they help us and some times we help them. My your joy in life be full, your spirit know its home, and your feet know the Mother Earth. My best wishes and best health for you. Hugs

  12. This is a very inspirational post, and thank you for sharing your journey. It has made me consider a lot for myself. I was wondering, do you believe that a person’s path, religious, spiritual, or otherwise, is personal in the sense that all beliefs are acceptable paths? I believe there is far too much right/wrong calling in this world, specifically in terms of religion. Are there multiple paths people may travel? Is there one “correct” path in your opinion? I fully respect your beliefs and am inspired by your journey, but I am not sure if Catholicism is the path for me. Is there opportunity for this kind of moment without subscribing to Catholicism, but perhaps to an Eastern religion? I will be looking for this moment. Thank you for inspiring my journey.

    1. I believe that as long as your path is walked with good intentions, love, altruism and compassion for others then it is acceptable; regardless of religion, and in even less regard for religious dogma. Personally I put little stock in religion as a whole, but I find truth where it is placed for me to see. Whether this truth be found in catholicism, animism, the Vedas, the Tao Te Ching or in any method of spiritual thought matters little. Truth knows no religion or philosophy. Personally I believe that the path is for the traveler to decide, and it is quite possible that all paths are correct. I was raised Catholic but personally study all religions and philosophies, and view them all in regard to spokes on a wheel. They all form the whole, and they all lead to the same center, or away from it. And thank you for your comments! Glad you enjoyed a small piece of my journey. 🙂

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