The brisk cold air blows outside my warm cozy camper. I am restless, thoughts bounce around in my head like a tennis ball in play, yet I am very happy and content with my life. Things are peaceful and quiet for a change, aside from the drama happening to those around me.
It is going on ten years since I left the rat race, if you can call jumping from one meaningless job to another in small town Alabama. Born and Raised on the legendary Sand Mountain, not the meth capital of the world side, but the infamous Snake Handlers side of the mountain. No, I wasn’t exactly raised in one of these churches, though we visited a few when I was a young girl, but left when they broke out the rattlesnakes. I had become disabled. After five glorious marriages (a little sarcasm here) I had given up on having the happy family and being the good wife, and raised my son on my own. Don’t you judge me. I was raised to grow up and be a subordinate wife to my husband, to be a helpmate and a mother. College was not on my parents list of things for me to do, but to graduate high school was of utmost importance. And graduate I did, as I recall it was by the skin of my teeth.
I had begun to desire my purpose in life, to discover who I really was. After my son graduated I urged him to attend college, but at the young age of seventeen, he wanted to take some time. He waited until he was eighteen to move in with some of his friends, leaving me to stare blankly at everything around me. I had put so much importance on these things around me collecting dust. I hated what I saw. It was as if I was in the wrong life, but I didn’t know where to go or what to do to change it. I just knew I had to be out of there, so I walked away from everything. I decided to trust whatever or whoever was above to lead me and take care of me. It would be my way of proving there was a God and finding my purpose. All the years of religion being shoved down my throat made me go through years of feeling guilty and trying to do what I was “suppose” to do. This sent me on years of studying the many religions, but I was still uncertain as to what my purpose was. I know I could no longer stand to see the greed, the gluttony that was ravaging the world around me. But something about the word of the bible jumped out at me. Scriptures and Sermons from years back would pop into my head with a new, clearer, meaning. As I began to search, I could interpret something totally different from what their Jesus was trying to say. But what?
Meanwhile I began to stay in the “crack” hotels, where I mostly kept to myself but had unlimited access to the internet in the comforts of my room. I began to feel loneliness and wanted badly to leave sweet home Alabama. I begin to chase this loneliness and forget my path for a moment in desire of finding a mate to help me along this path of finding myself. So laughable, my silly thoughts. I had never been good at making wise decisions. I had always let my heart and emotions lead me.
Television began to fill the background of my room more and more hours of the day, while I sat on the computer combing through online dating sites. I was telling myself that it was acceptable now and there had to be someone who felt the same as me, I would find him this way. Nearly forty years old and I was still looking for the fairytale. Stupid Disney books! After countless horrible encounters, I realized I was yet again searching for someone else to give me meaning, not searching for my meaning.
I left the hotels and set me a tent up in the woods at beautiful Cherokee Rock Village in Sand Rock, Alabama. There I began to experience true loneliness, and without the help of man-made stimulation around me, I began to change. It was as if I was being reborn. I found an acceptance, a peace after many nights of crying, that I had never experienced before now. I learned the things society had told me I needed, the things they said were “normal”, these where all lies! But how was I going to carry this with me back into this “real world” and still live? I mean really live? It was heaven out there, but not before it was hell. I met a few souls along the way that taught me much about myself, but they cam e and went as God intended, I suppose. But soon winter crept up and forced me to find my way back to “reality” once again.
I had promised my mom I would keep up on facebook and let her know I was ok. I had a habit of going days without answering my phone or seeing people. I found old friends from school that still lived in the area and one; I will call Sunshine, was keeping up with my post and messaged me that I could stay at her place as long as I wanted. I took her up on this offer. I made it through the cold winter there but spring burst through with a new thirst to get back out there and continue my search. Even though I was changing and discovering these things about me, I still had not found this God, nor had I found this creators purpose for me. So I bid goodbye to Sunshine and back to the woods I went. But the Alabama spring did not last that long and soon the humid hot summer was here. I again found myself finding shelter in the “crack” hotels. This time I vowed to use my time more wisely. I began to practice yoga, off of YouTube since I was spending out 80% of my income on shelter. I began to incorporate my meditation into the “real world” of indoors living. I then came upon free Kabbalah lessons which I downloaded to my computer but still didn’t take the time to really listen.
Meanwhile I had gotten back in touch with others around me, I began to socialize again. But it was people who were going through things that kept being put in my path. Was I supposed to work with others who were going through similar things I had been through? Or was I suppose to learn a lesson from this? I began to see the people around me and how they were going against the very law of nature, taking more than they needed and not giving back. Greed had made its way even to the meek and lowly, I didn’t know what to do, should I run from this or should I face it head on? I was no longer able to afford to live in the hotels and didn’t know what I would do. I stayed with a few friends here and there and slept some in my car since fall was making its way to my lovely state.
Finally my break came when my parents decided to help me get a camper. I finally filled a basic need, shelter, and my happiness and peace filled my entire being. No, I still did not have money to run around and do the materialistic things around me, nor did I have money to help the ones around me screaming in the eternal hell I was just released from, but I still somehow found peace and happiness in my little spot.
What are your desires? I remember when they my desires were to become known or famous, to become rich and well traveled, to study all things and to own my own business, but I was very unfocused and lost, jumping from one thing to another never completing anything. I began to realize I didn’t desire the money and the fame, but I desired knowledge, but of what? I thirst to know everything. In this search, I began to recognize there was really a creator, not some being floating above causing strife and hardship on my life, but one that was right here, who loved me and created me for his entertainment and pleasure. It was only after I began living such a life style as a minimalist, after I rid myself from material possessions and desires for these things, that I began to see others around me outside of myself. I mean really see there others, not what they had what or what they didn’t have, but that they were connected to me somehow. Here for the same purpose as me and just trying to figure it all out. I began to see the confusion, anger (or happiness), insecurity (or confidence) of the others around me. I also began to see an undercurrent to which I did not understand or fully comprehend; I began to see me in them and them in me. Instead of seeing the change others needed, I began to see the change I needed in me. I began to feel compassion, an authenticity. How can I grasp this or explain it to others? I continued my search…
My desires switched from study of religion-their similarities and differences- to knowing my Creator and understanding what his purpose was of me. I read somewhere that an intellect can entertain the concept of God, but not grasp God. I want to know God. Bertrand Russell, an atheist, once said, “Unless you assume a god, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” I had awakened in this world to the constant awareness of God. I have a deeper realization that you cannot merely say you accept God, and you are transformed by this one step-being saved-then sitting back passing judgment on others, but that transformation is continual and has only just begun. I read somewhere that what this Jesus was trying to say was that God was not out there somewhere giving some kind of report card on his subjects but that he (God) is here now available to us all without restrictions. I found compassion in everything when I began to seek the truth and taking the basics of survival down to the minimal possible. I realized I was not alone nor was I the center of the universe. What others believed and everything else was beside the point. I just began to trust that God speaks to the heart of every person in a way of his choosing. I began to see things I knew but did not know. Love, it is all about love. My journey continues…