Nature and Reigion
Nature is the New "Church"
By Helese Smauldon
Nature is the New "Church"
By Helese Smauldon
Since living in New York, I have come across many different spiritual ideologies.
Some of them I've sought out, some of them have found me. I have explored everything from Christianity, which is the religion I grew up in, to Gnostic Christianity, to Nation of Islam to Orthodox Islam, to Atheism to Buddhism, from New Ageism to Kemeticism, even looking up the virtues of Satanism and Black Magick.
It's funny, I believe everything, every event, every thought, every whim has a spiritual root or is somehow divine, and so I have to say that even me arriving to live in NYC was a sort of divine synchronicity. I went to school here for one year and studied Theater, or at least, that was my major --I didn't study much theater, I was too busy experiencing my life as one big performance.
Then at the end of the school year I realized that I didn't do anything during the year to secure my stay in the city. But boy, did I want to stay. I made friends that I didn't wanna lose contact with, and I was building my dreams in the best place in the world. I tried to get a job at a restaurant as a hostess, and I totally blew the interview: I went out the night before and didn't arrive until about an hour after it was supposed to start.
It didn't matter much though, an older guy who I was talking to at the time reassured me that he had made many mistakes as a younger man, I was only 18, and he told me if I really wanted to be here, I could still make it happen. I ended up going home anyway, because my parents couldn't afford any summer classes, and I had a great aunt who wouldn't let me stay with her either.
Strangely enough --and this is why I stress patience and allowing in my life more than ever-- God had a plan for me. All I could think about was living in New York permanently --although now I know nothing is permanent in this life-- and soon I got my chance to see if I could really survive here on my own.
One day I went to a party with my sister, and a girl started to talk to me. I exchanged numbers with her --even though I wasn't into women at the time and I still am not into masculine women today-- and over the next few days proceeded to talk her ear off on the phone. Somehow, my sister ended up talking to her. It just made more sense.
One day, on the way to the girl's house to hang out, my sister and I got into a car accident, in which someone rear ended her. We settled and our award was $1300. We split the money and went to a little physical therapy at a chiropractor's office three times a week for the whiplash. It took a while for us to get our money, and in the meantime, I began talking on the phone with a guy who I went to college with.
We always meant to hang out while we were in school but we never did. We talked for hours on the phone several times a week, and he told me a lot about his tumultuous childhood. He had been abandoned as a young boy in Nigeria, blah blah
blah. He hated his Mom and believed all women who cheat should die. He called his last female roommate many names and labeled her a crackhead.
He even called me one night to confess to me that he had thrown her up against the wall. When I was less than supportive, not judgmental but not particularly understanding why he would call me, he got upset and hung up on me. All red flags, I know now, but back then, nothing would stop me from living my dream. He and the girl were on bad terms, she moved out, they had a sexual relationship, me and him were more like brother and sister. I took my half of the settlement money, $650, and moved in the two bedroom apartment with him. I moved out by the end of the month, but the events that transpired there is another story--I'm writing a book.
It's the best decision I've ever made. During my pee break just now, I realized that I didn't become a woman until about the age of 27; now. I know that it's a gradual process, and there are several epiphanies along the way to becoming a full blown woman or man or transgender person.
But I really had been thinking like a girl even up until a few months ago. Over the years I have been initiated into new information that has helped me open my eyes in so many ways and has helped me see that I have so much power and responsibility over creating my life. They say a man defines his growth by his work life, and a woman defines the different periods in her life by the relationships she has. In my evolution, I have found this to be true. The most important relationship through all of this has been the one with myself, and I've been working on the one with God. (Is there a difference? Hmmmm...)
When I prayed about moving back to NYC, I made a deal with God. I promised that I would go to church if "he" could make this move happen. For about eight years I didn't step foot inside of one. I joined one in 2010 and I go a few times a year, when I get inspired. But lately, as a result of me seeking the truth about life and love, and following the path beaten
centuries ago, I came across some rituals and ceremonies that totally align with where I'm at right now, to integrate my spirit self with my human, and to be more connected to the Earth. This is what led me to write this on the night of the last eclipse. Nature and I are really getting cozy.
I have realized my church now is nature. I was determined to see this eclipse tonight, but where I live you can't see any stars, nor the moon. So I proceeded to go to the river. This is what I felt; my interpretation. I feel the need to make that very clear disclaimer, even though I shouldn't have to.
At first I looked for the moon and it wasn't there so I just walked and prayed to the water, thanking her, thanking God, acknowledging that it's all one, and I got into that space. I was full of gratitude. After I prayed I kind of went into a trance for a minute and felt a strong pressure in my third eye. I didn't quite leave my body or anything, but I felt more aware after that.
I felt led to go to the place where I buried my list of 10 things I
wanted to manifest in the ground. I prayed that it would grow like a
tree as I laid hands over it and spoke my intentions into it. I went to
the trees and I acknowledged their beauty and all they give and the fact
that they are living creatures. They DO have feelings and they CAN
communicate with us. They feel nurturing to us, in a service kind of
way, kind of like maternal. Trees, plants shrubs are very feminine
creatures. They said they do not feel pain like we do, yet when someone
scratches their name into them, they take it as a loss. They see us as
children who do not know what to do with them, or do not know how smart
they are. They said they are rarely violent, but do we think they don't
fall on houses on purpose during hurricanes? Hmmm (smile). They also
have different "personalities." I feel like different shrubs and trees'
temperaments match how they look. They also expressed to me that they
like for us to touch them, caress them, just like a pet, but not peel
their bark haphazardly and break branches as such. If we are using their
wood or other parts for use, it's not like they're like "Yay!" but they
see it as a sacrifice for the common good. Like I said, trees are very
maternal in that way.
So that's what I came away with. And I felt so connected with nature after that. Nature is my new "church."
Long ago when I considered getting inked, I thought of getting “nature
girl” tatooed on my ass, with a nude picture of me laying in grass or
something. It’s still an option
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