Apr ’02

Return to Normalcy

First off I want to thank everyone, all of my friends out there, who have been sending me so many emails and phone calls with their support and encouragement for what I wrote last month. Apparently, I am not the only one out there who feels the way I do. But then again, life already offered me the opportunity to learn that I am not the only one on earth regarding a lot of my feelings. 🙂 I received emails from other members of the Lukumí community who were glad that someone finally had the balls to speak up about all of the things they found wrong in the rest of the community at large. I recevied emails from people telling me that they felt similar things during their iyaworaje. I received emails from people telling me that they were very proud of the spiritual leaps and bounds that I had accomplished in the last couple of months. All of them touched me deeply and several of them brought me to tears as well. All I can say is, for those of you who feel that the Lukumí community must change, then own its shortcomings, make them your own and only then can you begin to heal and change them. Make the community what you want it to be. You, we, all have the power to create our own realities, and we do so every day through our actions, thoughts and decisions. If you do not like the community as it stands and insist on staying in it, then actively choose to create the community as you envision it to be. There are no ceremonies that will be impacted by your decisions, if anything the religion can only grow for the better. I, personally, have chosen not to participate in the community any longer. It is not a reflection of the person I am, nor of the person I choose to be, so I have set it aside.

This brings me to the greater point of my posting this month. I am NO LONGER DRESSED IN WHITE. I made the conscious choice to not wear the traditional clothes of the iyawó any longer. In fact, I am no longer observing ANY of my restrictions, as of March 25, 2002, this year will no longer be a year in white … it is now “the year of me.” There were several reasons you are aware of as to why I left the community and the religion. Let me reiterate here some of those reasons as well as others, so that you can understand my choice, my conscious decision, to be who I really am. First off, the negative traits of the community are not something I want in my life, nor do I care to perpetuate or support them by my participation – these were mentioned last month. The concept of self-denial has never led to a person fully knowing himself, nor to them reaching their highest ideal – my restrictions were inhibiting my personal growth, happiness and fulfillment. I was unhappy, uncomfortable and miserable dressed in white. I hated every moment of it. Every thing which brought me joy was taken away from me at my itá – how can this be good for me when these things brought me closer to joy, love and happiness, the things that connect us to God? These were my reasons among others.

So, I have been making a concerted effort to do everything that I am no supposed to do. One night, I even got dressed in color, ate a nice meal which included three foods I am not supposed to eat, went out after 6pm in the rain without the pimp-brella, to a gay nightclub, ordered and drank a mai tai, sat down and watched a fantastic drag show, danced and then came home. In fact, save for the rain, I did the same thing last night. Guess what? I FEEL FANTASTIC! The restrictions were worthless because I had already learned the lessons that they were supposed to impart upon the individual. They were moot exercises, no, they were futile exercises for me. So I have returned to a life of normalcy, and I am the happiest I have been in a very long time. I feel more connected to God now as who I really am.

photo_whiteI have also reconnected with many of the members of my old Wiccan group. I truly feel connected with them as my family, not only because I helped educate and initiate many of them when I was involved in that group, but more because they are all perfect in their individual ways. Their individualities compliment and reflect my own, and I love them as unique and beautiful people. I am very honored and blessed to have them in my life.

Speaking of blessings … I had an interesting conclusion this past week in color (it is amazing how nicely all of the spiritual impressions come when you are comfortable) and it was regarding the concept of blessing. Blessings do not come from outside of you. Other people can say that you are blessed, but truly you are never blessed until it comes from within. See, a blessing is the energy of God propelling you and revitalizing you, and only YOU can bless yourself. How? Well, through your choices and your actions. If you live life from a self-determined focus, from a centeredness in the knowledge of who you are – a part of God – then you are incredibly connected to God. The truth of the matter is that God is everything, you and I included. We are not individuals, we are all part of God and when we realize that, and live our lives in a manner that allows us to experience this to the highest degree, then are we truly connected to God. You bless yourself through your actions.

I have also added my photo to the navigation on the year in white section. It is just another thing that iyawós are supposedly not allowed to do. It is a picture from last summer, but it is what I look like now that I have grown my beard back and that I am once again happy and in color. I never thought normalcy would be so wonderful!

Next Chapter>>> Escape From Witch Mountain

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