Where does balance begin? Can it begin in chaos and darkness?
I want to share my story. I want to be heard, for the world to know that my vision shifted, and that I am okay. I am becoming okay.
At times I still feel shame for what I did and who I became. I want to heal this shame. I feel it when someone looks in my eyes, a jarring and unsettling sense that they have seen straight through me. And it’s always so shocking when they meet my eye contact with joy. Who are you and why are you so happy to see me? I hold tight to my heart. A squeezing, quickening of palpitations. I want to look away. What is it that did this to me?
Sexual misconduct. There’s something still very taboo about sexuality in our society, and though it was my initial intention to convince my parent’s their beliefs were unhealthy and wrong, I ended up falling to them, and the wounds are deeper than I can express.
After my consciousness shifted and my parents were caring for me in the fallout, I was 100% convinced that this was my enlightenment- I was experiencing it. I’d already purified most of my karmic impurities that February of 2014. I had attended a Red Vajrasatva weekend retreat at Rigdzin Ling with a friend. It was only a weekend, and many times my mind wandered, I wondered if the Lama was really Awake, he paused a lot, and was sometimes hard to follow. But the regular practitioners clearly had deep respect and awe for him, so I sat. I listened. I enjoyed the chanting and spiritual seeking. It was beautiful there. When I got home I was certain I’d understood it all, I got it. It didn’t matter if it was only 2 full days, I always caught on to things quickly. So there we go. I knew how to purify myself.
The biggest illusion of the ego was still covering my eyes, and I did not see my folly. And come September, in my shifted mental state, I was certain the only thing I had left to purify was my “sexual misconduct” or as I saw it through my parents view, those were my only sins left to be forgiven.
I had heard a teacher talk once about a Tibetan tradition, in order to pursue a spiritual life and become a monk they must ask their parents permission, and they must convince their parents to accept it or they can’t become a monk. (I’m not sure how widely this is practiced today.) So when I started to confess all of my sexual exploits to my parents this was both a mix of me confessing all of my sins, and attempting to convince my parents to allow my spiritual path, so different than their own.
The thought process was something like, “You believe that ‘committing adultery’ is a sin, and you’ve always been uncomfortable with homosexuals, believing it as wrong, well LOOK WHAT I’VE DONE- am I going to hell for it?” I wanted them to see that it didn’t matter if I’d slept around a little while learning who I was, if I’d kissed girls, or gone down on them. I was proud of who I was and I knew this did not need purified or forgiven, everything was consensual and should hold no court over my soul.
Once their view was aligned with love I wanted them to understand my spiritual path and accept my enlightenment. They were my parents, chosen by me before birth, I needed them to witness my awakening.
Later my confessions came to haunt me. When my consciousness was still altered but I no longer knew if I believed in enlightenment or insanity, it felt like my parents were watching me with impure eyes. They knew all my secrets, they’d seen me naked, they knew every disgusting detail I never wanted them to know. It felt dirty and wrong. How could I ever be clean?
What I’ve realized now is that even after hearing everything I had to say, and watching me act out everything I needed to act out, my parents still love me. We don’t talk about those confessions, or how uncomfortable it made them, and frankly I don’t want to. They love my heart and soul. I don’t know if it was really my business to try and fix them, but I think they saw what they needed to see. And with sight can come healing. That’s what I hope, that by accepting the healing I can release the shame I’m still carrying…
The path I chose to walk in order to see my illusions may be different, but it is my own, and I’m not alone. I’m learning balance. I’m learning acceptance and unconditional love. I’m on my way.