I feel it only seems fit that my first post be in regards to the development of my own spiritual journey. It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I hit a point in my life where, for the first time, I was really confused, becoming sick, lost, and depressed. Before I go any further though, I must back up a little, to my younger days.
Growing up with two older brothers and a younger sister my childhood was always filled with activity and fun. Since we were young, my mother always told us kids to look at the faces of our siblings, she would tell us that we are each others best friend’s for life, and that these people will always be there for us. Thanks to my mother’s teachings and the protection of my brothers; growing up, I was fearless.
Throughout high school I was the class clown and everyone’s best friend. I brought energy and vitality everywhere I went (with a little help of coffee of course). I may have been the only kid that actually enjoyed going to school. I was a very successful high school wrestler and life was great. I shared so much joy with my friends and family. I never really stopped to contemplate any of this until I moved onto college.
The Rude Awakening
I went to college to wrestle, really having no career plans in mind. I had big dreams, I wanted to be an all American. However, things quickly got out of hand when I had a muscle detach from my pelvis, then tore my meniscus in my knee as well as my MCL. I was on the team for the entirety of my freshman year and half of my sophomore year and I wrestled a total of 4 matches. I was a wreck.
The culture of the wrestling team was like a plague. Anyone that got injured was made out to be “weak”. Almost none of my teammates were supportive and I guess you could say was exposed to the “real world.” It was cruel and lonely. I remember going to practice everyday counting the days until the end of the season and living in fear of my coach. I recall this one time I went to greet him at a tournament and after joyfully asking how he is doing he swore at me and told me I should be working the camera. I was going insane. I remember not being able to get my coaches name out of my head for days in a row. Having wrestled my whole life, leaving the team halfway through my second season was one of the most difficult decisions i ever made. I had to though…
I couldn’t pay attention in class. I worried all the time about my injuries. I felt no purpose without wrestling and without a career path I felt like everyone else was on. I was so confused because my entire life i was happy and now i was not.
It was at this very moment I subconsciously, without knowing it dedicated my life to happiness. I didn’t care what it took, or how long it took to get there. I wanted to understand why was I so happy in high school and why am I so depressed now? So what did I do next? The following three things began to fall into place that changed my life; meditation, reading, and reflection.
I would sit in solitude for 20-30 minutes at a time. Listening to relaxing music and just watching my thoughts, soon I began to realize the stupidity of them all. At first though, i was terrified. I did this everyday for a while before taking a break and then resuming on the schedule I am on now. Everyday my mind slowly became more calm and tranquil.
This almost happened naturally, I feel like it does for a lot of college students. During high school I never stopped to look back and ask questions, like why did i do this? Or what effect did this action have on me? In college though, it was constant.
I wanted to know where happiness comes from. Why do some have it and some don’t? More importantly I wanted to know why more people are not talking about happiness as much as they talk about money, sex, and brand name purses! Turns out that there are two parts here. As I would read passages on the ego and presence, I would constantly relate the authors words into my real life situations. This is the only way to learn!
I’ve come so far during the past four years, but this is only the beginning. I still find myself in places of uncertainty and confusion. The only difference is now I have a faith to fall back on. A faith that stands for truth and love for all sentient beings. A faith not out of belief, but one that stems from knowing, for it is I that feel the emotions and perceive the reality we all share. This knowing stems from wisdom and understanding that I am more than my thoughts, I am more than my own body even. I am limitless energy, derived from a source grander than the mind can comprehend.