There I was, scared stiff. I was in 7th grade at a slumber party at my best friend's house. We were playing the Ouija board, supposedly speaking to spirits or ghosts, and what it landed on freaked me out!
I grew up in a mostly non-religious family. It was an odd combination of only going to church on Easter and never saying grace. I would ask my parents, "Why are there so many religions? Which one is real?" My mom would reply, "Whatever you believe is true."
Now I was a true investigator since the ripe age of 5. I grew up in the country in a cabin and explored the secret lives of creek snails and sat still until the butterflies would land on me at the watering hole. I wanted to know the truth about everything. So when I heard, "Whatever you believe is true." I had my first existential crisis to navigate.
After playing with the concepts of ghosts and spirits in middle school with friends, doing fake seances, and having weirdly unexplainable experiences as a child, I decided that extrasensory anything was way too scary and I wanted nothing to do with it.
I was so scared of the dark growing up I would duck my head and look away as I crept my hand around the corner of my room to flip on the light.
I made a pact with myself to only believe in what is measurable, observable and objective. This served me for years. I never thought of life beyond there being 'more than meets the eye.'
Until one day...
I was laying on my bed. I had hit what felt like rock bottom. I suffered from anxiety, depression and stress eating. After I overate, yet again, I laid there and asked myself over and over, "What is wrong with me?" "What is wrong with me?" "Why can't I figure this out?"
I felt numb. Helpless.
I decided it would be best to distract myself. I got myself up, walked myself over to my mother's bookshelves and plopped myself down right next to one of them. She had what seemed like thousands of books. History, fiction, self-help, gardening, cooking, non-fiction, biographies. You name it.
Well, without giving it much thought I grabbed a book.
I opened that book to a random page.
I glanced down at a random paragraph.
What happened next changed me forever. My eyes landed on the exact sentence, "This should be a relief to all of you out there who have been wondering "What's wrong with me?"
I gasped. Everything I knew about reality seemed to crumble. I just asked the question. I was answered. But how was this possible? There are thousands of books, how did I happen to pick this one. There are hundreds of pages, how did I happen to open to that page? There were many, many sentences. How did my eyes happen to land on that one???
I sat stunned. I cried. Maybe there was help out there? Maybe there is more to life than science and data points and measurements. What just happened???
This experience began my 20-year search for the "more to life than meets the eye". What had I been missing? What is the truth about religions, God, science?
What I have since learned, I will be sharing with you in these Chronicles. If you are curious, atheist or agnostic and yet wonder what is beyond sight, I hope my experience and research provide some fun and inspiring insights along your spiritual exploration.
P.S. I went back years later and found the book in my mom's collection to double check that my memory was accurate. I am a skeptic first, so I had to be sure my brain didn't extraplate a memory or it wasn't a dream.
The book is Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, by Dr. Susan Jeffers. I found it, page 4.
My mom has her name in it, "J. Bartch". I highlighted the sentence in green and posted a picture of it below. (The orginal had no underlines or highlights that would have pulled my site to that phrase.)
Laurel Elders, PCC, CEC
Laurel helps people wake up delighted to be leading the life they've been called to step into. She is a professionally trained and credentialed Integrative Life & Leadership Coach. Laurel's coaching methodologies teach you how to take life's roadblocks and use them as stepping stones through your own wisdom, allowing you to fully lead through your calling!