Sometimes, it feels just like a dream, yet never before in my life have I felt so awake! God used to be just a word to me. An abstract concept of some father in the sky, whose rules we had to follow to be in his favor. This was just like my life. Behave, and you won’t be punished. Do good, and you will be loved. But what I have found with God is that He loves us all, unconditionally, and I have EXPERIENCED it.
When I was still a young boy, I met Divine Mother. From the very moment I sat in front of her, I could feel her Love. Just being in her presence gave me a feeling of safety and peace that I never experienced before. I’ll always cherish those moments, for she came into our lives at just the right moment. Up until then, I lived in a family where intimidation and abuse, both mental and physical, were rampant. We lived in fear of a dominating father, who ruled our household with an iron will and an uncontrollable temper. You would never ever think of talking back to him or question his actions. To do so would incur the wrath of his explosive temper and rage. No one could yell louder than he. No one dared.
On the other hand, my mother gave us the love we needed growing up. But she too was fearful of my father and couldn’t stand up to him. Instead, she would rally the four children around her. We became her crutch. But we were all too weak to help ourselves, let alone each other. Eventually, we couldn’t even see the dysfunctional lifestyle we lived. Looking back, it seems as though we just resigned ourselves to our situation and just made the best of it. Like most families, we had our quirks, but not until we met Divine Mother did we realize how much we really hurt each other with our ignorant behaviors. She opened our hearts and gave us new eyes to see the degraded lives we were living.
My experience since has been the gradual growth of my self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as a deepening compassion for my loved ones and others. Divine Mother helped me find myself by letting me share all of my suppressed feelings, as well as the dark secrets of my past that I thought I would carry with me to the grave. With each meeting with her, I gradually felt lighter and lighter. As the burden of all the “junk” of my past lifted, God’s Love filled my heart.
Through Divine Mother’s Love and guidance I was able to face the pain of my past. I used to think that I was okay. Being the youngest of four kids, I was the baby of the family and thought I received the most love from my parents, especially my mother. Who was I to complain, when my brother and sisters had it far worse than me? But Divine Mother made it safe for me to share my true feelings and emotions with my family members, and as I did this, I remembered how I felt all those years. I had not been happy growing up. I detested the conditional love that I received because it came with all kinds of hooks and manipulations. The pouring of affection over me only alienated me from my siblings who were treated so badly. I saw the inequities in my family and only wanted everyone to be treated and loved the same, but sadly, this rarely happened, and I felt so guilty. How could I enjoy the attention when my brother and sisters were subjected to so much abuse and neglect? I took it upon myself to compensate for this imbalance by being the “good boy.” I put pressure on myself to excel in school, art and athletics, so that everyone would be proud of me. I was out to please, but in doing so I lost myself.
After years of this, I soon discovered, at the age of twenty-six, that I didn’t even know what I wanted or how I really felt about anything. Was I still trying to make my parents and siblings happy? I was lost, but Divine Mother guided me back home to my Godself. She asked me to share, and as I shared with my family, I slowly began to have clarity into who I was. Through this sharing, I also discovered that everybody in my family bore their own “crosses,” and my compassion for them grew even greater. We all tried the best we could, and beneath all of the abuse that went on in our family, there was love just waiting to be uncovered. This experience allowed me to be truthful with myself, and gave me the freedom to experience all of the emotions I denied myself, regardless of how ugly they were. One of these emotions was rage. The very rage I saw in my father, and that I swore I would never have, was exposed in me. When I first experienced this, I was shattered. NOT being like my father was my identity, and in that one moment, I lost the one thing that separated me from him. But Divine Mother helped me to see that we all contain a range of emotions, and that it was not healthy for me to suppress this, and with this awareness, I could face it.
In the end, it all comes down to the grace of God, flowing from Divine Mother’s heart to mine. Through her Love, I was able to experience the many miracles of change in my life. As I sit here writing this, tears flow because I know in my heart that Divine Mother is one with me. I am happier, more confident, and respect myself. My whole family has made substantial changes as well, and we have greater intimacy, love and respect for each other. My father has changed a lot. Divine Mother spent time with him and gave him so much love and attention, as she has for everyone in my family. His extreme fits of rage have dissipated. Divine Mother showed us how to stop tolerating and submitting to his abusive behaviors. I am also thankful that my father and whole family are on this path. Because of the love in our hearts that we have for God, we were all very motivated to change and be released from destructive behaviors. It has been so uplifting to experience growth that is healthy, positive and loving. It makes me so hopeful that if such miraculous changes can take place in my family, that it is possible for all. And that families out there that are in need of God’s Love, can experience and receive it, as Divine Mother takes Sri Ramakrishna’s Light to the world.