I was lost and now I am found.
Today, I buried my former choir director. He was a sweet and loving man from whom I derived spiritual sustenance. His commitment to the body of church music and to the experience of it as an offering, even a sacrament, to our worship had been my refuge from my unhappy life. For many years he also directed us in a men's plainsong Gregorian chant choir that left me in spiritual ecstasy each time we sang. He was a sure and steady source from which I maintained my spiritual life. He had replaced another wonderful man, a priest who had died, from whom I had learned how to understand that there was a God whose presence was a constant in a world of confusion. I loved them both.
My first loss, was devastating. I felt like this priest was my guide, my only substitute for a family, a refuge and an important part of my connection to God. He had been snatched away, leaving me to drift in the pain of my life constantly dragged down by mysterious unknown forces which I concluded was me being a Freak of Nature.
After he left, I threw myself into the music, singing often, often feeling like only the choir director and I knew the true spiritual possibilities of the heights to which the music could take us. But, I had left that church and the choir several years ago, in search of new things.
Now, he too, was gone. I cried throughout the service. When no one spoke of the importance of the spiritual force that this man represented, I got up during the funeral and spoke, simply and from my heart, about his loving strength and spiritual commitment to us, how the music was a sacrament, a prayer of harmony, and how his focus helped us recognize the Truth of God's Presence.
But my loss was different this time. I was changed. Before, I had come to my loss from the depths of my confusion, the sense of being so lost that I and my inner child would never be united – but now it was different. I had come to this loss with an awareness, for the first time in my life, of who I was, of who I am!
You see, I had a transformation happen in my life. Some four years ago, I recovered the memories of my sexual abuse at the ages of 0-5 years by my mother. Finding out the great mystery of my past was a staggering blow – after all it was my MOTHER! And the feeling of anger and loss and regret over a seemingly lost and wasted life was overwhelming.
I had lacked a sense of myself through out my life. I discovered that my being lost was mostly caused by not knowing about my abuse or its symptoms. The discovery of this brought a flood of introspection about my life and the choices I had made, many of them mysteriously faulty and guided by unknown forces. The work that I did to map the symptoms, including sexual identity confusion, depression, hypervigilence, trust issues, and low self esteem became my transformation. The symptoms had repeatedly pushed me into poor choices of mates, sexually obsessive thinking, failed or unsatisfying career choices, periodic depressive states, and an underlying, ever present anxiety which felt like my only constant in life.
Over the past four years, I had worked hard on these issues. I am still on an emotional rollercoaster. But I can see things coming, sometimes. I can head them off, or not give them the power they used to enjoy. This feels like there is real growth for one who had viewed the world “through a glass darkly”. This process of recovery has been my transformation - discovering who I am.
The loss I felt at the funeral today was no longer grounded in desperation. I will miss him and I cried for the loving man that he was when I was in need. But I am becoming whole and my connection to God has changed. I am open to the many doors through which the Spirit enters my life. I no longer dependant on another's spiritual guidance. My relationship with God is direct. And I realize that none of this could have happened without God's presence.
I once was lost but now I am found. And I am starting to like being found.
"..this place isn't a discussion forum..it's a portal..." Lupin
"The truth will set you free, but first it will probably piss you off." dwf's AA sponsor.