By Raphael Awen
(This is Day 3 of an ongoing series, to begin at day 1, go here)
Raphael: Good Morning team. Pardon me, I realized that I’m the only one on the team that needs to sleep…, well, me and the posse of hearts here too.
Metatron: Sleep is good, Raphael. You feel awake though.
Raphael: I so do. The past few years have felt challenging to parts of me having as much free time as I do, quite an adjustment from the busyness of life that I knew in other settings and times. But this journey before us is rumbling through me with a passion and an excitement. It’s 4:30 in the morning as I sit on the patio in the predawn thumbing away again on this iPad. Thank you for this joint mission.
Metatron: What do you feel about that on a deeper level?
Raphael: hmmm. I’m feeling how all my life, I, or the part of me living my life as me at that time, sought mission and purpose. God forbid, pardon the pun, that I would lead a meaningless life. This part of me, so wanted to escape boredom. I still feel I have aspects of my Metasoul that want to heal and feel that one through my present life story to this day. This was so much a part of the draw to Christianity, getting approval and purpose from thee creator, thee God, with a capital ‘g’, thee God of everything. Where this all lands in me in this moment is that I still feel we play a big role with our intentions and choice points about how we are going to relate to life.
Metatron: What’s your intention for today, for now?
Raphael: I feel, and I like starting my intentional statement with the words, ‘I feel’,… I feel I want to be intentional and conscious of everything I’m feeling as I’m feeling it. Am I feeling everything that’s moving through me and giving love to any place of fear, giving curiosity to any place of tension or hiding? Am I showing up for myself?
Metatron: Wow, there’s a new universe, right there! And certainly doesn’t sound like one ruled by the Demiurge!
Raphael: Yes! I still very much want aliveness, and juice flowing through my veins, but I want a different relationship with all of that inside of me. I get to feel, I like to say.
Metatron: We said we’d like to talk about your Christian journey and the events that led to its demise in you. This feels like a good time to get into that. The journey to the Demiurge will need us all being brought up to speed on some of this for sure.
Raphael: Okay. I get to story tell some. I like that. There are still parts of me that have pieces to feel and heal around all of this and so sharing is an opportunity to feel them, and this journey then gets to re-create the whole deal as well.
As I said, I so wanted purpose and mission. As a teen, I wanted to escape the aimlessness I felt around me and even in my family’s version of ‘Christianity light’, as I saw it at the time. I left the family denomination at 19, where I was already an active youth leader, in one fell swoop, decided to renounce my infant baptism, by choosing adult baptism, joined another non-denominational church and signed up for the full time Bible School they hosted. I had become really drawn to miracles, signs and wonders. I wanted something real, that I could feel. I felt how the longstanding family history in a denomination felt dead to me, culturally stuck, and sooo eternally and damnably boring. I had sat through 2 church services every Sunday since I was a week or two old, and about the only thing I hated more was the dentist.
I recall as a young boy, around 5 years old, as spring had sprung and the snow had receded in northern British Columbia, the neighborhood boys were rounding up a group to go play baseball. I looked high and low for my treasured ball glove, but couldn’t find it. After I had looked everywhere, it dawned on me that ‘God knew where my ball glove was’. I paused and prayed to God to help me find my glove, then opened my eyes, resumed my search, and boom, there it was. ‘God’ was just a given in my reality.
At 17, I ‘knew I wasn’t living right’, and that ‘I would go to hell if I died’. The pot smoking and wanting to get my hands up a girls shirt were things that had to go. I was also living with a self diagnosis of suffering with a big ‘inferiority complex’ and depression. This was the moment I made my first cult switch, as I dropped my circle of friends overnight, and jumped into my family’s Christianity. I again bargained with God ‘that unless he delivered me from my inferiority complex, I wouldn’t amount to anything’ which is kind of funny now as I feel it. I kind of told God that he needed to cough up or he wasn’t going to get any goods out of me. The crazy thing though was about 3 weeks later, while out driving my dads car, it dawns on me that I had not had any deep depression feelings for that whole time. I sincerely believed that God had answered my desperate prayer and heart cry. My energy field shifted and it wasn’t long and I was President of the youth group at our church, and the inferiority subsided.
Merlin: Wow, Raphael. I think it would have been better had you managed to get your hands up more girls shirts.
Raphael: I know! right? Merlin, thanks for jumping in here. This can all use some breathing. Part of me so was afraid of my sexuality and my desires for mateship as well, that ‘giving it all to God’ felt like ‘the right thing to do’. Again, I pawned off onto God for safekeeping what I was afraid of, just like I was afraid of my inferiority and depression and needed to use God as a way to escape it.
I met a young woman at this time through some church youth volunteer mission work, and we found our way into a romance and I felt like my life went instantly from a 2 to 9.5 on a scale of 10. Sex was being ‘saved for marriage’, and this was any kind of ‘sex’ other than kissing. When she broke up with me 11 months later, I knew it had to do with me wandering from the family faith that we were both deeply a part of, and looking to greener pastures of more exciting forms of Christianity, even the dreaded Charismatic Movement. The day following our break up, my family was away on a weekend camping trip and I sat in the black lazy boy chair in the empty living room with the house to myself, and the well of tears wanted to come, but I was able to hold them, and the depression at bay. I called a friend instead to arrange to go for coffee. Something in me ‘knew that I knew’ not to go to that ocean of tears. I again called on God to deliver me from this pain. I managed to walk away unscathed on the surface. It would be not until 19 years later that I re-encountered my depression, finally able to self lovingly let it arise to the surface to begin feeling it. Wow, talk about an effective suppression strategy, and ‘God’ was at the center of it.
How am I doing Metatron? We felt to go to me sharing about the demise of my Christianity, and I’m taking the long road to get there…
Metatron: You’re doing perfectly. How are you feeling as you are sharing this?
Raphael: I’m feeling a ton of compassion for the me who managed and lived all of that through, for the reasons I did. I can feel another version of me who could have been able to weep all those tears at that time of the deepest conscious loss of my life; the me who is here now. And that feels good.
Metatron: Your sharing feels good too. Please…
Raphael: So, then is about when I was preparing to jump ship again and trade in everything I had for the Charismatic Movement in Christianity. I so wanted to be able to ‘speak in tongues’ as they called it. I felt this was proof of the real power of God. I knew I was ‘saved’, and my fears of hell were well behind me now in the rear view mirror, but I so wanted to feel this miracle kind of experience. It was a bit of a long journey finally arriving at the moment where in response to a church altar call, I was essentially coached into being able to access prayer language, but what a glorious moment it was feeling this miracle of prayer language flow through me in all kinds of dialects and intonations that I could play with at will. I went home that night and prayed for another hour. I knew I was at a turning point.
After a few more months of logistics and gathering the courage, I knew it would have to be a tear-the-bandaid-off kind of approach. My father had said a few months prior that if I left the church, or got adult baptized, I’d have to move out of the house. I sat him down one evening and told him in one breath and one non-stop sentence, that I was leaving the church, resigning from my youth group presidency, joining the Charismatic Church I’d been visiting, attending their full time Bible School in the fall as well as getting adult baptized. He said nothing, looked away and asked my mom for an aspirin as his headache had flared up just then. He came down to my room later that evening and told me, quite surprisingly, that he felt that if I felt my Heavenly Father was guiding me, then who was he, as my earthly father to stand in the way.
It’s interesting I’ve managed to connect with my dad, Jim, as a guide, since he passed away close to 10 years ago now. He died a few years after me jumping ship yet again, leaving Christianity, leaving a 23 year marriage, and admitting I no longer held Jesus as my personal savior. My last memory of him in this life was him in a hospital bed looking so weak a few weeks before he died, as I felt my inner boy part of me looking at him in his weakness, recalling his admiration of his dad’s once strong body. My dad garnered his energy to sit up and tell me with his forefinger pecking at the roll-away bedside eating table that ‘God said in his word that we are to honor our father and our mother, and that He ‘instituted’ family.’ We were miles apart and I chose not to go back to sit again in that energy for any more of that disconnect.
I can so feel his new energy now and feel to let him pop in here, as I’ve energized him by speaking about him.
Jim: Thank you Raphael. I love your new name. It so rocks. We gave you the name Marvin, but you chose Raphael. I’m so sorry I fed you the horse shit pile called Christianity that I was fed. I didn’t find the courage to stand up to it like you did. I know we agreed to these roles before acting them out together, but I still feel sadness that you felt pain. That was some tuff shit we agreed to. And I want to say that the Bible is the biggest horse shit pile of them all, some really attractive horse shit mind you, but shit none the less. I don’t feel afraid of God from where I am today, but boy, did I ever in my life with you. I always thought I wasn’t a coward, standing up to bullies, but you are standing up to the biggest bully of them all. I’m so proud of you.
Raphael: There you have it! Thank you Jim. That changes the energy doesn’t it!? Your voice and presence feels so accessible and I’ll count you in as another guide on this journey. Big horse shit piles! Wow. Part of me is remembering all that doctrine just now about omnipresence, omnipotence, and a few other omni’s, like omniscience.
Merlin: Sounds to me like Jim got over his God-fearing ways, and I say we sniff out the same horse shit. If God had to prattle on about his Omni this and Omni that, it sounds to me like he never had it to begin with. We gave that to him as a sacrifice of our own divinity, borne out our insecurity and unfelt wounds. We’ve been eating horseshit ever since and calling it dinner. Fucking no more!!
Raphael: Okay, and now a swearing Merlin on our hands. You usually come off so wise sounding and even-tempered Merlin…
Merlin: There’s some things that really need some fire,… earth, wind and fire, yes and Amen, if that sounds any better…
Raphael: It’s all perfect, and I need to pause for today and pick this up right where we’re leaving off if I may. I feel juiced about the opportunity to share more of my story and feel your digestions of it as we go. Metatron?…
Metatron: I’ll need the day to take in Jim and Merlin, ‘fucking no more!’ I love it. Where did we ever this morality horseshit about what’s right, wrong, and proper, instead of feeling what we feel. So yes, I’m good and I’ll be ready when you are.
Raphael: Thanks everyone, and a big salute again to the growing posse of hearts joining this journal and journey. Same time, same channel, manana.
Raphael Awen is co-creator, teacher, and facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Visit www.soulfullheartwayoflife.com for more information about Weekly Sessions, Live Streams, Videos, and Community.