By Chiquita Violette
My general belief is “to each their own.” I don’t think that any one dogma or lack of a dogma is completely right or wrong. I am inspired by those who see beyond themselves, who reach out to aid others and feel that such people are on a higher plane of consciousness than those who think only of themselves. Growing up, my family sporadically went to Christian churches of various denominations but I found it very difficult to believe anything being said to me, especially as I got older and began to explore different faiths.
Once when I was a teenager, a preacher ‘laid hands on me’ (in that spiritual sense). I guess he expected me to pass out like everyone else before me, but I didn’t. His fingertips on my forehead, I felt him actually trying to push me backwards and down, but, to the dismay of the congregation, I wouldn’t budge. “This is a child of great will! Very willful…” He tried one more time, and I still wouldn’t fall and felt no kind of spiritual overtaking, nothing. He went on with his sermon, “God something, something… Jesus something or other…” I sat down, and the next kid he touched after me fell down and writhed like he was showing me how it should be done. I think that was one of, if not the last time I went to that particular church and it wasn’t too long until I stopped going altogether. For a time it was difficult to want to follow a religious faith at all, but I wanted to explore what else was out there.
Eventually, I combined aspects of different faiths to create my personal faith: I believe in reincarnation, past lives and Karma. I’m into Astrology, Palmistry and the Tarot. I borrow what works for me, doesn’t matter if it’s Buddhism, Abrahamic or Indigenous, only the positive aspects will I apply to my life. Like Wiccans, I believe in magick. One favorite thing about Wicca and other pagan faiths is that they are very accepting of all sexual orientations. There is no struggle between my spiritual path and my sexual orientation when practicing Wicca, no condemnation for being fluid. Sex can be very spiritual and I wouldn’t want to have to feel guilty being sexual with a woman or someone whose gender identity doesn’t fit the binary. I’ll never follow a dogma or path that rejects any aspect of my being, ever. It just doesn’t make sense for me to do that.
I also believe that all things are possible and in the possibility of other dimensions and parallel universes. I daydream about this sometimes, and enjoy imagining that somewhere out there is a planet Earth with green grass, blue waters and everything beautiful and clean. Everyone is viewed as one people, and differences aren’t just tolerated or accepted, but respected as well. People live well and prosper. Technologically advanced civilizations interact and coexist easily with those who choose to live simply. There’s no stealing, no killing or enslaving other people. No one dies from drinking nasty water, breathing in polluted air. There’s no toxic waste. The Earth is respected and cared for. There are no poor, no hungry. People share, and animals killed for food are thanked and no parts are wasted, much as Native Americans did it in our ‘real’ world. There’s prosperity for all because everyone cooperates rather than competes. Hours of labor are short and far between with long days of leisure and recreation. There is abundance, and one can live so long it would make Methuselah’s lifespan seem like a minute. (Why would people die in my daydream, especially if life is so good?)
I try not to compare that Earth to this one. My daydream is bittersweet. When I look around or read in the news of struggles for equality, war, oil spills and animal abuse, I wish I could enter that dimension and abandon this one altogether. I know there are plenty of good things about life here, but it seems you have to really seek them out sometimes, whereas bad things seem to happen all around us. Sometimes I laugh and imagine that if I fantasize about it enough, my ‘dream’ world might just Big Bang itself into existence!
I just try to keep a positive attitude about the cards I’m dealt and to work with what I’ve got on hand to make my surroundings just a little bit better. I hope one day that I don’t have to daydream to escape a world where religions and the “pious” tell us that LGBT people are bad and are going to suffer eternal damnation. I hope that someday soon we will evolve to a point where differences are respected, embraced and seen as an opportunity to learn about one another.
My ultimate dream is that we all finally learn to just live and let live.
Chiquita lives in Dallas, Texas, and is a member of Dallas/ Fort Worth BiNet.