Never, have I been a religious person. The last time i went to church, before this past weekend, i was 7 years old.. So i find it an oddity that 20 years later, I feel a culling to go.
Being a spiritual person, my spiritual journey began long ago and is predominately detailed in the third chapter of my book, ‘Poetry for the Sightless Mind: Spirit Walker’.
Even though I do not have a criminal record, I have spent much of my life in the throws of dealing with my social anxiety. Driving me to isolation, addiction seemed to present a way out for me, but obviously, coupled with the anxiety, took me to some places that i’d rather not travel to again, so I have committed to sobriety and thrown away my ties to a life rooted in stupidity and easy money. I began this transition about 3 years ago and since then, have made great progress, remaining sober and admittedly, broke, for the duration.
As a side note, I have detailed my experiences in dealing with anxiety and also dealing with the mental illness that has plagued my brother for the duration of his life. Having a life time of experience working with people who have mental health issues, it was an interesting experience, finding out for myself, that i also dealt with anxiety! What a surprise, however, the experience of dealing with it has only bolstered my understanding of how anxiety can affect the individuals I work with, as I am now working with people who have mental disabilities as a job. The detailed account can be found in the first chapter of Anxiety in Action.
Understandably, people will want to know what types of things I was involved in and to those thoughts, I simply reply that the lifestyle upheld was easy.. Rooted in serving base needs. In truth, anybody, anywhere, could be involved in what I was involved in and so in that, there is nothing special or noteworthy about my negative experiences, it was just simply an easy lifestyle to be apart of.
In more recent times, I have found myself struggling even more to obtain money through legitimate means. Unemployment was at a staggering 9% at one point and seems to show no signs of dropping. My saving grace in this, has been my career in serving people with disabilities and continues to provide what little it can, but admittedly, in the beginning of October, I found myself homeless for the first time in my life.. The irony is not lost on me, that through trying to legitimately sustain myself, I find homelessness, after leading a life of luxury through illegitimate means. Sleeping in the car has been.. A learning experience, to say the least. The harsh Alberta winter is closing in fast, and the time to obtain a second job, to help me find a place, has come.
My spirits being low, I decided to volunteer at the local food bank i was apart of, run out of the church in the area i am in. Through these people, volunteering, I was invited to a service, which was this past Sunday. Typically, I would of scoffed at the idea of attending church and did when it was offered, but understanding that i needed some emotional support and to not be judged, I decided to say to myself “Alright, show me a sign.. Show me a distinguished sign, and i will go.”
10 minutes later, i was walking down the road, near my local gym, where I attend to shower and park my car during the day, so my bed doesn’t get towed away and i spot a nickel on the ground. Upon further inspection, I see that this is no nickel, but a medal.. I am blown away by what i find.
Shining, the medal was small and silver. Depicting what seems to be Jesus, the figure is surrounded by a text, saying “O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee.” On its back, it has 12 stars, along with a capital M, a cross and two hearts. I was taken aback by the suddenness of the sign, thinking it would probably not even come.. But it was undeniable, that it was, at the least, an uncanny coincidence and so I decided to uphold my word, I gave to myself, and go..