I realize now, that it’s all part of conformity, and the institution is provided to train adults to follow the rules and accept that the church is there to control our lives. If the institution fails to keep us controlled, it would collapse from within. At any rate, I wanted to make my parents happy, so I went along with it.
Somewhere along the line, the subject of souls came up. I was told by a gleeful 80 year old pastor that humans are the only members of the animal kingdom that have souls and that’s what makes us special. That statement immediately struck a nerve. Wait, why wouldn’t God give his beloved creatures souls? All we had been taught in Sunday School was about Jesus blessing the animals and they were here to serve us. So why wouldn’t they have souls?
“You see,” explained Pastor Schulz, “If they had souls, they would be able to think – and you know animals can’t think...”
“Sure they can….” The conversation ended about there, with his voice getting stern and his temples bulging. That was the end of that.
On the drive home, I told Mom. She said that although he was old school and had traditional beliefs, and even though she agreed with me, she felt it was best to keep my feelings to myself. With that, I was trained to keep my spiritual beliefs in the proverbial closet.
I enjoyed the confirmation itself, with the ceremony and rite of passage, it probably touched me as a step toward adulthood. Serving communion and lighting the candles as an acolyte was a responsibility I honored. However, looking back, it was the first step toward my gradual wander away from the church in my late teens.
The confirmation class timed coincidentally with the yoga classes that I started attending at age 13 and continued through my late teens. We had already started meditation practice with the class. Of course, I never told the pastor.
The Unity Church was a few blocks away from the yoga center. It was the bookstore there where I discovered wonderful Unity books, and a few years later, the newly published You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay. You can imagine the doors that opened for me.
When I was 17, I found a metaphysical center that taught courses in Astrology, Numerology, Tarot, and various courses about chakras and various other spiritual topics influenced by the Theosophist society and the works of Alice Bailey and Edgar Cayce. The director of the center, Anna Horton, was Methodist and a non-denominational minister, as women were not ordained as ministers in the Methodist church at that time. It felt comforting to me as a connection to the church without the rigidity. I told Anna about the experience with Pastor Schulz. “You don’t have to worry about that here,” she chuckled, reaching down and scratching her dog’s ears, “Right Wolfie?”
I learned to read the tarot from Anna, and enjoyed the new world of intuition. She held workshops with psychic readers who channeled and read psychometry. I was curious but somewhat apprehensive at that point. Little did I know where I would end up in 35 years.
Through Anna, I heard about the Universal Light of Christ Church. Rev. Pat did psychic readings after their church services. Looking back, I see her as amazingly gifted. I learned that Pat offered psychic fairs and she offered me the opportunity to participate. I slowly built up confidence. Sometimes the attendance was low, and the readers passed the time by reading for each other. I learned so much from them. Many encouraged me, but being a beginner, and half their age, I didn’t have the confidence. I dealt with compare and despair issues, which carried into my early coaching days as offering my intuitive readings 30 years later.
Pat always saw my light shining. I could see hers.