For as long as I can remember my spirituality came first and foremost. I learned from birth that the purpose in life is to do what’s pleasing to God, and I strived to live my life in that way. I tried to mold my life and ideas of how I wanted my life to be around what is pleasing to God. Growing up following the four regulative principles of Bhakti Yoga – no meat eating, no intoxicants, no sex before marriage, no gambling – I knew at a very young age that my spirituality along with its morals and values were something that I needed the man I marry to be able to share, so we could in turn pass it along to our children. Once I started dating always having these “high standards” and expectations, I felt as if I was searching for someone who was accepting and/or willing to change…constantly being disappointed and hearing guys talk about ex-girlfriends and all their “extra baggage” that which had always been most important was put further and further on the back burner.
After losing the man I was sure I was going to marry because he “had never changed for anyone and never fucking will” I allowed my mind to talk me in to believing that my spirituality was extra baggage. As a result I allowed myself to make exceptions in other relationships…I ended up losing my virginity to a boyfriend I barely knew, he ended up getting me pregnant and then breaking up with me for not aborting our child. The next guy on the list waits a handful of times of sleeping together before he decides to tell me that he has herpes, but didn’t tell me sooner because he was afraid I would break up with him. So within a short year and a half, my extra baggage count went from one to three…all of which are lifelong commitments.
Overwhelmed, stressed, and often times depressed, all I was left to do was ask myself questions, “Why am I feeling like this? What has changed that’s making me feel like this? What can I do to change this?” All of this brought me to one answer: I was more worried about finding someone to “accept” me and everything that comes with me. I realized then my focus needed to change it was time to go back to the one thing that was always there for me, my spirituality. It had been a long time since it was at the fore front. Since that realization I have been trying to invest more time and energy focusing on my spiritual life rather than worrying about my material life. Bringing my attention back to God, I’ve been able to surrender and have full faith that He is there (always has been and always will be) and knowing that where my life has been and where it goes is exactly where it is supposed to.
Knowing that my life is in His hands I have been able to realize two things: 1. Why would I even want to be with someone who considers these things “extra baggage”? and 2. I’ve been able to realize that my “extra baggage” isn’t extra baggage at all. My spirituality: it’s a huge part of me and is what turned me in to the woman, mother, daughter, sister, and friend I am today. I realize now that spirituality and a loving relationship with God is the natural instinct of the soul, and we should all want to be in a relationship that helps progress our spiritual life and not hinder it. My son…the fact that I ever viewed him as extra baggage kills me. Anyone who is a part of his life, including myself is truly blessed. As far as herpes goes…yeah it’s a lifelong virus but quite minor compared to others, an annoyance more than anything. But after all is said and done I now see that each one of my “suitcases” has helped me become the person I am today and all though they are a part of me, I am not my extra baggage.