ACCORDING to NASA, the media and our governments, the search for extraterrestrial life and our place in the universe is still ongoing. The likelihood that the only sentient forms of biological life exist on our planet is 0000000.1% when you consider the size of the cosmos, but according to them, we’ve still not answered the fundamental question; are we alone?
Or have we? Maybe, the truth is stranger than fiction.
I’ve always been fascinated by what’s deemed ‘paranormal’ by society. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had the answer to that question rotating on the carousel of my mind. The existence of ET life has never been in doubt to me. I vividly recall scanning the heavens for visitors from other star-systems with a pair of cheap binoculars in my hand when I was just six years old.
Excited by the intuitive hunch that the truth is indeed, out there, my pursuit to investigate the unseen realms began at a tender age. This world has a way of making you forget what you came here for, however…
I once read that it’s no measure of good health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society; I learned this the hard way. I was born with childlike excitement glistening in my eyes, but when I reached my teenage years, my passion for the unseen realms was buried beneath the lies of those around me. Defining yourself through the eyes of people who don’t know you or themselves, is challenging, to say the least.
Before I knew it, I’d become just like everyone else. Mother Nature’s way of forcing us to adapt to our environment did a number of me. I dressed, spoke, behaved, just like my friends; and truth be told, they weren’t a good influence on me.
At this point in my life, all that mattered was the satisfaction I got out of fulfilling my whimsical desires. I suppressed the yearnings of my inner child with booze, which became the vehicle for my downward spiral into severe depression and anxiety. Fear of ostracisation controlled my every behaviour. The need for acceptance fuelled my restlessness; I always felt like an outsider; even around close friends.
I’d become another cog in the machine of this profoundly sick society with mental health issues; my childlike self, all but forgotten. The irony is, even though I hated my life, I somehow felt comfortable as my self-sabotaging ways suppressed the screams of my innermost child. For eleven orbits around the sun, I was in limbo; misaligned with my true self. They say life begins where your comfort zone ends; boy did they get that one right!
On my way home at the end of each night of partying with my friends, my conscience pleaded with me to cease perpetuating such a meaningless existence. I knew I had so much more inside of me, but I was too scared to go looking for it. During a cold winter night in January 2010, however, everything changed…
“I’m off!” I stood up and slipped on my shoes. We were at a party at a friend’s house, it must have been around 2:30 in the morning. I took out my phone to call a taxi as dance music pumped fiercely in the background. I had to move to the bathroom and close the door while I ordered the cab.
“Aww, you’re leaving!?” one of the girls asked as I returned to the living room. I nodded. She noticed that I looked pale; I also felt nauseous after realising just how shallow some of my acquaintances were. “Are you gonna be alright?” she squeezed me tight in her chubby arms. The stench of her perfume almost knocked me out.
“Should be, yeah!” I smiled while pulling away. I appreciated her concern but knew it wasn’t genuine. This is what most of the people around me did; they faked their feelings and were only concerned about you when they wanted something or were loaded or a combination of the two. There were only a handful of people in my life who genuinely cared, and most of them lived under the same roof as me.
A huge part of me didn’t want these people in my life any longer. I’m not judging when I say this, but some good people aren’t necessarily good for you. I know firsthand from experience, that if you spend too much time around the wrong people that their ways begin to rub off on you. We must be selective with the company we choose to keep as the environment is a powerful force capable of convincing us to do things we know we shouldn’t.
At twenty-three years old, I already hated who I’d become. I had no idea who I was; I felt misaligned with the universe. You could say that I was winging life, but even that’s a compliment to who I was back then!
After some more hugs and goodbyes, I left through the front door as I heard the cab beeping outside. I felt relieved to get out of that place as I embarked on the fifteen-minute journey home.
An eerie feeling arose in my stomach as I gazed out the cab window. Maybe it was because I was sobering up, but everything looked so fake, so artificial; even digital. Physical reality has always felt digital to me, like a simulation or something. Being an avid video gamer, I’ve defined life as a game ever since I was a child. I remember pondering this concept dozens of times in the back of my dad’s car.
“Had a good night, lad?” the cab driver broke the silence between us, interrupting my chain of thought in the process. He could probably smell the booze and assumed that I’d been out with my mates. “Cold tonight, isn’t it?” he stopped the cab as the traffic lights were on red.
“Freezing!” I rubbed my hands together to try and stay warm. For some reason, he didn’t have the radiator on in his car; it must have been broken. “Can’t wait to get into bed!”
“I know the feeling mate, been working all night!” he resumed driving as the lights turned green.
“Yeah?” I didn’t know what else to say, so I glanced out the window again; I still felt tipsy. There was a thin sheet of white covering the roads, parked cars and patches of grass; we were in the middle of winter, after all. After around ten minutes of listening to music on the radio, he turned a corner into my mum’s road.
“Just drive to the bottom mate,” I directed the driver. “I live there.”
He nodded without saying a word.
“Alright mate, here you go!” he pulled over outside my house.
“Just keep the five mate!” I handed him my last chunk of change. I was skint again; something I’d become accustomed to over the years. I survived barely by begging my mum for money and living on benefits; mediocrity was my comfort zone.
“Ta mate! Take care!” the driver said before slowly driving away as the roads were slippery due to the wintery conditions.
I quickly unlocked the front door, pushed it open and headed for the kitchen to grab a bottle of water out the fridge. I noticed some fried chicken left in a bucket in the oven; someone must have ordered some while I was out. I took a piece and ate it before walking upstairs to my room.
After going to the toilet for a slash, I slowly pushed open my bedroom door…
“Aww!” I was delighted to see my dog, Chico, lying on his side at the end of my bed, waiting for me to come home. Chico was my best friend at the time; although he’s passed away now as I write this, ten years later. My dad surprised us one Christmas when he brought him home as a puppy; he slept with me that night, it’s something I’ll never forget for as long as I’m alive.
His tail wagged as my presence woke him. I sat next to him and rubbed behind his ears; which he loved. He returned the favour by licking me ferociously on my chin. He could probably smell the chicken I’d just ate and wanted seconds. I felt much closer to him than I did to any person; he was always there for me. A dog’s loyalty is priceless.
I was getting tired, so I got changed into my shorts and shirt, switched the light off and slid into bed. Chico let out a sigh before resuming his sleep.
As I lay in bed, surrounded by darkness, my conscience was at it again. Flashbacks of the night and the people I’d interacted with kept appearing in my mind’s eye. I noticed that my breathing accelerated a little. Tossing and turning to try and relax, my thoughts started attacking me.
“What’s the point in such a meaningless life? Aren’t we here to do something worthwhile? You can do better than this!”
In hindsight, when I look back on those thoughts, I realise they were supportive, but at the time, they triggered me into a panic attack. My palms were now sweaty and could hear my heart racing amidst the silence of my room. Tossing and turning a couple more times, I found it harder to breathe by the second.
Next thing I know, I burst into my mum’s room crying for help; I thought I was going to die. “Mum! Help, I can’t breathe!” I held my hand on my chest.
Mum turned in bed and stared at me with squinty eyes. “Just open the window and get some fresh air, you’ll be fine,” she rolled back over. The moment she said I’ll be okay, the terrifying symptoms started to diminish. I switched off her lights and carefully closed the door.
I wiped the sweat off my face with the shirt I wore to the party before dropping it on the floor. Chico sat on my bed with a concerned look on his face. Needing a drink after that episode, I unscrewed the lid of the bottle of water and took a sip; it was ice-cold. It was then that I remembered what mum had said about opening the window.
I stood up and patted Chico on the head before heading to the window to open it. When I looked outside, I saw something that I wasn’t expecting. Living in the UK with its cloudy atmosphere, clear nights are rare, combined with the light-pollution, seeing constellations are even rarer.
“Wow…” I muttered, awe-struck by what I beheld. Countless stars, light-years away glistened before me in the skies of infinity. My eyes welled up as I felt the subtle presence that connected all galaxies, solar systems and worlds, including our own.
The only constellations I knew at the time were Orion and the Pleiades. A star southwest of Orion stood out the most; it shone so brilliantly. I didn’t know its name, but it immediately caught my attention.
I sat there in awe, marvelling at the omnipresent stillness of space. A few seconds later, a shooting star traversed the sky. Recollections of my child self came and aroused a smile after I saw one of the most beautiful sights Mother Nature has to offer. In keeping with the belief that wishes come true when you see one, I closed my eyes and asked for liberation from society’s confines with my hands together.
The second I made my petition to the heavens, a firm conviction arose from the deepest crevice of my being that I’d never felt before. After suffering a panic attack, I felt an unseen presence telling me that it was time to change my ways; it was now or never.
I didn’t wish to suffer any longer. My life was already in pieces; I had no job, no goals or passion, no healthy habits; I’d hit rock bottom, and when you hit bottom, the only way is up. I clenched my fist as hard as I could with tears pouring down my face; this was the moment my life changed forever.
“That’s it!” I held my hand out the window and told the universe that I was going to take my life back. I declared, with all my conviction, that I was going to align with its plan for my life. I didn’t ask, I didn’t beg; I told the source that I was going to change myself.
And that’s precisely what happened…
The following morning, I woke up as a different person; the change was subtle, but it was there. The first thought I had upon opening my eyes was that I’m going to find God within myself; I’d never had that thought before. Being born into a Catholic family who believes God and his creation are separate didn’t permit such thinking. I’ve never been a religious person, but I knew there was something to it, I just didn’t know what.
I noticed the picture of Mother Mary on the wall in the lobby on my way to the bathroom. Even though I knew nothing about her, pictures of her helped me feel at peace, at ease.
I now had no desire to continue indulging in the lifestyle that had depleted my health on every level.
Motivated by the experience I had the night before, my first goal was to improve my health and fitness. A couple of days later, I started running at night under the stars. I remember my first run like it was yesterday; I only ran half a kilometre; my lungs felt like they were on fire!
I also began meditating to help me quell the subtle anxiety that followed me everywhere I went. Listening to a few teachers on YouTube helped me find the space within me where the past has no power over me. Thanks to meditation, I knew that in my inner self, I was already free. Bringing that freedom out into the outer world, however, is a challenge few conquer.
Often, my friends invited me to go partying with them, but I’d refuse; this angered some, others weren’t bothered. A few of us would play footy sometimes, but others slowly started to fade out of my life. I’d become a hermit, a loner, by choice. Being around people who don’t understand what you’re going through can be difficult, for sure.
During the initial months of my recovery, I’d meditate every morning and evening before bed, and go running three to four times a week; I also took a break from drinking. My fitness improved slowly in the initial stages; throughout this process, I realised there’s no substitute for hard work and dedication. When you want something more than the alternative, you’ll do what it takes to make it a tangible reality.
Many incorrectly assume that just because you’ve awoken to your true self that you no longer have any difficulties or challenges; I’ve found just the opposite to be true. I’ve had to come to terms with why I was living out of alignment with my Higher Self and allowing my worth to be determined based on how people perceived me. The initial awakening is what gives you the strength to start confronting your inner demons because you’re in touch with that space within where you know that nothing is impossible.
Indeed, my journey was just beginning.
The state of our world saddened me and still does to this very day. I’d often go downstairs and see my parents watching the news. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good movie or watching the footy or tennis, but the news channels, in particular, I believe, have the power to control how people see the world. Any time I’d walk into the living room and see an update on some war in the Middle-East on the television, I’d walk straight back out.
After meditating for months, I was getting better at it. I could go thoughtless for a couple of minutes and felt rejuvenated every time I came out from my inner chamber. I began studying the lives of the sages and great teachers from India such as Paramahansa Yogananda, Mahavatar Babaji and Lord Krishna.
My spiritual search brought me to a world that I forgot existed; reading about their experiences helped reignite my passion for the unseen realms. I felt my inner child coming back out to play; I even started looking at the sky for UFOs again!
I stumbled across a channelled teacher called Bashar, who’s message was on another level to what I’d heard before, it was thanks to him and his teachings that I become aware of the erroneous beliefs that were hijacking my perception.
I was often alone in my room with Chico, pondering what my next move was going to be. I noticed that the more layers of falsity I shed during my soul searching, the more I desired to be of service to Humanity, but I felt I wasn’t ready. I’d only been clean for six months; even though my fitness and health had improved, there was still much to discover about myself.
I had a vision during meditation on my bed one night. I found myself in the sky, surrounded by white clouds as the sun’s light shone brilliantly on the horizon. A powerful voice spoke. “We are one body!”
I sat up confused; I knew there was something big I had to do in this lifetime; I could feel it in the pit of my stomach. Even though I read that everything happens in divine timing, the question below was often in my thoughts…
“How could I be of service to my civilisation?”
End of Part One (More to follow)
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