(Photo: How do you picture all that is? Credit: Omnos.)
These are, perhaps, the most unexpected words I will ever write in my life. Tonight, I came to believe in God.
I’ve always had a vague sense of the Universe (my personal conception of God), but before last fall I never considered my relationship to it. Then, beginning in October, I experienced what I’ve come to consider my spiritual awakening. Much to my own surprise, I began to explore Buddhism, rather deeply, and eventually came to identify as a Buddhist. Since then, I have felt more and more rooted in the Universe, and have been perplexed at the whole experience. (For the uninitiated, Buddhists do not deny God, it is simply an open question left to the individual).
Since opening myself up to my 12-step recovery experience, I have had little difficulty communing with and trusting in a Higher Power (e.g. I welcome Steps Two and Three happily). Tonight, while discussing my experience with my old Gay and Lesbian Youth of New York friends on the GLYNY reunion board, I thought back a little further.
I originally started looking for a sense of spiritual communion for the first time in many years about a year and a half ago. My mind was opened to the journey by the 12-step experience of a close friend (whom I nevertheless derided for their 12-step experience–fool that I was at the time). I put the idea in the back of my mind, but visited it from time to time until the inexplicability of my coming to Buddhism. Around the same time, Devyn and I began a rocky patch of our relationship, and I found the coincidence interesting.
Then GLYNY came back into my life out of the blue, along with the unconditional support of many old friends (a 20-year emotional link that remains inscrutable beyond the 100 of us who have reunited) and my unexpected desire to move home.
And the moving plans started. And then Devyn left. And then I broke down and asked the Universe what was damaged in my life, and I was guided pretty far into myself and then to Co-Dependents Anonymous. And trusting my newfound connection to what I can call now my Higher Power, I have tried to be fearless in listening for guidance, and have received what feels to me like a daily barrage of miracles–not necessarily easy realizations, but gifts of knowledge and understanding seemingly from the ether.
I thought of all of that tonight, turned it over in my mind. And then the enormity of it struck me. Since my life lately has been kind of the Gift-of-the-Day club, earlier tonight I had checked in with my Higher Power and asked what my gift was to be today. As it turned out, it’s perhaps the greatest gift I’ll ever receive.
Tonight, I saw the guidance and perfection and plan in my life that has been leading me to my recovery. It did not start when Devyn left. It’s been in the works for a long time. For months. For longer. And every bit of wisdom and support and friendship that I needed to discover to begin that journey and enable me to handle it has been handed to me–including Devyn’s current absence in my life.
Tonight, I saw that and I was dumbfounded. In an instant, I became aware that my Higher Power, that God, the Universe, call it what you will, has been guiding me gently and persistently toward healing the hurt of 36 years.
And in the next instant, I came to believe in God.
There’s so much more inside of me that I want to express right now, but I am overwhelmed. I just don’t know how you follow that up.
Michael Thaddeus Doyle
I'm a NYC-native, Latino, Jew-by-choice, hardcore WDW fan in Chicago with an Irish last name. I believe in social justice, big cities, and public transit. I do nonprofit development. I've written this blog since 2005. Believe in the world you want to live in.