by Motavenda Melchizedek
This is from a school assignment
January 29, 2008
Mine is not a beautiful story in the ordinary sense of things. Yet there is a beauty about it. My story is about a child born into great darkness, who found her way back to the light. It is a small part of who I am as a soul, this journey I have undertaken in this life, yet it is relevant to the times and to the state of our world and to the fate of humanity.
I suppose I have always been a visionary of sorts. I was born into a middle-class family in the 1960s. My father was a child of New York Irish immigrants and he was the golden child and the first to attend college and take a job in the “white collar” world. I am one of his seven children. Seven daughters, all one year apart in age. The ideal manifestation of the “Catholic Family” of those days.
On the surface, we were upwardly mobile and cared for, yet there was a heavy darkside of abuse that had long moved through my family system unaddressed. And, I am the one who broke that hideous ancestral cycle. It was my life and my obligation to refuse to comply and sacrifice myself up to those unholy things. So, I broke the bonds of silence and I left that family system, and because I chose to address those things, I have never had a place there again, other than one of desecration and demonization for having defied the rule of law.
I have been alone and without support in the ways that families support one another, but I have survived and, in doing so, have created something better than the world that I was born into...though it is still not the world of my deepest dreams, where no one is harmed and no one holds space for darkness. I am still not yet inside of a world where I am sustained.
I’d say I’m an artistic spirit. I have always loved creativity and pursued many avenues in life to express myself through different artforms. I love to write, draw, paint and dance. I love self-expression in all its forms.
When I was breaking away from my father’s control, I quit college. The ultimate act of defiance in a system held together by appearances. I was a junior at the time and my father controlled and decided what I was allowed to study, which was not what I wanted to pursue, so it felt like I had arrived at a great impasse, and that I had to jump into the abyss in order to save my soul.
I quit college and ran away to California. Being an artist, I worked mainly “blue collar” jobs. I waitressed a lot. At times, I would enter the corporate world, but I always ended up unable to breathe there. I felt like I would die in those realms. I spent many years processing what had happened to me as a child. I got sober. I entered therapy. I processed my past. I felt all those forbidden feelings. I spent many years working with others who were dealing with similar traumas. I wrote volumes of chronicles and illustrated my process of integration. I always felt that it was my destiny to share my story. But there was never enough ground underneath me to get it done. And, I can see now, that it wasn’t time to bring my work forward. So, for many years I struggled between the world of my devotion and the world that I lived in, trying to understand and find a way to sustain myself here.
About seven years ago, I stumbled into the world of glass and began to make glass beads and was able to make a living doing that from home for five years. It was a great experience for me. Being an artist, I felt so lucky to be able to support myself doing something so creative. I taught myself how to work with glass and make beads, which I then sold online on ebay to jewelers to use in their designs. That was fulltime work for me. I loved being able to function creatively and in the business world with success while keeping my days and my time under my own control. It was empowering. But, as my work got better and better, the marketplace there became more competitive and flooded and ebay ended up going public and raising all their fees. I seemed to be treading water endlessly and barely making it. All I did was work and feel stressed about making ends meet and never getting to sturdier ground.
I always felt that I needed to develop my own website so that I could use my own beads to make my own jewelry and have an outlet to sell my work. Selling loose beads to other people meant getting the least possible money for my work. Yet, I continued to do that because finished glass bead jewelry was never an active area on ebay and, though selling the loose beads was becoming less and less worth it, it was still a marketplace that I could work within. The good side to ebay is being able to just jump into an existing marketplace and participate with buyers and sellers who are already connecting with each other.
One day, when I was feeling terrified and stressed out about my business, a woman I know mentioned that I might want to think about returning to school and that there were resources available there for people like me to do so. I decided to look into it, and was able to transfer my credits from the past and resume my Bachelor’s studies after decades away from school. I spent two years back in college fulltime, during which I completed a General Studies degree. I was able to learn web design and immerse myself in art and writing. It was a luxury. But, at the end of that process I was still at a loss. My website was not yet generating any sales and I was not sure what direction to go in next. I had learned how to self-publish and so I created my first book of my work on surviving abuse and the human potential. But, it took everything I had, all my resources and energy, and when it was done, I realized it would not be a source of real sustenance for me at this point. I was devastated to know that all that I had done and sacrificed in this life was for nothing. That is how it felt. I did not know what to do next for work.
So, I went back up to school and discovered that my GPA granted me entrance into the Master’s program. I thought about what to study. I considered art, but there is no Master’s program in that area. I considered other areas of study, and though I have always been immersed in the psychology of today, I was drawn to the field of education because it feels more open and creative to me than the field of counseling. So much of what is going on in psychology today is so dysfunctional and devastating and I felt like I would end up negotiating unhealthy systems that I don’t believe in or support.
I just completed my first semester of graduate school and really enjoyed myself and excelled there. I learned so much, and though I do not see where I am going yet, I somehow trust that I am on the right path. I was fortunate to be granted full tuition by the Work In Action program and so I am committed to completing my degree by going fulltime for the next year and a half. I have no idea where I belong or where I can best contribute in the future, but I have learned that this is normal for many college students.
I am constantly discovering new things that I love. I love research. And, I am beginning to stumble upon realms of education that truly ignite my passion. For instance, lately I’ve been watching a show about orphaned orangutans who have been raised in a refuge in Borneo where they are being taught in “forest schools” the tools for survival they would have learned from their mothers. The first group of orphans has graduated and is now living on another island together. I love that. They are so creative and so courageous and so vulnerable. It makes me weep it so moving. These little guys who were at the mercy of such powerful forces of destruction, whose mothers were killed by poachers and deforestation, were taken into sanctuary and loved and cared for and educated to be empowered and to return to the wild.
I saw another show last night where a man was raising a pair of bear cubs in a stunning remote area of Russia. The documentary opens with him filming these breathtaking creatures in a small cage in a zoo in Russia where their fate was to live to be one year old and then shot to death because they would then be too big for the zoo to keep. It was so incredibly moving to watch this kind man rescue them and take them through their first year of life, teaching them how to survive on their own in the wild as they lived together in this wild landscape. They learned to fish and forage and face danger and move safely through the countryside.
So, I am finding areas of education that are fascinating to me that I would be thrilled to participate in. This is all new to me. I love animals. I love nature. I love the sight of the human potential. I love that I am emotionally free and that I am whole. I love that I am conscious and unafraid to see the truth or to confront abuse when faced with it. I love that I have my voice and that I am not a part of anything that is shadow-ridden or harmful to others.
I am inspired at the sight of things unfolding and taking place in the world of education. I reentered this arena, after twenty years of absence, feeling so defeated on so many levels and so very reluctant. It felt as though my father had won somehow. Education had been all twisted up inside of dominance and soul destruction for me. I never imagined it could hold so much potential for empowerment. I love that. I want to be a part of that movement. I want to understand it, to learn about what has been done and where we are collectively in all the different aspects of the world of education. I want to contribute. I hope that I can make use of all that I have survived and overcome, and all that I have become, into my future.
One of the greatest things that I have learned in my life is to be willing to be vulnerable and to move through the unknown and be open there. I think that is where so much latent potential can come forth and into form. I believe we are all capable of so much more than we realize and that, by moving in new ways, we begin to understand and ignite new levels of passion and creativity within ourselves and within each other.
I recently wrote a paper entitled Othello, Naiveté and the Predicament of the Innocent, where I said “As we recognize that the shadow exists now in the very places our consciousness is meant to inhabit, we see how we are mighty in our potential indeed.” I really believe that. I think that we have been bound and subjugated by our limited sense of who we are and what we are really capable of as human beings. I believe that we are in a time where we are ready to move beyond the confines these boundaries.
I see that there are people who are courageous and wanting to unfold into more of their power here and they are leading the way. I love seeing systems and methods at work in the realms of education that facilitate such movement. I feel hope for myself and for the children of the world and for humanity as a whole. When we are creative and alive, we are free. And, when we are free, we are happy and we can more easily live in harmony with each other.
Because of the nature of my orphanhood, I have had to reach beyond my biological family of origin to more primordial roots for support and grounding as I have lived my life. From the time of my birth, I have somehow been driven by dreams and desires and an obligation deep within me born of other times. As I have moved into more health and empowerment through the years, I have reached to more metaphysical roots to ground myself more fully into life, as I have not had any support or place to ground into the world of my biological family. In fact, the more whole and healthy I become, the more impossible it was to exist there.
Along my journey, I have sought out people who are mystical and metaphysical for healing and mirroring and validation as I reached for ways to deepen my connection to this world. There have been a few people who have really, so powerfully, shown up for me in this lifetime. Following is an excerpt from a recorded psychic reading I had with a man ten years ago, whose name I do not remember now. This encounter was so deeply empowering and so strengthening of my inner sense of self. It reaches beyond the parameters of this life, yet explains so much of what I am dealing with here now.
“You have a tremendous power to be happy but you don’t use it that much…because…the power to be happy….it’s almost as though to use it is to overuse it and it would deny you the full empathy…to these…you have a like a bodhisattva in you that doesn’t want to be happy until everyone is and it’s very real to me that your romantic life could be much better if you would only wish for yourself the same things that you wish for others. You must realize that it’s not that being a bodhisattva is bad, but you have to remember that all the blessings and good fortune that you would want for others, you also are deserving of and entitled to.”
“Your soul’s passion, is very basic. There’s nothing really all that high falutent/grand falutent about it. It’s just that you want to be….you want to return to the love that you once knew and you want to find it and to be with and this time not let it go. Not feel like it’s like a fashion that can be discarded for something more appropriate.”
“I think that sometimes our future lives have already happened and our past lives are waiting to be and that it’s just that we’re so biased toward linear awareness that we forget which direction time actual flows. That all things come from the future and everything is destined to go into the past. But maybe the future is the only true source of being. Maybe what is meant to happen is the only way that the possibilities can be allowed to exist in the first place. Meaning that, the future controls the present, and whatever it is you want in life, is based on whether you will have it. And, whether you will have it, is based on whether your soul encompasses a large enough footprint on the universe…..if it’s big enough to be on the giving…on the creating end of history rather than on the receiving end of history. You have an infinite amount of wisdom to offer to anyone when it comes to helping them reclaim love or to experience their passion, their joy, their fulfillment.”
“What I am hearing you say more than anything else is that the metaphysician in you is where you derive your strongest sense of self. And, that’s because this metaphysician…it takes many lifetimes to reach where you are. And you’ve been this metaphysician in different….you been an apprentice, a journeyman, and now you’ve reached the point where you are the master. And to fail to recognize…the fact that you even recognize this…is proof that you are it. The fact that you are drawn to mysticism from an early age, the fact that you were drawn to anything metaphysical and extraordinary and open. What I’m hearing is that yes, you’ll get your material bonuses coming through legitimate work in the legitimate economy of the modern era. But, also, you’re going to be contributing to things metaphysical and also just public discourse over what the educational policies should be for young people, for children, what can we do to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, what can we do to go into the cities. I sense that you are going to take a very strong interest in that. Very, very strong. And you know, this is the kind of planet we live on where there are a lot of nations that are just really consumed with fanaticism. Where entire villages hack each other to death….in Rwanda entire populations just go all out and just massacre…There’s something about that…that they are on this planet. You are going to have some vision that will come through you that will be written and created in a way that is very very beneficial to the world. I’m not saying that you’re the only messiah going around but there’s something very messianic about what you are doing. Without getting…and it doesn’t have to sacrifice. You don’t have to sacrifice. I think that part of your fear is fear of sacrificing yourself before you’re ready, before it’s really cooked, before it’s really ready. And the idea is that you don’t have to sacrifice anything. That your sense of self…not everyone can appreciate a woman with a strong sense of self, and in the last hundred…two hundred years…last one hundred and fifty years…women have been taken seriously, whereas before they were kind of shunted into very subservient roles and this is a world…you know, in your past lives you’ve been a woman…and you’ve been both. You’ve been on the giving and receiving end of human subservience and domination. In this life, you decided that you have both halves and neither one needs to dominate.”
“You’re going to use the computer work to pay the bills, your going to use the metaphysical to really create wealth in your life. And, it strikes me that your rational mind….now it’s fascinating how you have this…did you know that in some of your former lives you had a very strong Hebrew existence? Well, during the Hellenistic phase of Palestine and those days back about 200 and 300 BC you had some existence where you were studying the early stages of the Talmud. And, you know all of the commentary on the original Torah. You were exposed to that and you also had a lot of Greek philosophical overlays with that. You were exposed to Greek philosophy, and that was a kind of a phase and in those days. Back then, there was a lot more purity in the philosophies and the messages and they had exposure back then to the Hindu and the Buddhists philosophies. It just wasn’t acknowledged as much, but they had exposure to it. And also the pagan, and the Celtic, and the overall Norse, it all was there in some form, and you were a student of it all.”
“One thing that has always been true about you is your discernment between the….between the real and the artificial. Between those things which are united with the source and those things that are just void.”
“You have, all your lives, believed in reincarnation and known about it. What you bring up in people, I think is….really flooding them with light. At a time when they are so used to being in the dark that their eyes burn. And, just like an animal or a dog will growl at something it’s afraid of, what you bring up…and also it’s important to know that, since you are…and I’ve said this before, if someone is highly conscious they don’t have much of a subconscious because so much of what you do is processed in the conscious realm you don’t need to have a subconscious. The subconscious is just stuff that you don’t have time or the energy to deal with. And, whenever a person who is highly conscious deals with someone who isn’t, it has the effect of really lowering their threshold. So that they are more aware of all the things that they previously hadn’t confronted. All those fears and denials and problems. Even people…you know….even things to do with their sexuality and things to do with their emotional…with their honesty. And, people who have a persona of being really easy going and adaptive and nice and likable and huggable and warm, and they meet you and you just flooded them with light, they realize, very uncomfortably at first, that they have a lot of lessons that they are learning and they may not want to be reminded.”
“Yet, they brought you in to it. You see, that’s where you’re off the hook because they induced you into their life and they needed you to be that for them. If not you, it would be somebody else….they are lucky to have you. Your clients are lucky, anybody who meets you and is moved by you…or even afraid of you…is lucky. Cause, there’s an old saying, ‘Everyone gets the Motavenda they deserve’”.
I have always felt like this world, as it is, is not really the world of my deepest dreams. There are worlds more fitting to my soul like those of myths and legends that harken back to the times, and to the days, when visions existed of the greatness of the human potential.
Those are the places where I feel at home. I realize, as I write now, that there is something I have never considered before about my life and the places where the hardships have strengthened me. Not having the love of my family, of my mother or my father, forced me to reach deep inside to the greater history of my own soul and to call forth strength from those distant places. And this has left me grounded there somehow inside of those extraordinary places. It is in those points in time, where we knew more of our sacredness than we seem to know now, that I feel a place more fitting for my soul.