It was february 10th, 2023 and I sat by the hudson river in Hoboken. This was one of the lowest points of my life. I had just had my second round of chemotherapy and I felt like absolute garbage.
Aside from the cancer diagnosis I hadn’t succeeded in living the life I wanted. There was no love in my life and I was constantly getting into arguments with my family and friends. It was taking everything I had to just wake up in the morning and eat. Those were the only two things I could do.
As I sat there looking at the murky water and new york city spread out before me a thought pierced through me, “within 30 days you will see God”.
It seemed to come out of nowhere. It was my inner voice I hear sometimes so I knew it was going to come true. A part of me thought maybe I could die within 30 days.
I walked back to my apartment a spark of excitement sprung up within me. This was something I wanted my whole life. My parents spoke of God and kind of ruined it for me to be honest. I spent my whole life reading about religions and philosophies to try to understand something of what I thought God and Love was. So far I was able to come up with some kind of rational explaination of what made sense for me.
My best friend Lesley was going to Mexico and invited me to come along and with my newfound hope I agreed to go.
Once in Mexico a friend of mine added me to a whatsapp group with various events happening in Tulum and someone posted a peyote or hikuri ceremony and I decided to go. As the day approached I started to feel excited.
The way there was not easy. Had to take a local bus to another town and then a taxi to where the ceremony was taking place. Once we got to the jungle we had to follow a video with directions to the house. We got lost many times and had to backtrack our way on the dirt road filled with potholes and rocks and twists and turns. But I finally found the property. I entered the interesting structure and sitting around a big table were various people doing things many of them dressed in ceremonial garb. I felt so out of my league but I introduced myself to each of them around the table and shook hands. They probably thought I was a weirdo. Finally one of them brought me outside and told me where to put my mat and wait. There was a fire pit in the center of the space framed by jungle trees overhead and about 30 people laid out on various mats around the central fire pit. I found a spot nestled next to a tree and laid out my ceremonial offerings I brought with me as directed to in the instructions and then just duplicated how everyone else had theirs laid out. 5 coins, a tall white candle, flowers and fruit. Then I sat and waited.
A few hours later two women who introduced themselves to me as Karen and Marta came and made themselves comfortable next to me and finally the ceremony started to begin.
The marakame, the medicine man, sat opposite me across the flame and to his left were other shamans and medicine men and others with ceremonial instruments. One guy, Tako started introducing the ceremony by explaining in English what was to happen next. The maarakame when he would feel the energy would start chanting and singing and then in a long procession they would come around to you clean you with incense and feathers and other things and put hikuri powder in your cup the first round.
For subsequent rounds you would go up to him, always walking counter clockwise around the fire, and offer your cup and he would put the powder in. I brought fruit juice with me but after a few rounds of hikuri it started smelling rancid as my sense of smell got better and better so I just stuck to water even though it tasted awful.
And then the medicine started kicking in and I heard a voice in my heart talking to me. I could feel my fears and anxieties I had built up around me as external energies and I could feel my core self underneath them. And along with that came an intense desire to exist as that core person without them. As I gazed into the fire that voice was getting stronger. “Just exist Susan, just exist as yourself.” The tears started pouring out as I actually started feeling things in my heart and I was not equipped to process them so all I could do was cry. The fire spoke again. “You exist to serve me. You live to exist for me. For no one else. You see how easy it is. That’s how easy life is. Just exist. Stop putting things on top of it. Just exist as yourself the way you are nothing more and nothing less. That’s what you are. Nothing more and nothing less. So now thank me, I just gave you your reason for existence.”
It was like a huge weight just dropped off me and I felt like how I can only imagine my parents always said finding Jesus was for them. They could breathe a sigh of relief.
I could breathe. I sobbed and sobbed. I knew that’s why I was alive. To just be myself and exist as myself for God and no one else. I was living for everyone else. For my sister, for my friends, for social norms, for money, for success, for knowledge, for finding the truth, for this and that. But that wasn’t me. This flame, this fire reduced the whole of existence to a single point. Just exist. And in that, I knew my mission in life was to be a servant of God. Saying yes to existence is to say yes to God, my creator every single day. To say yes to my instincts and my truth. The truth of what I was, what I was created to be.
My self wanted to say “I’m a servant of God” out loud and I resisted. Susan, this self that I dwell in feels intense embarrassment at every little thing. Even walking down the street is intensely embarrassing for her. That’s what I’ve been trying to break free from. Intense fear and embarrassment. I wanted to be free and shout out but I said no that’s crazy and kept stopping myself from spontaneous expression. I don’t want to be crazy. And as I fought against it I felt the pressure more and more.
Then the maarakame came by on another round and as he got closer and closer the pressure and the voice got louder and louder. “Bow to me, acknowledge me, you exist to serve me”. the voice of god in my head. As he got closer I almost passed out the vibration was so intense and I sank to the floor, the shamans had to ask me to please stand up. The maarakame moved his feathers over my womb, my stomach and I felt a pull and a pressure and I groaned and strained like a psycho or a woman giving birth with my eyes rolled in the back of my head. A part of me was so embarrassed but the experience was stronger than the embarrassment. The Maarakame crystalized something from inside of me then.
The crystallization process is when the Maarakame or medicine man literally pulls out from within you illnesses or whatever and it turns into a stone which he spits out of his mouth. It’s then thrown into the fire. He pulled something out of me and I could feel it coming out. It was like a magnetic energy feeling as it came out.
So much mucus and phlegm and sobs just poured out of me.
I whispered “I am a servant of God” and felt everything just fall away.
What does it mean to be a servant of god. It means to be a slave to your prime directive. What does it mean to be a slave to your prime directive. To be true to yourself. It’s saying yes to god everyday. Which is a cute for depression because depression is a denial of your existence. Of the needs of your existance. Then once you’ve said yes to them you have to sacrifice your heart to carry them out. Your pride your denial must be laid upon the fire. Then the fire will cleanse you. For my parents this coming to Jesus moment happened literally with Jesus.
I was hacking up so much and crying because it felt like it was stuck in me. Marta, the woman that was sitting next to me came over and rubbed my back and asked if I was ok. I was kneeling on the floor trying to bring up the phlegm stuck in my nose. She walked me to the bathroom and as she waited outside I yelled out “I am a servant of God” and then felt like a huge emotional block burst and I sobbed and wept some more. As I came out Marta talked to me and said she was a healer and medicine woman and when she touched me she threw up into the grass and was nauseous. She said that she helps people become lighter. She was taking some of my negativity and throwing it up.
We talked more and more and I got to know her. Here story is pretty crazy also and I’ll tell that one some other time.
During the ceremony – my whole life, everything I’ve experienced just flashed before my eyes. The way my parents saw love, all the relationships I’ve had, the way I thought about love, everything I experienced all made sense. It was preparing me for this moment. It was like a chemical combustion. During my life I was being filled with all sorts of experiences and chemicals until that moment of impact, so that there would be an explosion and so that I would be ready for it and prepared and so that I could feel it.
My heart. I could feel it. I could feel love, I could feel connection, and I didn’t know how to handle it. It was so overwhelming so I just cried and sobbed.
I’m not a monster, I’m not listening to the devil as my parents always told me and as I felt. I’m part of something greater and bigger than me that has a deep and precious lineage. The ability to see into the spirit world. I’m still learning about it but I am so grateful to be surrounded by others that I can look up to and learn from who understand about the type of person that I am.
You were created by God for a purpose and for a special mission that is only in your heart to fulfill. Only you know what that is and how to fulfill it. And if you are off chasing “the dream” so to speak, or chasing other people’s missions, or other people’s notions of what a fantasy life is or what a life should be you’ll miss out on opportunities to fulfill your real mission. The mission of your soul.
And that’s what makes it take so long. Not because it takes millions of lives to reincarnate and learn those lessons but that you are too asleep all the time so you never even try not even once. Or you try once but then you fall asleep again for a millennia and then try again and so forth and so on. It’s only one mission that you have to fulfill and that’s love. And what is love? Being who you are, like nature does, in the face of anything else. Being your true nature in the face of opposition. That’s the first lesson. YOU are who YOU ARE. Nothing more and nothing less.
I am what I am.
The only thing that mattered to me was that love. Not food, not anything in the world. And it was inside of me. Inside of my heart. I just couldn’t believe it.
I now believe that my heart is being scaffolded by this plant medicine structure. The spirits of this medicine. It was fixed and bandaged up but now it has to have time to heal so that it can start beating on its own.
The question of how can you love yourself now comes into play. I always struggled with this. It was always an intellectual pursuit,or attempt but I never quite hit the mark.
But what I learned is that if you acknowledge the way you like to love. What you love. How you want to be loved. What you need to feel loved. Don’t shut it down or gaslight yourself or downplay it, that’s how you love yourself.
If you try to love the way other people love, that’s not loving yourself.
Love the love that is inside yourself to give. Love the way you love. Love what you love. Love yourself for loving in the way you love.
You are who you are.
Nothing more and nothing less.
And just exist.