Updated: May 12
I found what I'd been looking for in myself
Found a life worth living for someone else
Never thought that I could be, I could be happy, happy
Lately, I have been listening to the Oh Hello's Christmas Album, which has been confusing to me. It is not Christmas time, I do not vibe with Christianity any more, and this song reminds me of my mission which usually brings up negative feelings.
It made me think about the song "Happy" by Marina, where she is talking about what a spiritual awakening. This song has hit me deeply since leaving the church. I always assumed it meant a come-to-Jesus-type-spiritual-awakening, but after looking at the meaning behind the lyrics I found out Marina is not religious. She was not talking about the typical Christian spiritual awakening but about a personal spiritual awakening.
And then it clicked. I like the songs from the Oh Hello's Christmas album because the songs paint a beautiful picture of the darkness and chaos that is felt and then the joy the savior’s birth brings. I never felt this insane amount of peace around the idea of Christ, quite frankly it stressed me out. But now it makes sense when people talk about spiritual moments and I understand that my spiritual awakening just looks different than I was told it is allowed to look. A lot of people find themselves in Church, but I had to leave the Church to find myself. Just as Marina said, “I found what I’d been looking for in myself.”
I love songs that depict this spiritual change because that is exactly how I am feeling. They depict the low, meaningless life I used to live and how it has transformed into a life filled with purpose, hope, and happiness.
This thought also came into my head. “Anyone who actually knows me can tell that I am way happier now that I am not in the church. Anyone who tries to convince me otherwise either does not really know me or does not actually care about my happiness.”
I have been thinking about how much happier I genuinely am now that I have decided to be true to myself. But for some reason, I still feel the need to convince everyone that my life is more full now. I KNOW that people talk about how bad they feel for me because I have heard it happen. When I hear about those people, I naturally feel the need to prove that I am happier now. It hit me that anyone who I have to convince of the fullness my life possesses now does not deserve to be in my life. And if you try to convince me to come back, or I find out you talk about how bad you feel for me because I left the church, I will assume one or both of these things 1. You do not really know me 2. You do not actually care about my happiness.
Why am I happier now?
Because I feel like I can wear whatever I want to and more fully accept my body, something that was not possible for me with modesty standards that are focused on shaming women and excusing men.
Because I am able to understand that I know myself better than God, my priesthood leaders, church leaders, prophets, etc. will ever be able to. That with this knowledge of myself I am able to chart out the best life path for me.
Because I am able to reach deeper truths within myself due to not having underlying shame about what I am supposed to feel/not feel, and realizing revelation comes from within.
Because I know the anger that awakening women feel is normal and justifiable. I now know that women are shamed for being angry because anger evokes action and shame keeps us stuck. If we are ashamed, we will not make any changes, but once we get angry, LOOKOUT WORLD.
Because I know that there is power in owning and sharing my story and that in patriarchal societies women's experiences are shamed and silenced.
Because I know that women are not meant to be submissive, quiet, and obedient but to raise hell and challenge the status quo.
Because I am studying a field that requires critical thinking and understanding. And in this field, we learn that restricting certain evidence-based information just because it does not coincide with my beliefs is unethical and unprofessional.
Because I no longer am constantly looking outwards towards men of scripture, modern-day men, and men in the heavens for guidance and acceptance.
Because I have been able to fully do my own research and come to an educated decision.
Because I no longer feel the need to accept toxic behavior from anyone, even if they claim to be doing it in the name of god.
I believe in possibility
I believe someone's watching over me
And finally I have found a way to be happy, happy
I have had a spiritual awakening, and not only has it been more beautiful than I can describe, but it is also ongoing. I keep discovering new truths about myself each day. It is like I have created my own little world, the McKayla world, and I get to decide all the rules and how it is governed. Because I have realized that since I am the only person inside my head, so I am the only expert.
I am done trying to explain this to those who choose not to see my happiness. It is not worth it, I do not want to engage with that energy anymore.
This message is for those who are in the dark place that comes from not living true to themselves. This message is especially for those women who are going crazy trying to shove themselves into a religion that was not made for them. I hope you can see that you can have a spiritually full life, one that you have only dreamed of being possible by following your own journey to your individualized spiritual awakening. You do not have to wish that you were not born into the church so that you could be living a different life. The church is not the only place of happiness. It may be that way for some people, but not everyone. People who discredit your happiness because it does not coincide with what makes them happy are participating in supremacist behavior. It is also prideful to think that you can receive revelation on someone else's behalf.
We all have different callings and ways to get there, but you will get there as long as you let go and trust yourself. There is beauty out there for everyone, and if you are not feeling it now, you probably need to be looking elsewhere. To me, beauty is a feeling. When I say I am beautiful now I am not saying I am attractive or good-looking but that I am living authentically.
I definitely still have a lot of shit to work through, but overall, I am happier than I can ever remember being.