Friday, January 24, 2014

Blog #3: Fear Is A Four-Letter Word

What If . . . Fear was eliminated from our existence? Impossible? Hmm. I wonder. Sure, the flight or fight instinct rests deeply imbedded in our DNA. Folks suffer phobias and fears too numerous to spend precious space delineating. However, I believe that fear not only halts our forward motion to success, peace and happiness, BUT fear exists as the biggest scam on our planet!

How do I know? I experienced the difference. I witnessed a complete and fearless existence. Only once. And truth is? The encounter was so terrifying I stopped talking about the experience for thirty years.

Wait! A terrifying fearless encounter? Isn’t that a contradiction? Of course. Which is why I’m writing this blog today. I know the difference. And now that my children are grown and thriving on their own, I have no responsibilities left other than to start talking about what I didn’t understand for so long.

If you’d like to know the full story, please accept that this blog will be longer than usual because I’ll need some time to explain the circumstances. As promised from Blog #2, I have chosen to trust you enough to expose what could be lunacy or the biggest simple answer to our happiness as human beings dwelling on this jewel we call Earth. I will simply have to be comfortable with the fact that some folks will not be comfortable with what I have to say. That’s okay. Whether you are intrigued, put off, disappointed or excited by my story, it doesn’t matter. My only hope is that I get you thinking. Reacting. Then question yourself: is your reaction coming from a place of fear, or faith? Keep in mind that no matter what I say next, only the Truth matters. And the Truth will always find its way to light.

I also would like to say what this blog is NOT. This is not a discussion on any religion. While the story I'm about to share took place in a church, that is not the focus of the story. My entire intent is to invite you to re-align your logical thinking to include what you can’t see, which is what you sense in your heart—the center where your success lies. In doing so, we approach the spirit behind matters of the heart and soul independent of religion. If you are okay with that, then please, read on.

So . . . What if right after I was married at the ripe age of 23, and my new husband and I planned to move from our Amityville home to Miami. My mother was upset that we were moving away. Mom invited me on a road trip to spend some time together before leaving. What if, I said, okay!

Here’s what happened:

Mother’s surprise road trip ended up in the parking lot of a small, threadbare church in the heart of Worcester, Massachusetts. I should have realized this, since she is a bit fanatical about her Catholicism. She announced to me, and my three siblings that we were about to attend a charismatic service. We said, “A what?” To which she had no answer, but herded us into the church.

Skeptical? Completely. Disappointed? Absolutely! You call church service a surprise road trip when I thought we’d be going somewhere fun and adventurous? Well, within two hours I would experience an adventure that would change my life.

That moment, however, was the culmination of many occasions when my mother had exposed us to some wacky religious experiences. My siblings and I gave each other looks as if to say, here we go again. I decided right there and then that if I detected any duplicity on the part of this priest for whom Mother had driven four hours for us to witness, I would stand up and challenge him for taking advantage of people willing to trust in him as an agent of love, truth . . . oh heck, God.

We found standing room in in the balcony of the packed-to-the-rafters church. I could not see the altar from the crush of folks in front of us. What I did notice was this amazing ethereal music, like angels singing. Against the din of people talking, the music was the only clear sound I could hear. I sat on the floor, actually on a step, and began weeping. Why? I still don’t know. It was my reaction to the music. But, the tears seemed cleansing--as if I had been carrying sadness, either for the folks around me or for my own place in the world. The music was transforming that sadness into peace. Mine were tears of gratitude and I could not stop. My younger brother questioned me and I just shrugged and said, “It’s the music. I feel so foolish!”

Moments later a man began speaking. Standing along the back wall of the balcony I could not see him at first but I remember thinking, “If I were to ever hear the voice of  God this is how He would sound.”

The gentleness and the purity in this man’s voice captivated my attention. I understood right there and then that this man was someone special, gifted, holy. I craned to see a young, dark haired man in white vestment walk up the center isle of the church from the back. No pomp. No circumstance. Humble.

I was hooked. I wanted to hear everything this priest had to say. What I didn’t know is that this priest, Father Ralph D’Orio, was conducting a healing service. After he explained how the next hour would unfold, I worked my way to the edge of the balcony as assistants starting bring people forward from the crowd. I needed to see if this guy was real.

From my vantage point, I watch father pray over a young boy in a wheelchair.  From my bird’s eye view I saw one shorter leg grow to match the other healthy leg. No joke. I could hardly register in my mind what my eyes were witnessing. None of the other healings were as obvious, as they were internal illnesses on folks, but viewing that boy’s leg grow longer rattled me right down to my toes.

This is insane, right? That kind of healing just doesn’t happen in real life, right?

Right! But . . . what if?

After Father D’Orio finished his healings, the congregation dismissed for lunch, to return in an hour. My mother didn’t want to miss a minute of the next half of the service so we ate sandwiches from paper lunch bags she had prepared in advance. Call me shallow at my mother’s forethought, (and I am embarrassed to even admit this!) but given my expectations (expectations are such a terrible nuisance) I thought, really? Not even a Big Mack to celebrate our road trip? 

Despite the fact that I had been awed by the boy in the wheelchair, a healthy dose of skepticism percolated to the surface after discussing what we’d witnessed with my siblings. The others hadn’t seen what I saw because I’d moved to a better view on the balcony. But, despite my mother’s irritation, my siblings and I decided that unless we saw proof, there had to be a gimmick here. The morning’s events simply could not have been possible.

Since it only took twenty minutes to eat, Mom rushed us back into the church because she wanted better seats. The five of us ended up in wooden pews smack in the middle, right-hand side of the church. Mom was pleased as punch. I was surprised at how quickly the church filled to the balcony once again. I expected to hear more of that amazing music, but no. Just regular church music. Lovely, but nothing like what I’d heard when we arrived. It wasn’t long before Fr. D’Orio returned. Quiet, peaceful as before, but meditative. His intentions were clear for the rest of the service, but I wonder if he knew what was about to happen. And when it did, how the heck did he keep so cool?

Fr. D’Orio invited everyone to hold hands with the person next to them. Then, he asked us to close our eyes and simply listen. He was going to pray. He said our silence and listening made his one prayer our own, and therefore more powerful. So he began.

I can’t quite remember everything he said. However, I do remember he spoke of the power of angels. The power of our guardian angels. The beauty of the earth and the breath of the Holy Spirit present on the planet. And then, with my eyes closed, the clatter began. Thump. Bump. Bump. I opened my eyes. All around me people were falling down. In front of me. Behind me. Above in the balcony, one man lost consciousness and was hanging over the edge.

People began shouting. Women screamed. Father D’Orio immediately instructed everyone not to touch anyone who’d fallen. He explained that the Holy Spirit united with their souls and their bodies lost motor skills. They were unharmed. Having a spiritual moment. If we touched them it would break the connection with the Divine.

Terrified, my younger sister broke her handhold with my brother and bolted from the church. I learned afterwards that she locked herself in the car and cried. None of my family members had “gone down” as I called it, but my mother was swaying ominously. Horrified, I jammed my eyes shut and said this prayer as fervently as I could to the one and only God I know.

I said, “God, I know you’re out there and you know I love you. But, You’d better listen, and listen good. I’ve fainted all my life. I hate the feeling. I am NOT GOING DOWN!”

At that moment, with my eyes closed, this brilliant, overwhelmingly spotlight-white light ignited inside my head. I felt as if I was mentally squinting to shield my eyes from the blaring radiance. I wanted to shield my eyes with my arms, but my hands were still interlaced with my brother and Mom. Within this light, a golden triangle appeared that grew larger until my head was filled with these sharp, trilateral edges shimmering like molten, liquid gold. Exquisite! I remember sighing out loud.

Inside the triangle a closed eye appeared. Long-lashed, the eye opened. I can’t be sure of the color but I’d say light blue, like the most perfect sun filled day. As the eye opened, I felt something inside me move. I was lifted up on a current of energy, my arms outstretched like flying. Only I realized, I was still standing, holding hands with my mother and brother. Yet, I was in motion, moving out of my body and streamed toward the eye into what? The Universe?

Upon later reflection, I realized my soul had connected with this power while my body stood still. The fact that I could see where I was traveling proved that my soul has vision. I was intact. Whole, yet without my body. I was consciously and completely experiencing my soul freed from the physical.

Can you imagine this story coming from a good Catholic, raised by the rules, don’t-question-only-obey type of girl? Scandalous! But, let me continue.

I was carried on this current of energy through the pupil of this Eye as if soaring through the window of all windows. One with the energy, I streamed into the Universe. The sensation was thrilling, safe. You know how scientists say the Universe is shooting outwards as a result of the original Big Bang theory? I felt in motion with the stars and galaxies scattered around me, moving away from me just as I was heading toward them. I could feel the energy running through me, out my fingertips to the left and to the right. I felt euphoric. I felt calm, energized, free. (And, these words do not adequately describe the emotion I felt.) For a brief moment, a wave of understanding washed over me. I understood everything. The meaning of Creation. The purpose of life. Why we are here. I remember saying, “Oh! It is all so simple! How could we not know?”

Why were we created? Why are we here? Simply: To experience Joy. We are the Creation of an outpouring of unlimited, unbridled Love. I’d say we are a manifestation (I want to say the explosion) of Love that occurred because the Joy of creating us could not be contained.

This insight is what this Being wanted me to understand. This Being (I am inclined to believe was the manifestation of God as the Holy Spirit) to whom I connected was (is) the purest, most innocent and joyful form of Existence I could ever imagine. This Being cannot comprehend hate, fear, unkindness, tragedy, violence, suffering, loss, depression, despondency, greed or lack. Negative emotions such as these—experiences such as these—do not exist for this Being. At all. Not in the least.

Do you understand what I am saying? If I tried to explain a single negative expression to this Being, it would be as if He could not hear me. As if while expressing such earthly pain I would become invisible because for this Being, pain does not exist. Pain is not a manifestation of God. Therefore, simply does not exist.

I am saying that Truth is Joy. Truth is Fearless. Truth is Innocence because nothing negative exists in reality to infer otherwise. Negative emotion simply DOES NOT EXIST in the realm of Perfection.

What we fail to understand is that we as human beings are a part of this Perfection. We were created as an outpouring of love from this Being as the sheer joy of Creating. Each and every human being is a perfect being carrying a perfect soul. No matter what their shape, color or look. Fear is the only tool holding any of us back from believing we can do anything.

What if?

Can you comprehend the possibility?

To top off this breathtaking experience, this Being spoke to me. Not in words, but as if telepathically. I heard Him (and I say him because the message seemed masculine) from behind my right ear. He said, simply:

I am so gentle. I would never harm you.

Simply. In a whisper. Not what I expected to hear. I wanted to throw my arms up and leave with this Being, never to come back again. (I felt as if He would permit it.) But, I suddenly remembered where I was, that I was recently married and my husband and family would not know what happened to me. I said out loud, “My husband won’t know what happened to me.”

And with that, the Eye closed. And was gone. I sucked in a huge breath and opened my eyes to see I still stood in the same church holding hands with my mother and brother. Knees trembling and near tears, I looked from one to the other and whispered, “Did anybody else see that?”
My other siblings had had enough (they hadn't experienced what I did) and begged my mother to leave. Not sure what else to do, my mother piled us into the car to head home. I don’t know what she  expected to have happen on the visit to the charismatic healing, but she didn’t want her children to be hysterical with fear and pointing out visions they had no right experiencing.

I have so much more to say on this event, but I want to point out that although I later realized that I was in no danger, the event terrified me because of the Being’s overwhelming power. I could not recount the story without being reduced to tears and trembling. Now, I realize why I felt fear in the aftermath. That fear no longer exists. I’ll discuss this topic more in Blog #4.

So, in retrospect, the day was a bust for mother, but changed my life forever. What do you think? Am I on to something or have I totally lost my mind?


  1. This is interesting. What are you're ideas regarding what a world without fear would be like? Can you imagine it...really? I can and it is terrifying, albeit a nice notion on the surface.

    For instance, we are all born pretty much without fear. we don't know not to put our hands on the hot stove, we don't know rusty nails shouldn't go in our mouths etc. But then, in order to survive, we develop a healthy level fear that keeps us from walking off cliffs to experience the joy of falling. Just a thought.

    I also surmised from your fantastic story that you are referring to an experience with God. Is this an accurate interpretation? You were in a Christian church of some kind correct?

  2. Hello, Hanz! Wait. You're confusing common sense learning from 'paralyzing' fear that keeps us from taking chances, trusting, etc. You can learn that a stove is hot, and yes you may get burned figuring it out, but you don't have to be afraid of it. You understand it can hurt you. So you exercise care in using the tool. Understanding actions can cause death (like stepping off a cliff) can be registered in the mind without fear. Once you understand something can cause harm, you respect it. Choose not to do it. You don't have to fear it.

    As for my encounter in that Catholic church? Was it God? From what I experienced, I do not believe God can be defined. I'd be more inclined to say it was a manifestation of God in the form of the Holy Spirit . . . and that's a bold statement. I refuse to give the experience a religious connotation because I do not believe the fact that this event occurred in a Catholic church holds precedence. I believe that if this group of people had met in a field, the same event would have happened. The connection was completely spiritual--brought about by a willingness to understand, connect, unite (whatever verb you want to use) with the Truth of existence. Soul based. Which has prompted me to understand that so very many of us conduct our lives ignorant of the power our soul has as an integral part of our make-up. We tend to operate emotionally and logically--from the ego. Ego sets us apart from others. Ego is beneficial in helping us understand our talents, preferences, etc. but I believe coupled with soul awareness we also see our unbreakable connection with our fellow human beings, creation and hence, God. Take that a step further, and without fear (because God knows no fear) we can create with the power, goodness and intentions we brought with us when we were born. Hence, a perfect, compassionate, generous, contented and eco-conscious world that I can truly imagine. Sorry, I'm so long winded on this. :) Did I answer your questions?

  3. PS: Thank you so very much for asking your question, Hans. I enjoyed hearing from you.