I don't like that I have to write this post. I will admit that it is very difficult for me. But, it is important for me to be honest with my readers, especially when it comes to my spiritual journey.
Those who know me already know that I am a seeker. It has always defined me, even since I was nine years old. I've always wanted to discover the truth. And, truthfully speaking, I searched near and far.
So really, my spiritual journey has always been full of twists and turns, and that's never bothered me much. Why this one does more so than the others, I'm not 100% sure, and it's something for me to explore.
Why Am I Writing This?
So, I said above that I don't like that I have to write this post. If you know me at all, you know that I'm all about questioning obligation. My Spiritual Coach Training students will recognize this as a Meta Model violation (modal operator of obligation). 🙂 You're welcome for the free review. 😀
So, why am I writing it, then? Because I also don't feel right pretending that nothing happened, or just ignoring it. Also, quite a few of you have become rather familiar with my path, and I want to continue to share that.
I like all of those aspects. So why don't I like that I have to write this? I think it brings up all sorts of limiting beliefs in me.
People have told me for a long time that I should just choose a spiritual path / religion and stick with it. However, that's just not my nature. I'm a seeker first and foremost.
I had a philosophy professor in college who said something to the effect of, “Always follow your philosophy, no matter where it goes.” That is advice I've always tried my best to follow, and despite the twists and turns in my own spiritual journey, I think it's done rather well for me.
What's Going On?
All right, I've remained rather vague up to this time. Let me get to the point.
I posted back in January that I had converted to Islam. It was a pretty big change, and it really caused me to reevaluate what I was doing, and how to integrate my coaching with this new path.
I was initially very optimistic, because a sheikh I had been in communication with when I was thinking about converting, told me that the law of attraction was very compatible with Islam.
I really loved my time as a Muslim. The community was amazing, and I enjoyed going to the mosque every week. I think probably for the first time in my spiritual journey, I really felt like I was part of a family. If I needed something, anything at all, they would be right there, helping me in any way they could.
I remember when my cane broke a while ago. If you're not too familiar with blind people, the white cane is what we use to navigate, and avoid obstacles in front of us. So, obviously, a broken cane is a very bad thing. I can still walk if someone is guiding me, but sometimes people aren't perfect at it and can still run me into something.
Anyway, I told a Muslim friend of mine that it had broken. He spent about 30 minutes trying to fix it, and then offered to buy me a new one. This, even though it was not at all his fault: it had nothing to do with him actually, but instead Christine had accidentally broken it.
Two of the Muslim men in the community actually argued about who would get to buy my cane for me. The original person I mentioned above won out in the end, and he did indeed buy me a new cane.
This is just one example of many, many examples of them being there for us throughout these months.
So it is near heartbreaking that I had to make the decision to leave Islam. I don't think any other change has been so hard for me in the past. Like I said, I'm a seeker. I'm used to this. But, when you're taken in by a community and really taken care of, well, it's a little harder. I'm still not sure exactly how everything will play out.
Why Did I Leave?
So, if everything was so perfect, why did I leave?
Here's the thing: I learned a lot through my exploration of the law of attraction last year. I saw it applied again and again in my own life, and I really came to understand things I never had before.
I was ecstatic when I learned I'd be able to apply these understandings to Islam as well. I couldn't just leave them behind, obviously. When you learn something new, it becomes a part of you. You can't unlearn it.
But, it turned out, I could really only apply a shadow of what I knew the laws of the universe to be. Perhaps that sounds arrogant, and I don't mean it in that way. But, intuitively I felt I had been on the right path. I felt happy and content with where I was. Things were working out for me.
A Doctrine of Fear
But, do you know what wasn't part of that vision of the universe which I had learned? Fear. Fear was found nowhere in it, nor was guilt, nor was sin.
Yet, immediately upon converting, I had to try to believe in hell, and Judgment Day, and God's rules for us as human beings. Prior to this, I had believed in reincarnation, and infinite chances, and that we all had light in us and would open to that light in the end. The point wasn't judgment. The point was infinite expansion into new and exciting experiences.
But now I had to swallow the idea of hell. It was a hard one to accept, too, but I felt I had to (there's that obligation again).
And then I was told that unless a person was Muslim, they could not make it into paradise, but would be lost to hell.
At first I accepted it. But then, I saw the people in my life. My clients, my friends, my family, all of whom were non-Muslim, and all within whom I could see the light. I could see God working in their lives. They're lives were a conversation with God, which they just had to learn to tune into. Each and every client, I knew that God was working with them, one-on-one, and I was just helping them to see that.
How could I have that knowledge, and yet believe that they were destined for hell unless they come to believe in the specific religion of Islam? How could I come to believe that if they opened up to that light within themselves, and overcame their resistance in life, and became better and better—that despite all this, if they died while being non-Muslim, they would even still go to hell?
I had a good friend of mine talk to me shortly after the conversion. He warned me that hell was something that had bothered me in the past, and that it would once again. Of course at the time I shrugged off his comment, and of course he was totally correct.
This brings me nicely to my next point. I started to feel hypocritical, because I was helping my clients, who were of course non-Muslim themselves, to be more successful in life, and to be happier as people. But of course, I had to believe within myself, as a Muslim, that it wasn't good enough for them to do these things. So, I felt in a way that I was guiding them to their doom, and I often wondered if I would be held responsible.
Of course, as time went on, I stopped feeling like this so much, for a few reasons. The first reason is that my spiritual coaching practice kept growing steadily. I figured that if God were displeased with it, then surely something would have happened to demonstrate that to me.
The second reason was that I just couldn't believe it. I saw God in my clients' lives way too much, as I said above. I saw the blessings in their lives, and I saw the negative experiences as lessons to help them to open up even more to that inner light, to the Divine.
Trying to Deal with the Clash
Due to all of this, I often told Christine that I felt like two paradigms were clashing within my head. One said that all of these people were going to be judged, while the other said that they were awesome, light-filled beings who were becoming reacquainted with their true divine nature.
For a while, I tried to deal with this inner battle. I studied Sufism for a bit, which is a path that I really respect. But, most Muslims dismiss Sufism as a religious innovation, so still I found myself distancing myself from the community, because I was afraid to tell them what I was studying.
Every week became a rollercoaster. All week, I would feel so much doubt about my path, but then I'd go Friday and be renewed in my faith. This was the cycle for at least three or four weeks.
But each week, the highs were not so high, and the lows were even lower than before. I just didn't see the point anymore.
The Next Step of My Spiritual Journey
I realized that I was so happy where I was before. I was confident in my spiritual journey, and felt so connected with the universe as a whole.
So why did I change that, then? I'm still honestly not sure. After I finally realized Islam wasn't working out for me, I wanted to slap myself. I felt really stupid. I was happy with my path, something which I had rarely experienced before, and still, likely out of fear, I walked away from it.
I realize this thought is very fear-based itself. There are never any mistakes, and we can never get anything wrong. I can just as easily return to that path, and really this is what I've done again and again since childhood.
But still, it was frustrating to me. And it was frustrating to me that the fear and guilt lingers in the back of my mind. I thought I had moved on past this kind of fear.
And perhaps this is really the lesson in all of this. Perhaps it was pointing out to me where I was still holding onto fear somewhere. I ignored that fear, and it got bigger and bigger until it hit me over the head in a big way.
A Repeating Pattern
Indeed, this has been my pattern since childhood. I remember how happy I was when I discovered this magical world as a child, of spirituality, of intuition, of energy, of seeing all sorts of spirits around me, and of trying to get in touch with my spirit guides. I was awestruck, wonderfully delighted by the magic of it all.
And then for a few years I got caught up in Christianity. Everything I had been so excited about before was now “evil”. After a few years, I became disillusioned with Christianity and realized where I had always been happiest.
Every few years this same sort of pattern would repeat. That old fear that I was wrong, that maybe there was hell, would crop back up. Then I'd get fed up with the fear and guilt and go back to the path that made me happiest in life.
When I was on this path, I thrived. When I was off it, I became someone that I didn't like very much.
And so this was really only the latest cycle of that same pattern. But, this one hurt the most. This one made me the most into someone I didn't like. And I saw it even while in the midst of it. I hated the way it made me think about other people. I hated what it did to my marriage, too. But, at the time, I felt powerless to do anything about it.
In the law of attraction, your fears will only get bigger and bigger, until you finally take care of them. I really hope that now I can do exactly this: put this all behind me, and realize that it was just a manifestation of my greatest fear.
Already I feel better. I feel mostly back to my happy, carefree self. I feel more spiritually connected already. The moment I decided to leave, I felt a wash of light energy in my heart, like it could finally open back up again. I've been opening back up to my spirit guides and listening for what's next.
What's Coming Up
If you've noticed, my posting frequency has increased dramatically. I feel full of inspiration lately. I have lots more planned, including more posting ideas, and more for my subscribers, as well as perhaps even a premium membership coming up soon. I also want to develop some courses for those who want to learn how to apply the law of attraction to their lives.
Finally, I want to see what interest is out there by my readers for intuitive development and opening up more to the spiritual world. This is something I've worked on since I was younger, but really haven't talked about it publicly here yet. If there is interest, I'd love to write more on this as well.
In short, there's lots planned for the future. I'm super excited to see where it goes.
And, you probably noticed my name is showing as Brandon once again. I deliberated what to do about this, because I really got to like the name Abdullah. I love the meaning of it.
However, as a believer in numerology, I believe it can be a bad idea to mess with your birth name, unless you know exactly the energy present in the new name. I like what my birth name contains numerologically, and want to develop those qualities more. I don't really know what the energy would be if I changed it, and would rather not find out.
It doesn't really bother me whatever people choose to call me, so don't worry either way.
I want to thank you for your support as well. Many of you have been incredibly supportive along this entire journey, which is why I've opened up like this in this post. It means a lot to me, and I hope you'll continue to join me on this journey into the future.
Now I'd love to hear from you. What's been your experience with your own spiritual journey? What lessons have you learned along the way? Please comment below and let me know.