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Things I Wish I Knew At 13

by Cassendre Xavier

At thirteen, I was an overweight teenaged girl who had an eating disorder and suspected she maybe wasn’t completely heterosexual. I was also a spiritually eclectic pagan who loved with a passion performing music and writing letters, notes to my classmates, poems, songs, stories, and, of course, the obligatory angst-filled teenager’s diary. I was a bit of an outsider insofar as my core beliefs about life were concerned.

I was reared in a dysfunctional household wherein I was being sexually and physically abused, told that gay people were evil, Christ was the only way to salvation from eternal hell, men should have their way over women, and that I should go to college to get a good, secure job that most likely was not in the creative realm.

I thought I was an ugly, shame-filled, bad persun and I had difficulty imagining the kind of healthy and satisfying love, spirituality, and career I would later believe I could have, and later did succeed in manifesting.

In my late 30s, I had succeeded in undoing many of the misguided and fear-based assumptions I had internalized, and released much of the shame and guilt my upbringing had foisted upon me.

I learned to believe I was beautiful, my body and sexuality were perfect for me, there is no hell, only love, and that giving of my gifts would lead me to the perfect career.

Here are more things I came to realize, and or decide to believe for myself:

1) Spirituality

a) We are one: Quantum physics now has proven what shamans and other spiritual teachers have known for eons: everything is energy, not matter. As such, separation is an illusion. We are one. Knowing this makes it much easier to focus on loving others, forgiving them, and understanding they mirror us, whether we enjoy the experience or not.

b) There is only love or the absence of love (which we call “fear”): Every action and decision we make is motivated by one or the other. Each time, we can choose love.

c) Forgiveness is paramount: When we practice forgiveness, we are rewarded with gifts we could not receive otherwise. It is the most important form of love.

d) Joy is the key: Cultivating the joy within helps us to weather the daily challenges and periodic storms of life, and assists us in reaching our goals. From creating your ideal life, to manifesting prosperity and abundance to meeting the soulmate of your dreams, tuning into your inner joy, and recalling it often is one of the most powerful tools available.

e) Believe what your heart tells you is true: I stopped believing in hell because my heart told me the ideas of hell and demons as I had been taught were not true for me. I also learned how to make important decisions based on what my heart told me. Learn to listen to, believe, and act upon the signals and messages of your heart.

2) Family

a) We choose our parents: Prior to our conception, our souls designed the kind of life we would live this time around in order to allow us to have experiences that we could use to spiritually evolve. We choose our parents, our sex, so-called race, body types, sexual orientation, and the time and location of our early years – and all this provides exactly the breeding ground for all we wanted to learn. Looking it at this way is a gentler introduction to compassion and forgiveness of the imperfections of our parents, as well as acceptance of, and appreciation for, all the circumstances of our upbringing.

3) Self

a) Self-love and self-awareness are paramount: Once you learn this, You won’t rely on others to complete or give you anything you need, and when you have learned to give yourself what you need, you can then focus on giving of yourself to others.

b) Everyone you meet is a mirror of yourself: If or when you like someone, it is because they represent something you like or have accepted within yourself. If you do not like them, it is because they represent something you do not like or have not yet accepted within yourself.

4) Love (Romantic/Sexual)

a) You are your primary partner: Once you focus on relying on yourself to meet most of your emotional and sexual needs, you become an even more attractive prospect for a relationship with an ideal partner.

b) Beauty is very widely defined: True beauty is well-practiced skills in self-love and appreciation of others and of life in general. An attractive face is one that finds others and life attractive. An interesting face is an interested face. Beautiful, alluring, sexy eyes are those that seek to find the beauty, allure, and sexiness in what they are looking at. None of these things have anything to do with body size/shape, fashion, or anything else commonly touted to attract romantic and sexual love.

c) Your genitals are your second heart: The heart in your chest is not your only heart. Your genitals are sacred vessels deserving of the same honor and respect that the rest of your body is worthy of. They are your “second heart.” When we believe that our sexual organs are also love channels from and for the Divine, we begin to choose our sexual partner(s) and experiences with care and wisdom towards self and others.

5) Work

a) Do what you love: The joy in what you love to do is the strongest light to guide your way to the work you were meant to do. Recognize and make the most of its value.

b) Your dream work does not have to be your career: Even if it does not make you much money, you were meant to do this work. Do not withhold your passions because you cannot make enough money at it, nor see any immediate potential to. Your gift was not given to you to express only if financially compensated – it was given to you to be expressed and realized fully. Sometimes one’s dream work is one’s professional occupation, and sometimes it is not. When it is not, it is no less important, and no less worthy of the effort it will take to be fully expressed and realized. If you find yourself in the latter case, consider doing other work to support your dream, and expect that it will support you in other ways you may never have imaged. It surely will!

c) Any kind of work can be done well: Do any job, whether large or small, important or seemingly unimportant, with joy, honor, blessing everyone and having the intention of being a blessing to all.

Enjoy this, and any other time of your life!

Cassendre recently spoke about “Things I Wish I Knew at 13” on the Blog Talk Radio show “It’s All About You.” To listen to, and enjoy a picture slideshow from this archived show, please visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/itsallaboutyou/2012/09/24/things-i-wish-i-knew-at-13-cassendre-xavier-1 or http://tinyurl.com/8tsx4q6.

Cassendre Xavier is an award-winning multi-media healing artist and community organizer. A first generation American born citizen of Haitian and Chinese heritage, she coined the term "renaissance negresse" in 2002 to describe her work as a musician, author, visual artist, and actress. Cassendre sometimes works under the names Amethyste Rah and Amrita Waterfalls, also identifies as a lightworker-in-training, and has been involved as a producer of books, audio and video recordings, as well as a peer support group facilitator in the personal growth, spirituality, and recovery movements since 1991. She is the founder and executive director of Philadelphia's 8th Annual Black Women's Arts Festival as well as the Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series. For more information, please visit http://cassendrexavier.com.

Permission is granted to forward and share part or all of this article. Please include the title, author and website link as printed below:

Things I Wish I Knew at 13(c) Copyright 2012 by Cassendre Xavier. All rights reserved. For more information, please visit http://cassendrexavier.com.”

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