Day 29: Name the person in your life who has had the greatest influence on your spiritual beliefs. If there is no one, name a person in the public eye that you’d like to question about your faith.
Many people have had influence over me and my spiritual beliefs, but no one as much as my sister, S.
From long before (I think) she ever knew, I was trying to listen and learn. For twenty years, or so, S. has been living the kind of spirituality I so wanted to understand, and before long, she began to teach the basics to me, without me even realizing.
After my bypass surgery, in 1998, I spent a couple of months with S. and her family in Key Largo. I met her women friends, all of whom were on the same kind of spiritual journey I was, only far further along. From S. and this group, I learned about new moon, and full moon ceremonies; the different personalities of the Goddess; the writings of Don Miguel Ruiz; and many other events and lessons along the path to spiritual awakening. I was fascinated, and I wanted so badly to live the way she lived, to believe what she believed; I was just too sad, too buried in my own misery to understand.
And for years and years, S. listened to my sadness, and oh, so gently guided me toward the light. I had no idea what a difference she was making, except that she kept me alive so many times, with the right words at every necessary moment, when I was too tired or lost to see the way forward.
I was listening, on some level. I must have been listening hard, because when the light finally came on, I had all of the lessons and principles I had learned from S. at my fingertips. And it happened just that quickly. I was overjoyed to call her and tell her and, as time went on, to be able to carry on normal conversations with her; even to be able to help, sometimes, in the same way that she helped me, though in matters of less gravity.
And S. continues to influence me — in every conversation we have, she says something that touches my spiritual-journeying self. I will likely continue to learn from S. for the rest of my life. I appreciate and value her so very highly, and I love her to pieces. Thank you, S. I hope you know how much you have changed my life. And if not, I can tell you, for the rest of my life, since I’m here because of you, and I am who I am, finally, because of your wonderful influence.