by Adryanna Kenna Sadge, Scholarship Winner
A little girl sits in her room fervently praying for a brick house; believing with all her heart that a brick house could put her family back together. She couldn’t understand the realities of life in the same way as an adult. In her 8-1/2-year-old mind, a brick house was the “Holy Grail” – a promise of security and stability. With confusion in her mind and a sorrow-filled heart, she soon learned that change was inevitable as she journeyed to a new family and a new start. Interesting enough, however, was the flagstone exterior of an old house that had survived the Civil War and stood proudly against the backdrop of Mother Nature. A house with history, torment, sorrow, laughter, healing, and best of all, a family that promised a lifetime of love, security, and stability. Her family.
The little girl who threw her prayers up to the Divine was born Cynthia Autumn Hill and subsequently shortened to Cyndi. Under that name, she experienced a challenging childhood. Transferred from foster homes to maternal grandparents back into foster homes and then again to paternal grandparents. She traveled the western border, but nothing ever seemed to be a good fit until she met the most majestic couple in “all of the kingdom”. Cyndi became Cynthia Autumn Keen as she fell so deeply in love with this King and Queen who opened their hearts to this fragile, little girl. She felt like a princess in one of the tales she used to sing about to her little sister. The Divine had answered her prayers in the Show-Me-State showing her a couple ready to love and accept her. But she had a crack. A small imperfection too difficult to see with the naked eye. She had her fairy tale ending, but her journey was really just beginning.
As I grew up, that crack became more noticeable. It widened ever so slightly with each failed relationship – both romantic and platonic – and each failed endeavor. Fear, doubt, and uncertainty crept in and spread for many years. I chased dreams, status, and highs. Anything that would fill the empty void and mask the truth. The one thing I kept hearing over and over, but I just didn’t know how to do it. Love yourself. So simple, yet so complex. You are worthy. You are deserving. You are loved. Easy statements to say, but so difficult to hear.
I clung to my spirituality with the desperation of a stranded swimmer amongst the hungry sharks. They continued to circle around me testing me; teasing me; threatening to drag me under. There were times that I wanted to give in and allow them to take me to the depths of the ocean. To be free of this life. To be freed from this pain. But something always stopped me. A sliver of hope kept me treading the water.
They say that I am a survivor. That I wasn’t meant to live past the age of 4 due to some illness. Yet, there I was trying to release my life force rather than all the baggage I carried. It took many years to realize it wasn’t my life force that needed to be released.
I still worked towards my goals. I kept “driving on”. I moved through life by diving deep into Paganism and then into Buddhism. I clutched onto the passing ship of web page development, modeling, acting, and writing. I found ways to keep myself entertained, as my mother would say. But I was seeking something that I had absolutely no idea what or why or where or when or how. I was seeking. I was seeking amongst the alcohol, the drugs, the parties, the clothes, the jewelry, the electronics, the cars, the shoes; all the material gains I could afford. I found “love” in fleeting encounters and heartbreak in their inevitable ending. My accomplishments were clothed with constant striving to be better; to be more; to be someone else; to be accepted.
That little girl who thought a brick house could fix everything found out that even the strongest of foundations can shatter especially when those foundations are rooted in lies. The lies we tell ourselves to pretend that we’re okay. That everything is as it should be. The lies that mask our pain. Our masks that keep the world out fearing automatic rejection should anyone dare discover who we truly are inside. Fear. The reason we tell these lies to ourselves. Fear of who that little girl embodied. Fear of who she became. Guilt for not meeting expectations. Guilt for not living up to her side of the bargain. Disappointment. Knowing her parents expected so much more.
But I continued. I rushed through 4-1/2 years of military service giving my heart to my work. Diving deep into the victimization of other males and females; too afraid to stop for discovery. Too afraid to look deeper at my own reflection all the while pretending I was really digging deep trying to heal old wounds. I was brought to a breaking point soon after I was discharged from the military. [Even now, my ego wants to clarify that it was an Honorable Discharge.] But this breaking point almost had me driving into a bus stop hoping to end my own life force. But I continued.Discovery. One of the Growth cards in the Transformation Oracle deck. It’s represented by the Earth element – a focus on our physical/material needs. It was during a Soulful Breathwork session with Rob Paul that truly began my transformation. Some may say the transformation started when I was adopted at 9-1/2-years-old. I could agree that it certainly changed the direction of my life, but it was this powerful session that reminded me that I AM A WARRIOR. It jumpstarted a new desire to seek out answers; to connect with the Earth. It gave me permission to remember the past. Still, I fought against the tide. I lost and regained faith so many times over in just a few short months. My spiritual teachers kept encouraging me to be open; to be receptive to my gifts; to the messages from the Divine. I was encouraged to be open to healing, and just being open. Receptivity, an Air card that encourages one to bring unity to heart and mind. A card in the Refinement stage of transformation. My teachers and fellow spiritual/lightworkers encouraged me to refine this one piece that could open me up to a beautiful world of abundance, healing, light, and love. I kept hearing, “Step into the light.” But how? I thought I had acknowledged the past. “Yep, you’re there.” Great. Even Grandfather Bear was hounding me about healing old wounds. While I was moving through growth and refinement, I was also losing ground on the progress I had made financially. I attempted to throw myself into a brand-new business. A leap of faith, they call it … we call it. But I was still clinging to something. Old fears resurfaced like annoying gnats that just won’t leave you alone. I was afraid. What happens if it works out? Eerily finding peace in the resistance that allows you to say, “Well, I almost ….” Of course, the Divine was not having it. I watched the security I built over the past five years spiral down until I faced homelessness, loss of income, loss of job, loss of dignity and pride. Yet, even in the chaos, I could feel release. It was like failure had actually given me a roadmap to the pieces of me that needed to be set free. I was digging deep into the well of despair, but there they were dancing around the flames like impish elves and sprites. I was chained to the wall without choice; without my masks; without the lies. The Divine had brought me to a place where my eyes could no longer deceive. My mind could no longer pretend. My heart could no longer hide. I had to make a choice – to live or die. And in that dream, I lived. Prayer. Light. Solitude. Connecting with the Divine through light and love. Feeling peace and serenity. The element of water bringing forth our emotions and opening our hearts. A time for Quietude. Another stage in this beautiful and tumultuous transformation. Permission to rest. To be at peace with oneself. This stage seems to intertwine with and between Discovery and Receptivity. As I release past traumas and find forgiveness within my own heart, I am gifted a moment of peace through my connection with the Divine. The ocean waves gather like the perfect storm, but the hand of the Divine holds them at bay while I fall to my knees and I pray for release. She hears my cries and holds me like an infant in her arms. Singing softly as I learn to breathe.
Through her sweet song, I am reminded of the eternal connection to the heavens; to the Divine. She offers me Grace; allowing her soothing tones to flow through me while the flames of the Dragon’s breath cleanse my soul. During this purification, I am reminded that it is through Grace that we connect to the Cosmos; to the Universe. Grace illuminates our hearts and minds and allows messages to flow easily and readily. All I have to do is surrender to her wisdom.With a soft touch upon my cheek, exuding such beauty and confidence, she transforms into a perfectly imperfect reflection of me. A majestic and powerful being standing in her own truth. Bringing forth the realization that the path to Wisdom may be never-ending and already achieved all at the same time as the air may gently blow us to and fro, but it also continually cycles as we breathe standing strong and whole. Finding oneness within ourselves as we embrace our own truth. Pushing us forward and backward on our own sacred path.
While I have transformed many times just within this lifetime alone, I find solace in moving through these stages of transformation. Growth leading to Refinement, Quietude, Nourishment, and again to Refinement; these stages are just as fluid and flowing as the Divine has asked me to be. As I move through physical needs to mental clarity, emotional balance, and spiritual wellbeing determined to unite heart and mind so I may find peace in uncertainty and turmoil; I may rest easily in the knowledge that my transformation is both cyclical and linear. It is through Discovery, Receptivity, Prayer, and Grace that I have found and will continually seek Wisdom. But it is through the blessings of the Divine that I, as Adryanna Kenna Sadge, will embody this path regardless of its winding and treacherous roads so that I may be a vessel for her messages and a light for others who have also traveled a great distance with nothing but emotional baggage to protect their feet and nourish their bodies. It is through these blessings that I found the will to live.
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