This is a guest article by Marc Ayahspiritu.
As I stood there facing the facilitator his arm outstretched, holding a shot glass half full with ayahuasca, I began to tremble, fear washing over me like a tsunami about to decimate a coastal city.
Beads of sweat ran down my face, flashes of the horrors I faced the previous night during my first ceremony. Flashes of my childhood that didn’t come in the form of images but of feelings. Dread.
The over powering narrator of my story, the dictator of childhood. I didn’t want to go back but I had no future to look forward to, after all, this was to be my final dance in this reality, the idea of suicide firmly rooted in the darkest recess of my mind.
The facilitator saw my hesitance to drink the brew and said softly: “Trust the medicine”.
I did not trust him nor the medicine nor my common sense at this point. I whispered under my breath as I took the shot glass from his hand. “Who gives a shit what happens, I deserve to suffer.”
I quickly shot the medicine down my throat and chased it with some water. It was warm and bitter, going down like a lost soul heading to hell for an eternity of torture.
I walked back to my mattress and laid down like I had the night before and covered myself, tears forming on the corners of my eyes in anticipation of the spiritual brutality I would have to endure once again.
As the medicine made it’s way through my system, into my bloodstream and finally into my brain, my heart rate went up and I could feel the physical purge coming. I sat up, got on my knees and started violently vomiting, fear rushing me like a midnight stalker closing in on his prey.
The visuals came very hard as I became paralyzed. I started whispering my mantra from the night before: “Heal me, please, heal me”, over and over again as my chest tightened and my breathing became laboured as if a large stone was placed on me, restricting my airflow. Panic.
I could feel the screams welling up inside me like hot lava from an active volcano. Childhood pain rushed through me, beating my tortured soul with no remorse, cruelty with no bounds and without limit.
Hell is not below us but inside us. It is the father’s fist, the mother’s disdain, the cigarette burns and the absence of love. Lost in a sea of despair I could do nothing but weep for the life I’d been given.
I cried out for my mother, for my father, for my brothers who didn’t understand.
How loud did I need to cry to be heard, to be understood? I was alone in the vast expanse of nothingness, the only comfort the cold darkness of my soul. “I’m sorry”, I mumbled “I’m so sorry.” Who was I saying sorry to, I wondered in that moment.
Then it started. First, I began to feel heat in my feet which slowly but methodically climbed up my shins, thighs, groin, stomach and then it hit my chest like a runaway train. That moment I sat up feeling dazed, alien feelings coursing through me.
In my bewilderment I started looking around the room and asking “What is this? What’s happening to me?” I wasn’t scared anymore, I was no longer suicidal, I no longer felt self loathing. No pain.
Again, I asked in a state of shock “Please!! What is this?” This older woman walked across the room to me, gently put her hand on my shoulder and with a warm smile softly said “This is love”, her eyes soft and full of light, “You have found love.”
For a brief second I wondered what she was talking about. Surely at 47 years old I knew what love felt like. In that nano second I had the realization that in fact, I did not know love.
I was sterilized from it when I was but an innocent child who only knew love. I had it ripped out from my heart with the constant barrage of hurtful words and fists. I was reeling!!
I looked at this woman and asked “This is love?” A smile came across my face as I said it. I repeated the question: “This is really love?”
Again, she smiled warmly at me and said “Yes, this is your love” I fell on my back, looking up at the ceiling, tears streaming down my face, giggling at the sheer amazement of this new found emotion. In a very loud voice I began to say “This is love!!! It’s so beautiful, thank you, thank you, I love, I am love, I love you, love is everything!!”
The wonderful group gathered around me and rejoiced and said “Welcome to your rebirth!!”
Yes, I was reborn, I was Marc again, the little boy that died all those years ago. Marc the sweet little boy who loved so much, who
was hyper sensitive and trusting. I had been restored to my “factory settings”.
Marc is who we all are the moment we are born. Marc is the love we all have inside us. Marc is the hope for all humanity. Marc is the collective consciousness of the eternal light we come from. Namastè. We are all truly one.
This is a powerful statement because we have forgotten that together we are the deep and infinite love that binds this reality we live in. I love you. I say this now with tears in my eyes and conviction in my words.
I love you because you are me, because I am you and together we are one.