Carrie Ure is a freelance writer, editor, communications consultant and spiritual companion in Portland, Oregon. She writes about the spiritual aspects of everyday life on her blog and for print publication. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
My first memories, chronicled here in the story “Bedtime,” are from the age of three, the same year I began to read spontaneously. I thank my parents — father busy with work and college at night, and mother busy with two toddlers and a new baby besides me — for accepting my precociousness. Nonetheless, I felt like an alien in our large extended family. There would be four of us siblings by the time I was barely five years old. As the eldest, I tolerated loneliness, learned to accept responsibility young, and relied on my faith in the inherent goodness of life.
I can’t say that my childhood was happy. I was scrawny and sickly well into adulthood. I was lonely, insecure and geeky, preferring my books to human company. My family moved three times before I finished high school and each uprooting further undermined my social confidence.
I fell in love as a freshman in college and promptly got my heart broken into a million pieces. Somehow I managed to graduate with my class from Stanford University while holding a 30-hour per week job and maintaining an A- average. I earned a degree in Human Biology and went on to get a full scholarship in a PhD program in Philosophy at Georgetown University. I left school five years later, got married and worked in restaurants. My head functioned well, but my health suffered. My early heartbreak had plunged me into a deep depression that would last twenty-one years before it lifted permanently.
Like the mythical Persephone, my lost years were the necessary incubation for my creative life. In my cocoon I read, prayed, studied, forgoing the usual young person’s search for career and pursuit of pleasurable experiences. I lost myself in spiritual study and practice: A Course in Miracles, Tarot cards, Judaic mysticism, Buddhism, yoga, numerology, astrology, Jungian psychology, the Enneagram, and the Al-Anon 12 Step program. I left few stones unturned. I cleansed my body through strict health regimes, pranayama and natural medicine including the home birth of a beautiful healthy son in 1996.
I emerged from my cave in early 2000 after helping my mother through her illness and death. Desperately unhappy and not understanding why, I left my husband and set off to face my fears and to put my practical affairs in order. It has been challenging but things have gradually improved and I have received countless spiritual gifts and teachings along the way.
In the past ten years I have lovingly mothered my son, while riding the waves of two different careers. I have created a comfortable home and established a loving community of friends while devoting myself to my spiritual practice, especially Tarot, Tibetan Buddhism, the 12 Steps and the study of Archetypes (through the work of Caroline Myss and her Sacred Contracts). In 2007 I began to bring my life-long practice of writing out into the world.
I have always shared my gifts, intellectual and spiritual, to the best of my ability. I have tried to give whatever I have to others. I find complete joy and freedom in spending time with the people I love. My greatest ambition is to reach enlightenment for the sake of all beings.
Thanks to all who have supported me on my way. Thanks to my family for providing me with the unique foundation I personally needed to find my path. Thanks to all who sincerely wish to attain freedom for the sake of all.
May we all realize that although there are many roads, being in the moment is the only way to wisdom.