When Rohini, from Pennsylvania, US, experienced ‘unusual symptoms’, she asked a stranger on a helpline; “Am I going mad?” This astute reply; “No sweetie, you are not going mad, you are having an awakening” changed her life forever. Ro now wants to spread awareness of spiritual awakening in order to help others who may also have gone through a process of falling apart, to know that this may actually be the start of you becoming who you truly are and living a joyful life. What a star she is!
This is Rohini’s inspiring story through trauma to #emergence…
A star is born
Scientists say, when atoms of light elements are squeezed under enough pressure for their nuclei to undergo fusion, a star is born.
I am sure my parents didn’t really think about the science behind the name when they chose my name as Rohini. Rohini is the name of a star as per Hindu astrology and probably that’s why they chose it.
I was born in India, to a humble couple, a father who escaped his small town for a better life in the city and a mother, who was forced to discontinue her education in the 8th grade to clean bottles, in her father’s home run cool drink business and be married off to a suitable groom. In time my parents, got married through a customary arranged marriage.
My childhood memories are a mixed bag of my parents fighting and mom leaving the house weeping, vowing not to return. The sadness, the silent tears, and the sharing of a blanket with my brother to feel safe, my father trying to distract the absence of our mother with board games and snacks, are a confusing memory. And, then simply one day, she would be back, not because my father was a changed man or because he had convinced her of his love for her or even spoken to her to come back, to her home. She came back, just because, she didn’t belong in her parent’s place anymore and she had nowhere else to go. And, maybe she did miss us as well. She never said anything but her cooking, would tell us everything we needed to know and all was well again with the world.
In majority of the cases, when a girl is born in India, a gloom comes over the house, as the family now has a mouth to feed, a body to protect, a reason of worry to set aside savings for her wedding and an urgency to transfer the burden to someone else, as soon as possible. She is considered a liability and in most cases, she is treated like one as well. I was no different.
My brother, was an exceptionally brilliant child, not just in studies but in everything that he did. He was a gentle humble introverted rock star. We all loved him. It was hard to beat him at anything and I being a girl, an average student and an even less average doer of everything else soon started feeling the discrimination, mockery, and disappointment directed towards me from my parents, my extended family, and our friends. I cried my self to sleep many nights, curled up in my own misery.
As I became a young adult, I was meanly humiliated for my average grades, my average looks and for my independent thoughts. But, I was a born rebel and I cried, shouted and rebelled at every opportunity. And, for having the same honest, independent big mouth I was also, held responsible for my father’s massive heart attack. A burden too great to bear for a teenager. And, that was the first time, committing a suicide seemed so easy, so doable but the tiny window of courage has come to pass on that hard night, due to the knowledge of a mother’s heart that something was amiss with her child and she never left my side, until the rough tides had subsided.
By, the time I was in my early twenties, I was in a relationship with a guy whose parents disapproved of me, because I belonged to the lowest of castes as per the Indian caste system, called literally as the “untouchables”. But after much back and forth, they gave in for their son’s happiness and we were married. While all this was happening, my brilliant brother had graduated with an Ivy league degree and a high paying job, that made us the proudest, happiest family in town. But, after a year into the job, my dear brother was drowning in a whirlpool that we knew nothing about. Being a sensitive introvert, he bottled it all up, quit his job, abandoned his family and left for the Himalayas. Upon return, he abused drugs, tried to commit suicide, had no control over his own behavior and disowned us for a couple of years, without telling us about his whereabouts.
He was soon diagnosed with Schizophrenia. This broke our family.
My parents lost their son, a kind, smart, respectful, loving boy on to whom, they had pinned all their life’s work, sacrifice, dreams, aspirations, expectations, and happiness.
I lost my brother, my partner in crime, my go-to IT Helpdesk guy, my best friend.
The whole family spiraled into a mass depression. A cloud of suicidal thoughts, denial, anger, sadness, agony, depression and numbness loomed over us for years.
While this was playing out, my entry into a new family turned abusive in the first week of marriage. My ex-husband’s family never accepted, respected or welcomed me and my family into their hearts, home or their lives. My heart was torn between the increasing pain, suffering, depression, misery, desperation fmy dear brother and between an apathetic husband. The subtle emotional abuse, apathy, indifference, and mockery towards’ my family’s misfortune continued for years until I could no longer suffer anymore, I was drowning. I chose to survive and filed for a divorce, without informing my family, they had enough on their plate. My world had grown very drak and I very lonely.
I had followed a boy who was my universe, to live a love filled life to US. And, now I was in US, all alone. I knew I would not be accepted by my family cause not only had I chosen the guy I wanted to marry against their wishes but, I had also chosen to leave him as well. That wouldn’t have gone well with them, with everything they were already feeling with my bother’s illness. So, I kept to myself and lived a lonely life.
I accepted that probably my purpose in life was to just be a sister, earn money and take care of him for the rest of our lives.
But, the universe had other plans.
About 6 months after my divorce, I bumped into a guy, we became friends instantly and it was a start of a very turbulent few months of connection, as he was separated and my association with him was against everything, I ever believed to be true about myself. Of all the billions of people in this world, why did I have to love him? After I had parted ways, in a moment of weakness we ended up together for a night and never spoke about it, as we knew we were not going back. As, I went about my life, in 2 weeks I discovered I was pregnant. For someone who had always desired a loving partner first and never just children, I was now in a situation I never thought I would ever be. My mother instincts kicked in as soon as I knew, probably even before…when I told the guy, he showed me he didn’t care about me or our unborn child. This was the coldest experience, I told him to leave and never saw him again.
As I imagined myself, as my own child or 2, I have a twin gene in my DNA, my mom being an identical twin and my maternal side of the family has many sets of twins. I was in a foreign country, abandoned by my ex-husband for whom I had left my home behind, abandoned by my family who upon the revelation of my divorce told me to never to come back to India and abandoned by my lover, who had promised me his commitment, should such a situation arise. I was unwanted by everyone I knew and I didn’t want my babies to feel the same, I know they would know it if they came into this world.
So, as my heart ripped apart into a million pieces and I knew there was a high possibility that, I may never recover from losing a piece of my soul and might kill myself, I went ahead and got an abortion.
I feel no desire to live. I had failed as a daughter, I had failed as a sister, I had failed as a wife, I had failed as a lover and I had chosen to fail, in the unexpected role of a mother. I had failed at being a WOMAN.
I had no reason to exist, I felt no desire to exist, I did not care if I lived and I felt, no one else cared either.
I was empty.
What remained of me thereafter, was a hollow shell ringing of my cries. As suspected, I spiraled into acute depression, unable to get out of bed, unable to look at myself in the mirror, unable to show up for work, unable to function at all. I was just waiting for that moment when I would have the courage to slit my wrist and end this misery called life. I was already dead on the inside and I cared about nothing else.
Then, after witnessing a gun shooting on my 33rd birthday I started laughing hysterically. I laughed and laughed and laughed, cause I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t feel bad for the guy who was shot or for the guy who was shooting or the people who were scurrying for safety.
Every time I went to the bathroom, I avoided the mirror but I remember after this incident, I forced myself to look int the mirror, look into my eyes and have a real conversation. I told myself even God forgives at least one mistake, and God would forgive this BIG mistake of mine, that relationship and its consequences. There was no one around to judge me, actually, there was no one is in my life that even cared if I died or lived. So, right now, in this very moment, I had to forgive myself, I had to fully accept myself and I had to unconditionally love myself for all that I was. Only then could I move forward or else I might just kill myself and get it over with, as this mopping around was no longer fun and it would be easier to just, die now.
Something changed after that night, I don’t what exactly and I didn’t realize it right away. I kept going through the motions of life and I remember, my close friend Mike saying, you should go see a therapist, you seem to be in a bit of frenzy. I knew something had changed within me, the heaviness, the hate, the darkness, the burden in my heart had been lifted and I was feeling lighthearted but I still kept making plans to kill myself one of these days soon. I felt different in my heart but I was being told to act differently by my mind. I got scared about my behavior and stopped talking to anyone at work, just for the fear of someone else noticing my erratic behavior again.
I came home one night but I couldn’t help but call a friend in India and talk, as I was unable to contain my words. While I was talking to him, he seemed to have picked on my weird behavior and he yelled at me, saying, “Oh stop! Just stop with all these spiritual bull shit talks”. I was stunned with his words, I got scared and I hung up. But, the word “spiritual” triggered something in me, this word didn’t exist in my dictionary. Someone could have called me a religion hopper and I would have agreed with them, as I had converted to Christianity a few years ago though I was born in a Hindu family. What did this word, “spirituality” really mean. I did what I knew how to do best, I opened up my laptop and typed the word “Spiritual” and as Google does it’s thing, the word ” Spiritual Awakening” appeared in my search box and I hit enter. I read through some blogs quickly and saw few videos and I felt crazy, as these were the very symptoms I had been experiencing the last few months. My head started reeling and I started panicking. I ran to the bathroom and started looking at my reflection and my whole world as I saw it collapsed before my eyes…I was itching all over my body, my head, my neck, my arms and as I looked around in my bathroom, for a few moments everything stood still, everything merged into each other, everything blended into one color of light, everything was just particles and particles of light….just a shimmering soft color of yellow. Everything was ONE. I was unable to distinguish between the mirror, the lights, the shower curtain or the walls… everything was just a blend of light. It was like I was seeing different colors blend into one color on a paint palette. Everything was just one light.
As I continued to look at the mirror, deep into my own eyes, I remembered that I was wearing this body, like a piece of cloth for a role I had come to play here, as a woman. I remembered, that I was not this mere body, I was not the mind, which kept yelling at me to kill myself but I was that feeling, that knowing, that unconditional fountain of love that flooded my heart and my whole being, in this very moment. I feel the joy of my being.
And, I remembered, I was just a speck of dust but at the same time, I was the entire universe in motion and I laughed. I laughed for a long time and with that laughter, I was liberated from my suffering.
After a while, I got scared as I was experiencing, an indescribable feeling of being flooded with love, compassion, empathy and joy for myself and also my body continued to itch and I was seeing spots of light.
I was not able to comprehend what was happening, I thought maybe I was going crazy, I was 33 and suicidal, maybe this was the onset of schizophrenia. As, I grew frantic and I googled for help during Spiritual Awakening, I came across ACISTE ( American Center for The Integration of Spiritual Transformative Experiences) and called their helpline number but it went to a VM. The intensity of whatever was happening to me had increased and I called a friend frantically before calling 911 to ask for help. I told her, I was feeling like skin was peeling off of my body and I felt like would burst into a million pieces, of this indescribable feeling in my heart that I was feeling.
As I hung up, a lady called me and said she had gotten my VM and asked me, what was going on. Having found someone to talk to and might be able to help me, I started a verbal frenzy. Beth patiently listened and after I was done, I asked her. What is happening to me? Am I going mad? Should I call 911? And, she said, “No sweetie, you are not going mad, you are having an awakening”. And, those words changed my life forever.
December 5th, 2016. This day is my real birthday. The day of my rebirth, with the feeling and knowing of my true nature. The day, I woke up from the dream I had been dreaming for lifetimes and lifetimes.
The day, I shed thousands and thousands of years of old skin and realized my pure essence.
And for the first time in my life, I appreciated the beauty of my body, I felt unconditional love overflowing from my heart and I felt the serenity of my being.
I was free of the suffering of my mind. I was just joyous for being and being me.
For the first time in my life, I was happy to be ALIVE.
I was in that euphoric state for months and with the help of a couple of amazing people in my life, I slowly transformed my life.
I now knew everything and everyone was one energy and we were only separated by what we thought.
Divine grace touched my heart and my heart flooded with unconditional love.
There was only now and there was only God, as all of us.
I realized I was God and everyone else was God as well.
To this realization, I am eternally grateful.
And, that’s how a star was born.
It’s been 2 years since the experience and I have not been happier in my life than I am in this moment.
I continue to work my bank job, volunteer and I am training to be a Life Coach to help other people, awaken to their true nature.
My heart is filled with unconditional love, compassion, gratitude, and joy of being me.
And, I pray for other people to awaken as well.