I was born into a Catholic family where religion was never really an important topic within our household. For as long as I can remember, we only went to church on Easter Sunday and Christmas Eve, if at all. I never quite understood why I had to wake up extra early, get all dressed up in ugly dresses, sit on a hard bench, and wait for two hours to pass while asking my mom when we can eat.
Doing things just because I was asked was never in my character. I always wanted answers. If my parents couldn't give me answers to my questions then I would find them out myself, even if that meant learning the hard way. I often got in trouble, but that's only because I constantly challenged authority instead of just doing what I was told.
When I was 13-years-old, my family converted to Mormonism. At the time, I was battling depression, drugs, anxiety, and sexual identity, complicated by self-esteem issues. The Mormon Church helped me understand that all the questions I always wanted answers to were actually questions about G-d and my relationship with him. Looking back, this was the start of my spiritual journey and my search for happiness.
I stopped going to church at 16 because again, no one could give me answers to my questions. Why couldn't I have premarital sex? Why couldn't I enjoy a glass of wine when, in fact, Jesus and all the disciples did? Why couldn't we openly accept the LGBT community if they were also followers of Jesus? Why did I have to go to church for three hours every Sunday? I got tired of the "because you have to" answers, so I decided to not be Mormon anymore. I instead became "spiritual."
When I was 19-years-old, my father asked if I would take a Kabbalah class with him. He was a very complex and spiritual individual, so talking about spirituality and energy was how we bonded. I had never heard of Kabbalah. All I knew was that this might be another opportunity to get answers to my questions.
During our first Kabbalah class, my father and I sat at the first table right in front of the podium. Out comes a man in a suit with something on his head and the first words out of his mouth were, "Good evening." I became that annoying student who would always blurt out questions during the middle of the lecture, despite instructions to hold them until the end of class. By the end of class I learned a lot: proactive versus reactive, Light versus vessel, and that everything happens for a reason. I didn't feel the need to take the next class, Power of Kabbalah 2, because I thought I had Kabbalah basics down.
Less than a year later, I found myself in yet another downward spiral. I was fired from my job and had no savings. I had been kicked out of my parents’ house because of my decision to date a man 13 years older than me. I had many friends, yet felt so alone. I was falling back into a depression.
I remember reading a Daily Tune-Up from Yehuda Berg. Although, I don't remember the exact words I do remember the message clearly. It said that nothing happens by accident and all the chaos in our lives is supposed to be there. He said the faster we realize this lesson the faster we can overcome it. I decided to use this opportunity to test all the spiritual tools I had learned. A huge part of me wanted to stop believing altogether because of all the darkness in my life, but there was this small ounce that believed with no doubt.
Being the rebel that I am, I couldn't just accept my chaos, so I began praying to G-d. The first couple of days I prayed and asked the Creator to give me a sign. I told Him that if I created this chaos in my life and this is where I was supposed to be then I was ok with that, but I needed to know that G-d knew I was down here at rock bottom. I didn't care what the sign was, but I needed some sort of confirmation.
No sign came and I was still in a dark place. After a few days of asking, I started demanding that I receive a sign. This was His chance to show me that He was with me. A week and a half passed. Still nothing.
On a Wednesday morning, I received a Daily Tune-Up from Yehuda Berg. It said, when we expect something in return, we block the Light from entering our lives. It triggered something inside my soul. That night I didn't ask for or demand a sign, I begged for one. I begged from depths of my soul I didn't know existed. I begged because I just wanted to believe in His presence.
The next day at summer school, I was in between classes reading a book when a man knocks on the classroom window and signals me to come out. I didn't feel threatened, so I went outside to see what this young man wanted. He was in his early 20s with blonde hair and blue eyes. He introduced himself and apologized for the interruption. This young man said that he had seen me go into my first class and wanted to talk to me then, but didn't know what to say. When he saw me again going to my second class, he knew he had to speak to me. I start blushing, thinking he was flirting with me, but then he pulled a complete 180 on me. He said, "I have a message for you and please forgive me if this means nothing to you. G-d wants you to know that he loves you very much and that everything is going to be ok. He wants you to know that he is with you and to please not lose faith."
Tears ran down my cheeks as the feeling of unconditional love sank in. I got a taste of what it means to be one with the Creator. I finally began to understand the principles of Kabbalah and what it means to have 100% certainty in the Light.
Yehuda Berg’s Daily Tune-Ups and Karen Berg's monthly consciousness gave me guidance for the next five years. Being in your early 20s living in Las Vegas, a 1% city, made it tough to trust the Light and not be reactive. But their indirect daily guidance helped me create, or maybe recreate, my vessel, which eventually gave me the strength to make a decision to leave a six-year relationship and the only life I knew for something "greater."
The tools of Kabbalah have helped me understand what my soul knew all along. For the first time in my life, I am able to answer some of the questions that have been lingering for years, maybe lifetimes. The tools of Kabbalah have not answered them for me, rather they are teaching me how to answer them on my own.