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Once upon a time...

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         When I was about 10 years old, I was briefly brought into the understanding of sin as sat in the back of the children's church service, and at that time my life was a miserable rollercoaster of anxiety. But as I listened to the Pastor, my heart yearned for freedom. And so, I waited until everyone else had left the room, and  I walked up to the Pastor, tears about to flow, and I asked him to help me say the prayer so that God can come into my heart; and so the Lord can live this life for me as a Child of God, The Father.

        In that moment of prayer, all of the burdens that I had been psychologically carrying suddenly disappeared; and it was as if a great weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I felt relief, peace, love & joy. And I felt amazed by what a simple prayer could do for me; when every other option proved to be fruitless thus far.

          So amazed was I, that I returned the following Sunday; and this time, I really listened to what this Preacher had to say about God, The Father. And as I sat, and listened, I was horrified and disgusted by what I had heard: "God is judgemental. God is jealous. God is vengeful.  God will damn you in a lake of fire. God is blah blah blah. "

             And at that moment, I knew he was lying about God; and I never went back.

            Fast forward to now, 24 years later, and I know God better than ever before, and better every day as I pray to him in solitude on a day-to-day basis. God is Peace. God is Love. God is Joy. God is Freedom. God is Discipline. God is Righteous. God is Forgiving. God is Merciful. God is Faithful. And God is everything that a material father could potentially be, Perfect. Likewise, as I have dived back into the bible for the first time on a consistent basis, I have discovered why The Holy Bible is the written word of God; not because every phrase is true, because such logic is insanity when comparing passages that are literally opposites. The Bible is true because when a rational, conscious, God-driven mind seeks to Know, Feel & See the Holy Spirit unveil what is true in sincere humility, it is obvious that this book holds a true account of what is True Faith as well as who is a lying hypocrite of false faith.

           Similar to sitting in a courtroom, it is commonly accepted that no matter who speaks, someone could be lying; and whoever is lying, they are speaking for their own selfish desires; namely, to gain or avoid something perceived to be beneficial or harmful. There is no adherence to integrity for such a hypocrite, for he has no foundation upon which to rest his soul. He only cares about what he thinks is best for himself. And like a soulless puppet, he dances to the tune of his blind desires; and he thinks himself all the wiser when he seemingly gets what he wants for a season. Such is insanity when perceived by a conscious Child of God.

           Sure. The Bible's passages have been manipulated throughout the centuries as any observant person can attest; I myself have at least 7 different translations, and google has many more in which certain passages are blatantly changed or omitted.

         However, those who have altered the bible are spiritually blind, and thus, they have altered only what they have thought was best to suit their particular agendas; whereas the Truth impressed by other passages remains untarnished throughout. And this is what a brief 30-day bible study has unveiled for Me: The Holy Bible is the written testimony of Christ Yeshua (Jesus) exemplifying the correct relationship to God, The Father. And upon establishing oneself within that example, the Truth of God's peace, love, joy, freedom, discipline, righteous judgment, mercy, faith, and perfection is made consciously known to the sincere Child of God.

          For the past year, I intuitively knew God's Will and I would constantly find myself in arguments online; not that I would argue, because I would simply say what was True of God as accurately as I could, and then they would try to argue with me. Again and again, I found my corrections falling on deaf ears. Perplexed and finally exhausted; I cut ties will all non-seekers, stopped following them online, and stopped wasting my life by investing in anyone who fails to appreciate Truth.

            Instead, I started investing in this One I know that does appreciate Truth, Me: The Light of Love & Truth within this mind-body experience that is commonly identified to be me but is only a portion of the true Me that I AM. Thus, as I have stopped trying to tell people the Truth and have resolved to exemplify the Truth, I have found: Gnosis: The True Knowledge of God, The Father.

           This is what I now call, Self-Knowledge: the experience of Knowing, Feeling & Seeing the Peace, Love & Joy in the Knowledge of The Father & I as One in Our Holy Spirit. For I AM his pupil, His Sight, and His Son in the Light of Love & Truth.

 

And so are You.

                        

Now as you can see...

...I've left out my childhood & 24+ years from my testimony above, which I will go into further detail herein. 

         After leaving the church and no longer returning, not even for food on the holidays, I went back to my life as usual; but with a newly awakened conscience, I began to see how my idea of fun was trauma to everyone around me.

        Before that first awakening, I was a cruel, selfish brother and associate; certainly not a friend. As I recall now, I once told my cousin that his dad was dead on the front lawn, just to see him panic. And I laughed until his stepdad came home and beat my ass so hard that his wooden paddle broke in the final swing. After that, the paddle was duck-taped so that when the hilt hit one cheek, it pivoted at that breaking point to slap the other cheek 10x harder, like a whip. And as painful as that was, that pain told me very clearly not to go around telling my family members that their loved ones were dead, especially not for sport.

           On a few more occasions after that between the ages of 10 and 16, whenever I hurt myself at a friend's house, we would laugh it off. But sometimes we caused pain to each other as well, laughing at each other's pain until that person laughed it off. Some might say, "Oh, he is just being a boy." But it wasn't until I had that first awakening that I stopped laughing at the pain and suffering I was bringing upon everyone around me and started to really see that I was causing more suffering than good for all parties involved. But this knowledge did not come without lots of trial and error; lots of whippings with sticks, fly swatters, paddles, hands, etc. Really, whatever my mother could find at the moment; but all that did is build up my tolerance to pain because soon enough, I would prefer a beating, rather than have my video games or something I actually enjoyed taken away from me.

           Here are some more examples of the type of kid I was before the age of 14: a) I once pissed in a pitcher of cool-aid, served it to my sister; let her drink it; then told her what I did just to see her expression. I was punished and grounded. b)  My mom let my sisters play with my paintball gun, but not me. So, I put a paintball in my slingshot and shot it at my sister's back. She dropped to the ground like a log, crying. And I couldn't stop laughing at how she flopped. My stepdad took the paintball gun and shot me in the chest maybe 5-10 times at 5 ft away, and then I was grounded. c)  I could have been diagnosed with autism or Aspergers as a kid, but that wasn't yet a norm, because I absolutely hated that sensation of soaked skin; along with the sound of a chalkboard, mixing the vegetables on my plate, or anyone touching or breathing on my food. d) On our trips to the beach, I sat in agonizing paranoia, avoiding all physical contact with anything. And as soon as my sisters accidentally touched my skin, I lashed out like a wild animal, biting them as hard as I could. My mom would reach back and beat me off of whomever I bit that day, and I'm probably why we stopped going to the beach. I absolutely hated it. e)  One time, I locked my mom's husband in the restroom, but the knob was missing where my hand was. So, he put his cigarette out in the palm of my hand to get me off of the door. Then laughed. And I was grounded. f)  When I was less than 5 or so, my mom left me alone to watch Child's Play. You know; that menacing, murdering doll that laughed as it inflicted harm onto other people for sport? My mom returned to find me screaming in the corner like an abused animal. And that set the stage for how fucked up my mind was from a very young age and why I delighted in causing harm for attention's sake.

          Aside from the drama that I perpetuated, and the trauma I endured, by the time I was 16, my rebellious will was almost crushed to a pulpit. I had had no girlfriends growing up; not one. And upon having my first at 18, my mother intervened because the girl was 16 (and completely legal) as she always did. Or more often than not, because I was personally terrified of affection, based on how I was "loved," I desired to connect intimately with someone, but I also avoided commitment like the plague. On so many occasions growing up, a girl was genuinely interested in me, but I was so stuck in my head, in anxiety, that I would run away; making that girl believe something was wrong with her. And so, my mother's trauma spread to me, and I spread it to the one next to me, and so forth.

           It is with no understatement when I say that I spent most of my childhood in abusive interactions that led to being grounded and stuck in my bedroom by myself. And on at least one occasion, I was ordered to keep my nose on the wall with a quarter, only for my mother to forget that I was there and go to sleep for the night. But more often than not, I stayed under some degree of punishment, sometimes for no other reason than putting the dishes in the wrong spot in the cabinet. Always undervalued and unappreciated, when my mom had a cleaning business, she taught me how to clean our kitchen, maybe once with care. And upon cleaning it as best as I could, she would come home and say, "Eh. Not good enough. This is wrong. And this. And that. Etc." So, I performed an experiment where I cleaned a bit less than the day before; and every day, the same comments, followed by punishments, until at last; I didn't do anything at all, but when she came home, I said I did. And I go the same reactions. In my mind, if you do not appreciate what little good I could do, I'll continue to give you more of what you do appreciate: Nothing.

        Those were the years my mom attempted to make me into her homemaking slave, and that is when I built up resentment towards all things "homely". I hated dishes, laundry, vacuuming, cleaning, scrubbing, all of it. And I did as little as I possibly could because it was obvious to me that the #1 person checking my work was equally blind and did not appreciate a single thing. Meanwhile, for several years I told my mom that I had trouble seeing in the classrooms, and she shook it as an excuse for why my grades were so poor. And it wasn't until a teacher recommended I go get glasses that she finally took me to get a pair. And that's when I could actually see the dirt and grime on the floor that she had been complaining about for years, no matter how many times I scrubbed it. The problem was that the tiles were damaged and the dirt was inside the flooring, not just on it. But what did I know? My mom had the cleaning business; I was just a slave for her laziness at home.

         Possibly one of the best things she ever did for me was pushing me to work all summer so that when Christmas came, I could pay for half of my present, an Xbox. $400, not including a game. Yet, to my surprise, my sisters each received +$400 presents and they did not have to pay for half of their presents. And this is when I truly saw how my mom saw me: I was only half as important as her two little girls, and I was mostly a burden on her conscience whenever we were together. 

         In fact, as I struggled to stay out of jail and prison between the ages of 19-28, I realized that she could tolerate exactly two months of my company before she would suddenly snap and turn absolutely batshit crazy on me.

          On one of the last occasions I stayed with her, I turned to one of my sisters and asked, "Isn't there supposed to be some sausage in this rice?" She looked and saw that all of the meat was pre-eaten from the meal, and it was just a pot of rice. She turned to my mother and said, "Michael wants to know what happened to the sausage in the rice?" In the next moment, my mom is screaming, "If Michael wants some sausage, Michael can ..." And at that moment, I am texting a friend to come to get me. Mom tries to take my phone, and I say, "No, I bought this. You can't just take my possessions anymore. " And that's when the step-dad puffs himself up, joining in the drama. And as I am running out the door, he tries to grab my dreads and my head from behind but grabs my hat instead. Only to realize later that this was due to my other sister jumping on his back and putting him in a chokehold as I ran out the door.

          That's when I decided that I will live anywhere else, but with her; but that's not when I realize she was crazy.

          On a different occasion, in the year 2011, my mom discovered that I had decided to not attend college anymore for the 2nd time. Rather than support me in whatever path I have decided to take, she took it personally; gave me an ultimatum to leave by Wednesday; and she told me, "You are the worst person I have ever met." And that is when I knew she was 100% one of the worst people I have ever met, and 100% crazy; because she hardly ever took a single minute out of my entire upbringing to get to know me or spend any real time with me. In fact, my absolute best memories of her as a child were when I was sick or when she was sick; because that is the only time she showed any real empathy towards me, or that was the only time I enjoyed my own peace and quiet without her demanding something of me: "Do this. Do that. That's wrong. That's not good enough. Can't you do anything right? " Her nickname for me as a child was, "Faggot," or "Michael Allan Little Shit," among her friends and relatives. And I didn't care for more, because that was the best attention I ever got from her.
 

          As I later found out, one of the reasons for her secret resentment towards me was the fact that she lived in constant regret for her decision to give my biological brother up for adoption. It only hurt more when after spending a summer with my cousins in Texas, I asked her to give me a brother to play with, because the two sisters I had grown accustomed to were not nearly as much fun as my cousin. Add on the fact that on one particular occasion, one of my sisters wanted to give our 5-gallon jug of coins to the salvation army. When the local News contacted my mom after the fact, saying that they wanted our family to be displayed as a great act of generosity (because it was apparently many hundreds of dollars worth of coins), my mom hated that she gave the money away and denied their request because she didn't want my brother to see that we were better off without him; meanwhile, she told us, kids, that she didn't want us to believe that anything good comes from being generous to others (having lost "her money" to such an occasion). 

           Later on, when I was about 22, I reached out to my older brother online, and he decided to meet me, eventually meeting my mom. And I asked him to do this for me, and for her because she needed to release her guilt. The result of her ongoing interaction with him is that he was the son she always wanted as I continue to be an inconvenience to her to this day. He is more of a musician while I am more of an artist, and I cannot count the number of times she and/or I have shown up for his events, while she has yet to show up for a single one of mine, nor has he, upon writing this. 

           And this is the type of upbringing that I have had to endure, accept, and make the most of; because despite my mom's many flaws, she did show me exactly whom I do not what to be as she continues to exemplify how I do not want to live.

           In the grand scheme of this life, her insistent denial of my personality and livelihood, only pushed me to discover who I AM beyond the personality that is interdependent with life's circumstances; and like any good tree that bears good fruit, it grows best with an ample supply of real-life shit to dig its roots into.

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          I will continue to document this rough draft of my life's story and how I realized Enlightenment as God's Will. If this is of interest to you, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter below, and I will send out a notification once it is complete. 
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Michael lives & works in Clayton NC as a Professional Loctician, specializing in 100% all-natural crocheted dreadlocks & now as a life coach, specializing in the Self-Knowledge of God that frees oneself from any & all suffering, forevermore. Amen. 

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