Stories told skillfully within context have tremendous power to connect.
I grew up in a family with rich Mexican culture. Part of that culture is an inherent belief in magic and of worlds beyond what the eye can see.
When I was ten an aunt had said there was a curse on my families house.
My dad relayed a story to me of the ritual that ensued. Aunt and friends gathered on the front lawn with egg and salt in hand. Prayers were said. The egg was cracked open, yoke poured onto the lawn. Salt was swiftly sprinkled…All from which a flamed serpent emerged. Assumedly, the curse was broken.
Stories like this shape the way I naturally relate to the world. While recognizing spiritual practices are common in many cultures, stories like the one a just described have shaped the way I naturally relate to the world and are part of what I see as how I am Mexican.
When I was in my twenties I found myself struggling with identity.
One time I opened up an inquiry with a friend about spirits, magic, and the nature of things. As if science dictated reality and dreaming is only for children he said “thoughts about magic and spirits are young thoughts that I’ve grown out of.”
I didn’t know what to do with the seemingly conflicting realities
I didn’t know at the time but I was in deep internal turmoil and crisis. It seemed that the “normal” way to be was to live in such a way that science and society deems “right” or “real.” Though, it wasn’t that easy for me. My orientation toward believing in that which isn’t apparent is like an organ that is essential for living. Whenever confronted with a mainstream opinion about “truth” I felt anxious and with a sense to either fight or flight.
How do I reconcile the anatomy of my cultural being with the recurring messages of mainstream society?
Throughout the last couple years I have been seeing more clearly the ways that I am Mexican and how my cultural upbringing has shaped my unique perspective in the world. As I ground in the awareness of my cultural roots I can better rest knowing that there is no one I need to convince for my own peace. With roots, I am essentially learning to embrace the differences and contributions between and within multiple perspectives and experiences.
What does this have to do with being “white” and “male?” Stay tuned for Part II of the story. ##!