“The heart is the hub of all sacred places. Go there and roam.” ~ Bhagawan Nityananda

I remember my grandmother’s house very vividly. If I close my eyes, I can walk through as I remember it. I can remember the smells, sounds, and, most importantly, the love. I think that is why I used this home as one of the locations in my book, Life of My Dreams. It was a place that I felt loved and safe. It was a place that the family always gathered. To this day, when I think of family gatherings, there is no other place I can envision, although it has been over two decades since I have been there. I can not recall a time spent in this place that was not joyous, lively, exciting, full of childish wonder, and adventure. It was indeed a sacred place.

After a series of events and my grandfather’s health decline, the house was left vacant. Vandals broke into several times, during this time ransacking the home, stealing copper from inside the walls, and going through the belongings that were left there. My grandmother, despite her love for shopping, often hid money in books and any other places she thought was a functional hiding space at the moment. This made the house a fun and exciting target for vandals. This proverbial treasure hunt was a thief’s delight, the discovery of money or jewelry was always a possibility. After the invasions, my mother and her siblings tried to repair their childhood home, but it was so far gone. They even offered to fix it to keep the house in the family and allow me and my cousins to live there. At the time, I didn’t see it as a possibility for me. I was a single mom with a meager income, and it was very far from the support network of my family and friends. Looking back, I wish that I decided to fight for it. Instead, the place that my grandfather toiled so hard to acquire and deem”heir property” was sold, and it no longer belongs to our family.

Thinking about the loss of this ancestral home, saddens me. The literal blood sweat and tears that my family put into building this sacred place has been lost in this physical reality. However, the Spirit of what that place meant to my family and me lives on. The memories my family created there will always exist in beauty and brilliance. No matter who owns the land, I can still go there and experience the love, the history in the quiet places of my heart and mind.

My kids, however, will never know what it was like to sit at the dining room table, or the “kids'” table in the kitchen at family dinner. They will never know what it is like to jump off the steep hill holding onto a large branch and swing into the lush, spacious yard. They will never get to pluck pears from the pear tree or climb the lattice arbor on the side yard with cousins. They will never know the sound of my grandmother’s bathroom radio, playing inspirational radio all day long.

I don’t think I ever asked her why it played all day, even when she was in other places in the house where she could no longer hear it. I think on some level, I understood that she was setting an atmosphere of positivity. That she was establishing her own sanctuary, a sacred space. When she entered her bedroom, she knew that songs and messages of peace, love, joy, and encouragement would be awaiting her. I remember sneaking in her room, donning her shaw as a robe and high heels, imitating the preaching that I heard. It was there my soul felt free to express who I knew God to be with conviction and creativity. It was my foundation for understanding how to practice the presence of God because it was a little slice of heaven.

Think back to a place where you felt safe and secure, a sacred place a place of wholeness. Maybe you never had that place that you can remember. Perhaps you are beginning to experience that now. The truth is we all can feel that comfort when we turn inward and realize that divine love, joy, peace, and oneness with the Spirit is always available; it is our birthright. As a creation of the Creator, made in its image and likeness, we possess the divine essence of God. We can not, and we have not ever been separated from God. If separation were possible, it would cost us our very life since God is the source of our being. That which we call God is the presence that gives us life. That sacred place where we feel love, and we know who we are, can only be found within. The kingdom of God is in you; you are a temple, a holy dwelling place of the Most-High, and in that presence, you live and move and have your being.

Sometimes we get lost in this world. We find ourselves looted by thoughts and feelings that seek to rob our Spirit of the treasures, talents, and ability that God has gifted us with to make a difference in this world. Remember, there is a sacred space within you. Draw from the strength you feel in that place, knowing that it is a place of unconditional love. It is a place where all your needs are met and where you are free to flow in creativity and joy and oneness with your Creator. When all seems lost when the world is too loud when you are looking for help, you needn’t look any further, turn within. For you are the sacred place.

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