From the Closet to the Cosmos

The word “epiphany” is defined as a moment when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become conscious of, something that is very important to you, or it can even be considered a powerful religious experience.

I’d like to tell you about an epiphany I just had about a week or so ago….and no, I’m not using the word incorrectly. This wasn’t just an idea that “dawned” on me...but a major revelation about myself, and my spirit. I share it with you today because I feel like you could benefit from it.

As I share more and more of my abilities I constantly get asked by folks about how long I’ve known that I could hear and see the things I do. I tell them that it wasn’t until just a couple years ago that life lined up for me in a way that I understood what was going on around me. That’s true to a point, but I realized something - that while I wasn’t truly aware of my gifts, that didn’t mean I didn’t have them.

I’ll give you an example. Most people know that I’m married to a man, and while I wouldn’t call myself explicitly homosexual (I do have a 15-year-old son), I wouldn’t call myself bisexual. In an ideal world, we’d all just call ourselves sexual and be done with it, but being the silly humans we are, we’re so in love with labels. To make it easier for other humans, I just call myself gay and be done with it.

Some of my earliest memories had to do with sexuality, and some of my earliest memories had to do with spirituality.

I bring my sexuality into this for two reasons - one, because I firmly believe there’s nothing more personal than a person’s spirituality and sexuality. Those two things are inherently ours and no other human being should have the right to tell us how we should express our spirituality or sexuality...as long as we’re not hurting anyone else. The second reason I bring sexuality into this discussion is that I’ve known that I prefer men since I can remember. Some of my earliest memories ever were those of being attracted to men, and not women.

I was born into and raised by a family that had nothing to do with religion...and I count my lucky stars every day that’s the case. I can’t imagine how much more difficult growing up would be if I had to handle the dogma of a Christian church. My parents weren’t much for religion, and I’ve never actually been to a church service. I do not feel as if I’ve missed out at all. And just to be clear with people, while I have problems with Christians, I’m very much all about Jesus Christ and what he stood for: ultimately, it’s all about the Golden Rule.

Sadly, so many Christians sour the pot by being about anything other than the Golden Rule.

One of my earliest memories, right there along with my sexual attraction, was my attraction to the weird...the occult, and the odd. I can remember reading Stephen King novels in the 3rd and 4th grade, and ever since I can remember I’ve been attracted to ghosts, vampires, psychics, UFOs, werewolves, vampires, and all manner of creepy-crawlies. My parents handled it relatively well - reading Stephen King and all the creepy books I did as a child meant that I was at least reading.

Just like I’d been attracted to males since I can remember, I’ve also been attracted to the Unseen. My mother tells me stories that I used to talk about the “people” on my shoulder when I was really, really young...so young that I can’t recall it. I believe that I had my gifts from an early age, but just wasn’t in a family or a support system that would help propagate those abilities. I also believe that I might have “turned down” these abilities, just like my sexuality, to make my way through the world.

I grew up in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and though we’ve come leagues and leagues in terms of accepting people’s spirituality and sexuality, it was a very scary time then. I knew from a very early age that being gay was “wrong”, or at least that’s how society and people around me saw it. I did my best to quash that part of me and make sure that no one would suspect me of being “wrong.”

I grew up learning that my sexuality was wrong. That’s a terrible, terrible weight for anyone to carry.

My attraction to the occult, the Unseen world around us, was with me from the very beginning...it was always part of me. Luckily, I didn’t grow up in a Christian household that would have quashed those parts of me, and yet unluckily, I didn’t grow up in a house that knew anything about the spiritual. I was part of a working class family and my parents were always so concerned with work and survival that there didn’t seem room for much else. However, I did grow up in a society that taught us that magic wasn’t real, that ghosts, and psychics, and UFOs, and other parts of the Unseen world wasn’t real.

I grew up learning that my spirituality was fake, or simply fiction….and some people think it’s wrong, and some people still do. There are people out there right now that think I speak with demons, and I can only imagine if I was more flamboyantly spiritual as I grew up, and what possibly could have happened to me.

That’s a terrible, terrible weight for anyone to carry.

It’s been a long journey to get here, but my epiphany from the last week was that yes, while I’ve been “gay” my entire life, I’ve also been “psychic.” I’m sure that any of my friends from middle school - on both learning about my sexuality and spirituality - would not be surprised. I do believe that it’s grown over time, but looking back on my life through the lense of these abilities makes a lot of things make sense.

My epiphany was that yes, I see the world through a different lense than anyone else, and that I still do. It wasn’t something that just came to me a few years back...I’ve had it all along, but I do believe that I dampered these abilities just to survive, just like I dampered my sexuality.

What I can tell anyone out there looking to explore their spirituality and find out what their gifts are: explore, test, and be kind to yourself. I didn’t have a manual for this stuff, and still don’t. Coming out of the closet as a gay man was incredibly easier than coming out of the closet as a psychic - at least there were other gay people I could learn from and with which to find comfort and identity.

I began this journey of self-discovery when I had my DNA tested, and subsequently researched my lineage and ancestry. What I find in both my DNA and in my family tree astounded me, bewildered me, and finally helped to make things make sense for me. I’m also on a continuous journey of self-discovery, finding out things about myself and my family that are absolutely mind-blowing and that I can’t share with everyone, right now. Just know that my journey continues, my abilities and gifts grow stronger, and my story is further unravelling as I make my way through the world.

I also understood that if I didn’t embrace my gifts, that if I didn’t use my gifts to help myself, my family, my community, and other humans….that I was dishonoring all my ancestors that struggled and fought to make sure I saw this day.

So please, don’t let anyone tell you what you should be, on any level: physical, mental, emotional, sexual, or spiritual. I am proof that once you do that - once you live your own truth - you’ll flourish, you’ll thrive, and every day will seem like an adventure of unimaginable proportions.

Everything that’s in you is a special gift to this world, and the world is better off when you share it with others.

Josh Simonds