• Kacen Callender

WIP: Remembering

It's been a while. I’ve gone back and forth a lot on what to say, and how much to say—but in the end, I’ve decided it was important to come out and write a post about what some might call a complete emotional and mental breakdown, and what others might call a spiritual awakening. I use “spiritual awakening” with full-on self-cringe, knowing how vague and overused that term is, but also knowing that it’s the right term for what I experienced… which was a lot. Too much for me to process in one night, too much information download, to the point where I can’t even remember the full experience, and know that I chose not to remember everything that happened.

What I do remember is too much to go into, and I also feel that the details aren’t even so important, and don’t need to be shared right now. The only important detail is that I came out the other side healed of a childhood trauma that I’d been unable to break free from. I came out the other side unafraid of my abuser for the first time ever and even wanting to confront him and ask him questions. To put it lightly, it felt like a miraculous experience, even if it was also terrifying in that moment.

Maybe I shouldn’t even use the term “awakening.” It’s more like a remembering. I meditated in the woods as a child, attempted astral projection all of the time without even knowing what it was, spoke regularly to people I could not see but knew were there, always watching over me. As I got older, I was told the same that so many others were: these were just imaginary friends, I was just dreaming. I came into this world knowing that I was worthy of love, and learned to hate myself—learned that in order to find that self-love again, I had to convince everyone else that I was worthy of this love by being the best, by succeeding in everything I did; that in order to stop the abuse of bullying around me, I had to pretend not to have emotion (no fear, no anger) and to manage the emotions of my abusers, too.

Now that I remember, it’s been extraordinary looking back at my past books—seeing the innate process of healing and spreading of love that’s in every story, because I do believe this is one of the major purposes for story, along with helping us remember. I unconsciously wrote so many truths in my books without knowing the full meaning. The woman in black in Hurricane Child, the ancestors and spirits throughout Queen of the Conquered and King of the Rising, Khalid becoming a dragonfly and King traveling with him to different worlds and dimensions. I’d started a story before my remembering that, without really understanding everything fully, had been about the spirit world, describing life as the seeds of stars, describing guides. (I’d even unconsciously described one of my own spirit guides, a wolf—had a character in the story named Wiley, and was told that one of my guides is named Wylie.)

I’ve been remembering on and off all of my life, as I think we all do, but my official remembering is marked by my 31st birthday. I woke up that day and felt like I was on fire, felt like there was a dragon inside of me telling me to remember my power, to step into my true self. It’s been a process over the past few months, a process that will continue for the rest of my years, as I’m more conscious about the true importance in following my joy in my writing and in life, and how my joy and my truth translates to the joy and truth of others, as the joy and truth of others translates into mine, too.

So, why am I even writing about all of this? First, as a blanket explanation and disclaimer: I’m taking a major step back. I already have from social media, but I’m in the process now of getting some help from family to take over my social media accounts entirely. I don’t align with social media—no explanations for why that is needed. We authors have been trapped in a system where we feel we need to be a part of social media, and I can’t tell you how many writers I’ve spoken to who have said the same as me: I hate social media, and I wish I could just quit. I’d like to advocate for more writers to quit social media if they know it doesn’t bring them joy. Why have we agreed to this system that makes us believe that something that brings us so much unhappiness is necessary to write? We don’t need to agree to this. Maybe there’s someone else that can also take over your account, or maybe all of us who knows social media just makes us miserable and distracts us from writing with joy can just… quit. (I've already written about the dehumanization of authors on social media here, which I also think is a big part of why social media just doesn't vibe with us. I recently learned that, in response to this post, people began to purposely misgender me on social media. Enough said.)

I do think I’d like to keep posting in this blog, especially as I get a little closer to writing the first draft of some unsold manuscripts—really, really excited to get into that process!—but I don’t know if I need social media to be a part of that.

Secondly, though, I’m feeling a need and a little bit of a calling to be open about the connection between spirituality and writing. I’ve talked about this on and off, when it comes to a writer’s purpose—but especially since I’ve started to remember, and especially since my very specific “meltdown”/awakening, I’ve seen and felt many more connections to awakening/remembering/healing in story across the board. I think storytellers have a beautiful role to play in humanity’s overall awakening. There’s The Matrix, Westworld, Avatar, The Truman Show, The Mask, and many, many more stories that have already helped in this process, yes—but even the “smaller”, “quieter” books… a contemporary that’s about healing, and teaches readers how to follow their own truths; stories that teach us to love ourselves unconditionally… those are all a part of this process, too.

Realizing this consciously has helped me to zero in on the stories I know need to be told, and has helped me better shape the stories I'm not as sure about when it comes to theme, purpose. I've gotten ideas for stories since I became more conscious, stories that I sense spirit wants to be told, are looking for messengers as storytellers and will channel through us when they find that conduit. I've already felt like I'm little more than a conduit for a while now, especially for a book like King and the Dragonflies, which felt meditative and like a dream (I've said before, it just whooshed right out of me). This helps me focus even more as a writer: I'm really just the messenger, being used for a greater purpose than myself, my ego. This brings me a lot of peace and clarity.

I know that there are many who would reject what I’m saying as crazy (a guide I recently spoke to said something along the lines of: "If going by the definitions of others, then yes, you are crazy, and I'm crazy, too.") … but a major part of my long awakening and remembering process has been to learn to stop caring about what people think, to stop fearing rejection from others for being myself. So, yeah, I guess thirdly, I wanted to write this blog post to officially come out of the closet as that crazy writer who likes to talk about spirituality, spirits and spirit guides and ancestors, healing trauma, shadow work, aliens, parallel universes and the Mandela effect, starseeds, channeling, mysticism, and everything else you might call “woo woo.” :)

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