My Spiritual Journey by Jason Mitchell, ALSP

“When I was a kid, I grew up in my grandfather’s church who was an Apostolic Bishop. After my parents divorced I would be raised mostly by my dad who didn’t go to church much but when I was with my mom she would take us to church regularly, so I always had some sort of religion and ideas of God.As I think about my life, in terms of spirituality, there have been places where I was really clear about what I thought I knew. And then there were places where I was completely adrift, and sometimes didn’t know it. Then I would wake up on the journey and say, there’s something missing that I want to apply my energy to.Later in life, following a divorce I became miserable because when I got married I was expecting everything to be forever and it was such a huge life shift.  I really began to reflect a lot about my choices and why I did things.Eventually, I would leave that spiritual teaching of Christianity and not be doing anything.  It was when I met someone who brought me to the loving and open community of Agape International Spiritual Center, in Los Angeles, that I saw with my eyes the potential of the world. I saw a world where every single race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and identity was present.  I heard a teaching that embraced everybody exactly as they were, and it was just amazing. From then on, I had an idea of life beyond what I initially knew. And even over the almost 15 years that I’ve been a part of Agape when I found myself adrift, these teachings have always called me back and specifically because I was a part of the spiritual community.Being a part of this specific teaching has let me know that qualities like joy, peace, and freedom are not something I have to go somewhere else to get. They’re not something that I have to find outside of myself.  No matter what is going on outside of me, outside of my circumstances and situations, I still have access to joy in the midst of the most devastating experiences. I can be at a funeral. I can be at someone’s bedside as they are sick or transition. I can be uncertain about my financial situation and still have my joy, still have my peace, still have love because those things are not conditional qualities.

As I have been with Soul Center for the last four years I have been so grateful to see a community in Orange County that is a beautiful extension of what Agape has brought forth as a spiritual community and into the lives of so many.”