Anthony Colaizzi, Digital Marketing Strategist
I have spent most of my life seeking faith. Everyone around me has always had faith in one form or another. Yet, this idea has remained elusive for much of my life. I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA to a non-practicing Catholic father and a non-practicing Protestant mother. Religion was not something that was talked about in our house. It was just assumed that we all believed in God and we followed the average holidays of Christmas and Easter (plus Halloween but for the candy not the ancestors). We never attended church outside of funerals and weddings. A lot of our neighborhood friends were Catholic and attended CCD classes and had confirmations, but not my brother and me. I suppose it was their intention to simply expose us to both Catholicism and Protestant ideals while not pushing one or the other. Up until I was a teenager I did not even care about faith or religion. Boy, that was about to change!
In my teenage years, I became a seeker. I was introduced to the wonderful world of Wicca. It felt like a warm hug. It gave me a perspective that I had not seen before, one of interconnectedness between myself and the world around me. While I gleaned a lot from Wicca like the power of visualization, the energy of the Earth, the innate magic of the individual, et al, it ultimately left me feeling constricted. I could just sense that there was more out there than what the Barnes and Nobles shelves had to offer. During this first expansion period, I began to read about other religions such as Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Native American spiritual practices. Each of these had interesting pieces (especially Taoism) but none of them left me feeling like I was going to buy a t-shirt for their religion.
Then during college, I met other seekers like myself. We were a hodgepodge group of different beliefs, practices, and expressions. I look back on these three years as being both wonderfully precious and terribly traumatic. It was here that I experienced a lot. I had tried on many different hats and labels like wiccan (again), agnostic, and shaman…yes, really. I hit a wall where everything left me feeling empty. It was at this point that I started saying to others as well as myself, “knowing is not the same as believing”. I knew a decent amount of what made this world work, of what energy was, how to use it to influence my life and those around me, but I did not believe in a thing.
I hungered for a sense of belief, a true faith. This hunger stayed with me for the next ten years. I had grown accustomed to the ache, like a sore knee which will not heal. I continued to live my life practicing what I had learned, teaching others when they asked. However, I was unfulfilled.
In 2019, my husband and I shook up our lives by leaving our home in Pittsburgh, our families and friends, and my steadfast career with a synagogue (ironic right) for an adventure. Little did we or any of the world know how much of a challenge 2020 was going to be. Still, we were able to make the move to Minnesota in August of that year. It was a gamble. One that was not without a lot of heartache and stress. Really right from the start, our time in Saint Paul was less than ideal. We were in a neighborhood (very much) in transition, along with being isolated due to COVID-19 and all that entailed. A few weeks after moving to Saint Paul my employment back at the synagogue came to an end as my replacement was found, trained, and good to go. Then, months of no work and lots of financial stress. All happening in a seven hundred fifty square foot apartment situated between two active bars. Between our two dogs, two cats, and a husband I was becoming annoyed with, I was beginning to slowly lose my patience and my mind.
Then, I began to get proactive. I started to work off what I knew, visualization and manifesting my reality. I know it was my work, my energy which led me to where I am now. I laid the intentional foundation for what I wanted, a new career with a welcoming environment. (I found that at Unity Minneapolis.) Weeks later my manifestations continued with the help of Unity’s vibrant energy coming into being with our new home in southwest Minneapolis. Now here we are two weeks into our amazing home with not only all the things we could want, but also the lifestyle we have dreamed of just outside our door. For these gifts, I am very grateful. I am grateful to Spirit for providing these wonderful opportunities and I am grateful to those in my life who supported us along the way.
I have been many things in my life so far: a student, volunteer, leader, artist, and I have worn many titles seeking to fill that hole of faith in my heart. I do not know what the road ahead will be like, but I know a few things for sure. I know that I am on the right path, that Unity is my community, and the struggles to get here were worth every step. I also know that I am a being of Divine power, just like you. I am a Pathwalker, trying to find my way to be the very best I can be. There will be more bumps in the road, challenges to take on, but I now have the faith I longed for to get through it. I found the faith in myself, which was there all along.
“The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around youThe Gospel of Thomas
Not in a mansion of wood and stone
Split a piece of wood and I am there
Lift a stone and you will find me.”