By: Antonio Stephens, Wellness Coach and Podcast Host
I recently had the chance to sit with Justin Borroto on my show, Life Chats With Friends. They are a Miami native who is passionate about love, spirituality, healing, justice, and yoga. They have previously worked as a high school math teacher, recruiter, and diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner in Washington D.C.
In conversation with Justin
Who are you and what are some of the experiences that have shaped your worldview?
Thank you for initiating this conversation. I have been reflecting on my relationship with God for the past two years, and it has been a significant aspect of my life. However, until now, it has only existed in my thoughts and journal entries. I am grateful for this opportunity to express my thoughts.
Regarding my identity, I prefer the term "gender expansive" instead of "non-binary" because it better reflects my identity as not defined by binary genders. I embody both masculinity and femininity, as well as neither and both, which is an integral part of my spiritual connection. My gender identity allows me to exist in more than one world simultaneously, and it is always at the forefront of my thoughts when discussing spirituality and my relationship with God.
Talk to me about your definition of God…
I define God as the essence of everything that ever was and everything that ever will be. Scientifically speaking, people refer to the Big Bang as the creation of the universe, but God existed even before that event and set off the chain of events that led to it. In my view, God is the source of the energy and vibrations that make up the universe. When I contemplate God, I am acknowledging all the infinite events that had to happen for me to be here in this moment having this conversation. My life has been informed by all those events, and I am grateful for them. To me, God is the spirit that connects everything and everyone.
Do you think there is another God somewhere else?
It's difficult to fully comprehend the infinite nature of God and the universe, but faith and personal experiences can provide a sense of understanding and resonance with these concepts. Different spiritual and cultural traditions have their own ways of conceptualizing and understanding the nature of the divine and the universe, and it's important to respect and learn from these diverse perspectives. Ultimately, what's most important is cultivating a sense of connection and reverence for the sacred in whatever way feels true and meaningful to you.
Do you belong to any organized religions and if so, what role do they play in the journey to self?
History has shown us examples of how religion has been used to justify oppression and colonization, and it's important to acknowledge and address these issues. At the same time, I think it's important to recognize that organized religion can also provide a sense of community and support for people, and can be a source of comfort and inspiration for many. Ultimately, it's up to each individual to decide whether organized religion resonates with them or not, and to approach it with a critical and discerning perspective.
Tell me about your encounter with Source, One, God, Truth?
It can be challenging to reconcile the concept of God with past traumatic experiences or with the complexity of the world around us. And sometimes, people may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms or disassociate from reality to avoid confronting those challenges. But developing a personal relationship with the divine can provide a sense of safety, security, and purpose in life. It's okay to have doubts and to challenge your own beliefs, but it's also important to remain open to the possibility of spiritual experiences and guidance. The nature of God and the universe may be beyond our full understanding, but cultivating a sense of connection and reverence can bring a sense of peace and fulfillment to our lives.
Is there anything that surprised you as you worked to redefine your relationship with Brahman?
I've come a long way from where I started, and it all started with surrendering and being true to myself. I took baby steps to get here, but now I feel like I've crossed a threshold. Working through what my truth is was a process, but now I feel free. The responsibilities that come with this new state involve recognizing that God is operating through me and surrendering to what needs to happen. It's a constant battle between my free will and the need to surrender to the bigger picture. I've come to realize that I don't need to be part of a big religious community to hear God's voice. It's an ongoing experience of being and being still enough to hear God in and around me at all times. Sometimes, it's as simple as looking at a train.
Sitting with God is an ongoing experience of just being, and being still and quiet enough to hear God in and around me at all times. Sometimes, even the simplest things like looking at a train ticket or the blooming of flowers can remind me of God's presence. Through my journey from atheism to my current state of freedom, I've learned that being in service to others is a part of my purpose, helping them find their own illumination and purpose in life.
Key Quotes from Justin
“God encompasses all that has been and all that will ever be.”
“The method you use to seek God is not as important as the sincerity and dedication you bring to the quest.”
“To know God is to understand that we are both everything and nothing, always learning and never truly knowing.”
You can listen to the full segment on Spotify or Apple Podcast. You can also watch it on YouTube. @Life Chats With Friends.
Thanks and speak again soon.