Monthly Archives: September 2012

Believe

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There is a famous quote that is ascribed to CS Lewis that goes:

My religious upbringing has told me this.
My spiritual readings have told me this.
Life itself has told me this.

But only recently has this become my truth.

A lot of abused kids know how to turn inward and separate from the things happening to their bodies (Dissociative Disorder). But this is different. I’ve come to a new place. A place where my truth is more real to me. The truth of my spirit. The truth of my gifting. The truth of who I am…and who I am not.

I am not my body. I am the seat of awareness…the spirit…the consciousness inside my body.
I am not my past. I am all the moments of my life from birth until now…good/bad…hurtful/joyful…abusive/loving
I am not who other people say that I am. I am finding that more damage has been done by good, decent people telling me who I am than the damage done by those telling me who I am not or who I cannot be.
I am not who I used to be. I am who I am TODAY…and that may not be the person that my loved-ones liked yesterday or last year or 10 years ago. And that is okay.  They can love who I am today or they can choose to go.

Who I am is a person with a deep sense of herself. I KNOW who I am and I don’t need much external validation about who I am (And Thank God for that since I haven’t gotten much over the years!). I have a deep belief in honesty and transparency and have for years felt that we need to learn to be authentic and truthful. People act as if speaking their own truth might make someone in their life DIE or something. I say “Stop being so dramatic!” Some people may shake their heads and wonder if you’ve lost your mind…but they don’t die from having to deal with who I am. And I sure as hell don’t die from them finding out.

As a matter of fact the opposite happens.

Being genuine and speaking my truth…which includes the ability to say “I don’t know what I think about that” or “I don’t know if I still believe that” or “I hear you saying that is your truth, but it isn’t mine.” …weeds people out. Being myself has meant losing some friends and family. And Lord knows I miss some of them. But I would rather be without those people and honor myself than have folks in my life who can’t handle my doubts, my questions, and my certainty about the spiritual, the mystical, and the Divine.

The language I speak best today is gratitude. The feeling I identify most with today is peace. The thing that intrigues me most today is learning.  And with that comes the absolute freedom and reckless abandon to finally believe that:

A lot of us SAY they believe that. And a lot of us sure as hell don’t live like it. This has become  just another verse Christians quote when they are feeling low. I know this because when you BELIEVE it…the world opens up and there is room in it for people who are different from you to affect your thinking and you are confident enough to listen to those who are different from you. Things which are impossible with man are opened up and offered up to the God who cares enough to be Father, Mother, Friend, and Guide in the lives of those of us living for a brief moment on this planet.

When you begin to believe that With God All Things are Possible, all things become possible for the Spirit of God dwelling in you to do THROUGH you, WITH you, and FOR you.

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Being So-Loved

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This morning I sat with my open-minded and open-hearted friends discussing politics (among other topics) over a delicious breakfast. As I tried to articulate my thoughts on several issues, specifically on abortion, it occurred to me…I don’t like the options I have that the world accepts to describe what I believe. I don’t like that in order to know what each of us thinks or feels on any topic, that we have to sum it up in trite catch-phrases and heavy-laden political terminology.

I don’t like it because the world is just not that black and white. This is a world full of gray shadows and shades (and I’m not just saying that because I live in Seattle!).

For instance the language of the abortion debate (because why not pick a nice calmly debated topic as an example right?) is so polarizing. When really the discussion itself is very nuanced. I don’t want to have to pick if I’m pro-life or pro-choice because in reality I’m:

Pro Birth Control
Pro Education for Woman of All Socio-economic Groups
Pro Literacy (yes…there is a connection)
Pro Ease-of-Adoption Laws with Financial Support
Pro Sacredness of Life (born and unborn)
Pro Sterile Surgical Environment (versus dangerous back alley setups)
Pro Having More Options
Pro Church and Non-Profit Involvement & Assistance
Pro Honest Discussion About Consequences and Trauma
Pro Wanted Children
Pro Informed Decision

I recognize that this makes me too wishy-washy for some…too much of a fence-rider for others. But heck…I’m a registered independent which is think is the definition of wishy-washy fence-rider to both Democrats and Republicans.

The bottom line for me is that I think we are  so busy trying to mandate what happens in the uteri (Dictionary.com said that was the plural of uterus by the way) of women that we don’t take the time to look those same women in the eyes and hear their stories. Both sides have done damage by assigning evil intention to the other side of this debate. Meeting in the middle is not an option for many because either way you have to give up some ground. For so many giving up ground of any kind…on any debatable topic…makes us fearful. And fear is a huge motivator for all sorts of misbehavior and controlling tendencies.

If nothing else, let’s be honest about one thing. This conversation is HARD. Sharing were you stand on a topic as polarizing as abortion creates a huge space of vulnerability. And God forbid we say “I just don’t know!” Any sign of weakness is an opportunity for the pack to take out one of the “weaker” dogs.

I respect those who realize how complex and difficult this conversation is on so many levels. I deeply admire anyone who has been in community and relationship with another human dealing with these sorts of decisions and their consequences (and not just abortion…but homelessness, lack of healthcare, need for financial assistance, gay marriage, immigration, etc.) .

And I appreciate those who have dedicated their lives to being the hands of feet of the Jesus (even if they do it in another name) and serve by showing up…not only for the poor, young, uncertain, etc…but for the innocent, the victimized, the unwanted.

I can’t get over the fact that humanity…the very people who’s lives hang in the balance of our political arguments…are God’s-So-Loved. And God has never gotten over them either. Rich, poor, black, white, brown, female, male, mother, childless woman, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Buddist, etc, etc, etc….WE are God’s-So-Loved.

Speak as the So-Loved.
Act as the So-Loved.
Love as the So-Loved.
And remember…you ARE So-Loved…and So-Loved is the other person too.