Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Humility Come My Way . . .

Aa chip on my should is not okay. Being mean to friends is not okay. I struggle sometimes with embracing the reality that there are HUGE triggers in my life and that it is the process of how I respond more than the feeling beneath that matters. I need to process and settle the thoughts and feelings I have.

Doesn't it say somewhere about being slow to speak? Like I should think first or something?

I need to do this. So badly. I have become a cannon of reactivity. This is not the person I desire to be. I am okay with messy but not mean. My roots run deep by they are not made with spikes - I put those there.

So humility has come my way. It took an ativan and an hour of therapy, a conversation with both my mother and sister to truly calm me down.

Now I have sought redemption and forgiveness. Now I have let myself remember why I do the things I do, feel the things I feel and why I want to be in this field. Pain can equal progress.

This sounds illogical I realize, or random at least. But in my head and heart it makes sense.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Spiritual Identity

I have been in my class, Spiritual Identity, for 2 days now. We have spent a lot of time in discussion about poetry, writings, identity, personas, mandalas. We have listened to Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. We have heard our wonderfully intelligent professor pontificate on life and faith and share stories of spirituality and questioning. We have journaled on topics of spiritual authority, identity, absense of God, the spiritual shadow and response to the readings of Annie Dillard, Theophane the Monk and others. We have sculpted our spiritual shadows from clay and painted our spiritual personas. And we have had small group discussions with other's about their secrets, doubts and loves - to the extent that they would share.

In painting my persona I learned something about myself. Since I stopped going to church, I lost my, for the most part, spiritual persona. My real and pretend selves began to integrate. Who I pretended to be merged with who I am and I couldn’t pretend any more. So in creating a painting of my persona I was no longer that box that is pretty and together but am rather a painting that is a picture left incomplete. A work in progress.

I always wanted to seem together, like a pretty gift box with the box in place. I also wanted to seem creative and interesting so perhaps there might be multiple colors on one side. But I ended up painting this frame with mountains, trees, the sun and a heart all that run off in to white - into open space waiting for completion.

In the past two and a half years I unraveled all that I knew to be "me" and all that I had wanted people to see. I lost the hidden self and became a mess. Chaos everywhere. Kyle told me at coffee once that messy was okay sometimes, he wrote it on a post-it and stuck it on my computer. I slowly let that seep in to my mind and as I was aided in rebuilding my life the fake chipped away.

I want to be a woman of integrity, but that definition is no longer what I thought it was. Now it is not about being "right" but about being authentic and honest. I still struggle and keep a lot to myself or my close friends - but I am living more out loud than I used to.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Messiness of Faith and the Beauty of Uncertainty

I am Certain it is OK to be Uncertain.

I have been learning to sit within ambiguity - this is a process that I am not at all fond of. It is uncomfortable and to me often feels like sitting in wet sand that occassionally starts to sink. But what I have been learning, especially of late, that it is ok to not be certain, in fact sometimes it is absolutely necessary.

So much as I needed to learn that sometimes, in life, messiness if okay I am also learning that in faith there is also a lot of mess and a lot of beauty, thus the Beautiful Messiness of Faith is born.
In this blog I will write some reflections on the books and stories I am reading - as well as the way it has an impact on my heart, mind and life.

I hope to hear your stories too.