The Big V

alone

Vulnerability (surprise): At times I cringe at the word, what it applies, the aftermath when things go, well, not as you have planned.  Growing up in a house where my vulnerability was without control – small child surrounded by one careless and reckless adult – I grew up quickly and left this part of me walled off and for many years I only let a few pass through.  At times, I would function as the IDF, letting you through but rarely acknowledging it and some day you may have come to the crossing and found the border closed off, no passage, regardless of what your ID card said.

Along with my childhood, other life experiences have led me on the path of making everything casual and without expectation, at least outwardly. Living through the deaths of those close to me – family and friend alike – my only expectation for much of my life was to forge the path alone because ultimately that is all you have. Given for me it could go without saying that, I believe God was and is with me, however at times the dark night of the soul would reign and any kind belief in a spiritual presence felt absurd.

Funny thing is people constantly compliment me on how independent I am.  Of course, I am independent and I value my freedom and inner strength. But also, you have to understand I don’t have, nor have I ever had, the choice to be any other way. Some folks have safety nets; I have a black hole that is looming.

I promise this will become less cynical. Now to passion since I feel like they can and do go hand and hand.

The concept to live passionately has always resonated and detracted me –I understand the romanticized notion, but when you have lived through some chaotic times this is also a taboo. Living life fully I’m on board with. However, I do believe that analysis gets a bad rap. Spontaneity is amazingly wonderful and sometimes detrimental. I don’t think that your default setting should be living life without thought or concern for reality.  Living life intentionally, doing this “passionately”, being cautious yet fearless and always open to adventure – it’s all a balance (as we used to say at Eastern).  Going all in on one side of the coin is going to leave a trail of hurt within yourself and to those you are surrounded by.  Maybe I’m off here but that is where I sit on this notion yet I can see where passion towards life has taken me to wonderful and dark places, both valuable.

I have lived my “vocation” passionately and failed miserably – however I would not trade these experiences however bad, dark, depressing and off putting they can be to others. They have made me 100% fully who I am today and shockingly I like who I am. I believe walking the fine line of self-confidence, self-love and hope in your own growth is possible.

 Now the uplift…

Over the years, I have learned that I have an amazing community of friends that have decreased the black hole and allowed me to become comfortable with acknowledging and embracing my vulnerability.  Furthermore, the phenomenal example that my grandma laid out in front of me – her strength, courage, and perseverance despite the circumstances consistently remind me that I can and will make it. That is ok to ask for help – which isn’t a sign of weakness nor co-dependency, but true community. We are to lift one another up because ultimately we are reliant upon one another and creation.  We, as beings, cannot live this life alone.

All and all vulnerability and I have comes to terms with one another – in a passionate embrace of a life lived through loving kindness and regard for yourself and all beings and creation. I have become more open to the idea to being present and curious for the right now – allowing the past to be my story, the future to be untold.

I live for the present moment with a logically driven, emotionally open heart.

At least on most days.

Rumblings – Let Us Pay Attention

 The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

– Rumi

For those who pray, send good vibes, fast, meditate, anyone of a faith or mere faith in humanity – Please pay attention to the upcoming visit of Obama to Israel/Palestine. There seems to be rumblings on both sides.

Can we unite together for peace?

Can we fast together for the violence and the occupation to end?

For the freedom of the Palestinians to become a reality?

For us to recognize the light in one another and bow down to each other out of loving kindness?

There are beautiful nonviolent movements that have continued to carry on on despite the firing of tear gas, bullets, and the beatings from IDF forces and settlers – these are comprised not just of Palestinians, but of Israelis, Americans, Europeans, and so on. These movements are filled with men, women, and children seeking peace, freedom and a recognition and end of the horrible atrocities that have continued since 1948.

I know this opinion, especially in the South, is not highly looked upon (quite the understatement). I’ve been labeled – anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, anti-American and ignorant.

But I have faith in peace, I have the understanding and belief that we are all interdependent of one another – that when one weeps and mourns, we weep and mourn with them.

I refuse to remain quiet or believe that I can do nothing.

My faith calls me to love both sides of any conflict. (Oh this is hard…)

My faith drives me to seek equality for all humanity – and creation.

My faith leads me to the belief that another world is possible – that upside-down kingdom where we all will join hands and rejoice in peaceful unity regardless of our difference.

Let us pay attention to this visit, to the continued struggle to Free Palestine and let us acknowledge there is something each of us can do.

P_A_L_E_S_T_I_N_E_by_Free_Palestine

A good op-ed article in NY Times : Peaceful Protest Can Free Palestine

Mocking Others, hilarious?!

The mockery of faith traditions or non-faith traditions perplexes me. Yes, people have been burned, damaged, embittered by their former and even current faith. However, I don’t understand the need to mock anyone in order to appear humorous or “cool” to those that happen to be around at that particular moment. It could be mere defense mechanism. Regardless, it frustrates me to see so many individuals mocking one another. Yet, I know I’ve done this often.

What brought about these thoughts was a run in I had over the past week. I came across a situation when I was mocked for my faith. I believe in the Christian faith, identify mostly with doubting Thomas, and will eternally struggle with many passages of the Holy Bible. I have always attempted to respect the belief or non-belief of my friends, family, acquaintances and strangers. It’s an odd feeling staring someone in the face that is openly saying they feel as though you lack intelligence and/or logic. And my response was pure and utter silence due to not really knowing if I should respond. I was taken aback. I have been put in similar positions before but this one felt extremely new and harsh. I have been deemed the “anti-christ”, a Universalist, etc. due to my beliefs. Oddly enough, that doesn’t bother me. Maybe it was just the circumstances of that day or week or that short interaction which really had these feelings set in and stay with me over the past few days.

I admit to being guilty of this, especially within the political and religious realm. So this is a self-reminder to be patient and loving towards those that I don’t understand and even those I really could never agree with. Along with watching my own response to see if it is done out of loving concern for my fellow human being or to make myself feel better and prove that I’m right and could never be as ignorant or cruel as them. That in itself is a massive lie.

I wonder how often I have made another person feel the way I did.

“I thought such awful thoughts that I cannot even say them out loud because they would make Jesus want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish.” ― Anne Lamott