**** For those interested in links mentioned in last weekend seminar and/ or ways to ask specific questions of myself or AJ, details are found at the end of this post *****
As I sit down to write there are many posts half written in my drafts box and yet none of them seem destined for completion. To be honest my heart feels heavy for other things. There is unfinished business between me and this blog, between me and my life and it is this ‘business’ that beckons me to words.
I started this blog sort of against my better judgement, or more accurately in spite of my greatest fears (which I used to call my better judgement!). I was inspired one afternoon after processing some fear that a blog was something that would be good for me to create. I had been praying heavily for weeks about becoming more authentic with those around me, and for the courage to share my heart more freely. When the idea came to me it filled me with such terror that I filed it in the recesses of my mind and labelled it ‘desire based upon error’. For a day I couldn’t even tell AJ (which is completely unheard of since there is barely a thought for either one of us that isn’t shared with the other). But the idea kept bugging me, it wouldn’t leave me alone and eventually I broke down and told AJ “I feel like I’m being inspired to blog about my experiences, but I know that is just a crazy idea, I just can’t figure out what injury is driving me…”
Of course when he gently smiled at me and said “I think that could be a good idea” I lost it even more. There was no way I could put my deepest feelings onto the internet. Because that is what a blog would mean… what good would it be if I shared half-heartedly? No, to do this would mean sharing all of my heart.
But then words just came, and made themselves into stories of me. I wrote my heart without much thought or revision.
After that more words came but I still didn’t think I could do it. I closed my journal and told myself that these words weren’t good words and that they couldn’t be shared.
Eventually the words won out and I put them here. I was still afraid but I opened my heart. In the past nine months, so many of you have welcomed my offerings. I feel so humbled by the love and encouragement you have poured over me. I can honestly say I didn’t anticipate it and I am grateful. Lots of times I still hold my breath when I click ‘post’ because I’m still struggling to love myself enough to honor my journey and my story no matter how others think or feel. Lately the comments I receive here have come in equal quantities. The hateful quotient of messages has risen to meet your grace-filled ones. I know that this is occurring because I still carry the injury that it is an offense to say plainly what I feel.
The reason I’m writing today is that I feel that somehow those nasty comments and the people who seem to circle our lives like vultures, always picking and implying and vilifying, seem to be winning in drowning out my voice. All my drafts are unfinished because my soul is fearing the hurt more than loving the process of writing and healing. Instead of grieving my injury and receiving the Truth that God wants me to own my experience, I am questioning my words and second guessing my own meanings. Meanings that God knows and sees are earnest. I question because I am afraid of being perceived as something I’m not and this is a vile affliction. I feel it sicken my belly and tighten up my sinew. For how can I grow to all I can be, how can I shed my inhibitions, and find a clear, strong voice, if I always seek first the approval of those who do not love? Surely someday, God, I will learn to seek your appreciation first? That I would learn to measure my worth in terms of Love and Truth and not in accolade or criticism from those who do not treasure these things as I strive to.
It’s true that at times I feel tired. My bones get weary and I just need to cry and feel like giving up for a while. But as always, after my rainclouds pass, I find God has renewed me. Once again I remember Love and Truth and the reason I love life so much.
The truth is I am on this journey because I love God so much and I want to know Him. It is like there is a vast, open valley inside my chest that longs to be filled with the Ocean of God’s Love. I have tried to live my life in avoidance of who I am. I tried to be just Mary Luck and not Mary Magdalene and it was crushing – I literally felt that my soul was drowning in denial. I have had to grieve (and rage) that I could never grow closer to God unless I allowed all of who I am, as much as that scared me. I’d be lying to say that there weren’t some days when I just plain wish I could live a life with a faith and belief system that others accepted and allowed me to be considered ‘normal’. Many days I do wish it, but I don’t wish it enough to sacrifice myself or my mate or God or the love that grows in my heart. These things are the best and most rewarding things I have ever known and I cannot let them die in order to placate my fears and please other people.
I write today because I need to remind myself. Instead of letting darkness and cruelty win in drowning my voice and my passion for God and growth, I need reminding of how truly magnificent God is and how His Love does sustain me.
Let me say in prefix to what I am about to state, that I don’t feel the need to spend loads of time justifying what I write or how I live my life. These are my choices. I know that God will not let me hide from the error in my ways or heart, nor will he overlook what love grows and motivates me from within. There is no hiding a heart from God. After what feels like a long search, that one Truth has the power to reassure and comfort me. I am content that by trusting Him, in humility, I will eternally grow. However in saying that, I do think its worth stating a few things, for the sake of explanation, about what I write and what happens here on the blog.
I made a commitment some time ago not to publish comments on this blog that were attacking, condescending, cruel or insincere. The internet is a medium so often used as a vehicle for people to be cruel and sadly it seems that when people can be anonymous and/or avoid face to face communication they find it easier to be unloving. I personally believe in taking responsibility for myself, my feelings and being transparent and open. This is always my endeavor in any type of communication. I will not support others to be cruel either to myself or others and I believe there are other places on the internet dedicated to attacking Jesus and I. I don’t intend to create another! I happily publish comments that are sincere, questioning, reflective and/or appreciative. If you are anonymous and attacking, it won’t get published. It’s that simple. If you want to ask me a sincere question that doesn’t insult my ability to critically think and feel, please go ahead and I’d be happy to answer. (more about questions later…)
I have been accused of controlling the free will of others because I publish my feelings about things that happen in our life as it unfolds. I guess the best thing I can say about that is that comments like these reflect a poor understanding of the concept of free will. If I were to berate or bully others into editing their comments or beliefs about me (or any other thing) then I would indeed be attempting to impose upon their free will. By sharing the true events in my life and my feelings about things as they happen, I am merely reflecting my experience. This is simply an expression of my will. (Interestingly, people who try to bully me into not sharing my feelings and accuse me of affecting the free will of others as a way of pressuring me to shut up, are in effect trying to stop me using my will).
From time to time I mention my parents or people from my past in these posts. I am very sure that I only ever do so in order to honestly and accurately convey my process, and my emotions. It is in context of my story and not meant in any way to reflect theirs. I do not have the desire to blame, attack or in any way make a nasty point when I refer to others.
In our society it is very taboo to mention ones parents in anything other than glowing terms. The problem with such a culture is that it supports a conspiracy of denial of actual harm that has been done to us. This is especially difficult for those who have been physically and sexually abused by their parents. But it also applies to others of us, like me, where no such extreme treatment was endured, but a set of emotional contracts was set up in order that we would be ‘loved’.
Yes, I was injured by my parents. My parents also had parents who injured them, and these, my grandparents where also harmed by their parents. Anything a child receives that is not love will injure them. So it is inevitable that in a world, so injured in love, that we inherit injuries from the environment we exist in, most especially the people who raise us. It is an unfortunate fact that doesn’t go away when we ignore it. In fact I believe it makes it worse. A splinter ignored and denied can only fester and sting until it works its way out.
I certainly have compassion for the suffering around me. I know my parents did what they thought was right when I was a child, and in many cases tried not to repeat the pain of their own childhoods. My stating the truth about the multi-generational infection and injury that exists not just in my family but every family on the planet at this time is not out of judgement or blame. It is simply because I do not believe that one can heal an injured perception of love unless one first acknowledges that it is injured. I believe that sometime, some generation needs to stop passing on hate and hurt and instead turn around and face what has been coming down the line. We need to face the Truth that what we currently call love is not love but an injured mutation of it, simply so that it will stop happening and we may heal.
Stating and facing the truth of the pain in our pasts is the opposite of blaming, since to truly face the pain we must face that it is now within us, and only we have the power to heal it. But the crucial first step always remains acknowledging the truth. We cannot heal what we deny. No, if we want to heal, as I do, we must be brave enough to face what is inside of us as a result of this ‘injured substance often called love’ that we received. We must name it for what it is so that we can open to the pain of it and make room for God’s Truth to enter us. Once we have done this, we are healed, and we will not pass on this same love injury to others. This journey begins with facing the truth. I write as I face the truths of my past and as I grieve them. I write them only because they are a part of my story and I am learning, ever so slowly, to honor my story above the projections of others.
I am humbly aware God’s Truth may be different from ‘my truth’ or ‘my parents’ truth’. I also know that I can only find God’s Truth if I am prepared to relinquish my truth. And believe me I am down there amongst it, sucking back on many of my own errors (that I have held as ‘truths’) and praying to let them go.
When I began this journey I wanted dearly to hold onto my parents’ truth as The Truth. It took a lot of effort to face the pain that it wasn’t and be willing to change. But I did it because their ‘truth’ superimposed on my life was hurting me and holding me back.
The difference between my parents and I, is that I am in the midst of a process of giving up strongly held beliefs and emotions that have limited my life. Beliefs that I wanted to hold as truths because it felt so disorientating and painful letting them go. In the end though, to receive God’s Love and Truth I had to willing to give them up. My parents have not entered into such a process. I do not condemn them for this; in fact I know how difficult, challenging and confronting it is. I do not in anyway expect them to revise their beliefs or share my own.
I do not condemn them for not walking this Path, but I do not accept their attempts to control me in my desire to do so. And this is something which they have been attempting to do, quite vigorously, for quite sometime.
This is not a ‘me’ vs ‘them’ scenario. To me, it is about any of us, should we decide we want God, coming to accept God’s Truth and having the humility to be shown that Truth, whatever that is. None of us can blindly hold onto ‘No, I didn’t hurt my kids’, nor can we live in blame and avoidance of our own demands and addictions that may have caused us to be a spoiled brat, and expect to know God.
To heal we must find God’s Truth, definitive. I don’t proclaim to know it all but I do know that I’m the process of re-discovering it.
I’m writing today because the words stopped coming. I felt bullied by the darkness and pushed to forget what is most important to me. I have a long career as a ‘people pleaser’ and I know that my demons today are evidence of how much I still care about how others perceive me. I’m making progress but it still hurts to be misunderstood and maligned. I have been praying for a while because there are more words, even deeper and more personal, that have begun to tug on me to be written and shared. They are words about my first century life, about God. They want to tell you about my pain but also my increasing joy and passion. My body is heavy with posts, not yet at full term, about using the internet as a place to nurture and speaking out for Truth and Love. I know that the reason these words are not yet here is because my better judgement… uh hem.. I mean my deepest fears still rule in this regard. So I’m asking God to give me courage about the next phase in this space.
Before I go I wanted to invite you, especially those of you who I haven’t yet met in person, to send me any question you may have about me, Jesus, our life, the teachings, or yes, even Lady Gaga!! It’s for something new we are working on… I can’t guarantee that all questions will be answered but there is a small team of others who will do their best to have it so. Just pop questions in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Obviously keep in mind the same general principles about commenting apply to questions).
Also here are the youtube links mentioned in the seminar on the weekend…
Contradictions in Bible
Contradictions about God
With love and many thanks for your listening heart,