where do you create the space inside?
If you have never denied your want,
how do you know how hunger feels?
If you have never given up,
how do you learn to receive?
Writing without Paper
It was a weekend of stretching, of listening, learning, growing. It was a weekend to be humble, to feel humbled and, at moments, to be humbled. To embrace the good, the bad and the ugly and know, I am okay. I am Love, no matter how I measure my state of being, I am always and always will be, Love.
When I wrote The Dandelion Spirit, A true life fairytale of love, lies and letting go, I wanted to share the story to inspire, strengthen, encourage others who were or had gone through a similar journey. I wanted to touch hearts of those who knew someone going through a similar story and I wanted to teach people that no matter your 'story' of the past, you get to choose your story today. What will you choose? Will you be the victim of your history or the triumphant architect of your magnificence? What will you choose?
Our personal history is a funny thing. Okay, so maybe 'funny' isn't the best descriptor, 'cause there are times when my personal history doesn't make me laugh. It makes me cry. Scream. Lash out. Act out. Act dumb. Act blind. It can make me act in ways that humble me. In ways that hurt me.
And sometimes my acting out can be a good thing. In acting out, I get it out. I get the pockets of discord inside out. I get the messy, tangled up, discombobulated bits unwound.
In my Lectio Divina this week, I am focusing on leaving my ego before I enter the desert. I was reminded of the necessity and importance of this act by Claire Bangasser at A Seat at the Table who wrote on her blog, Hissing, "Among my undesired guests today, therefore, was the prideful desolation of not being ‘other,’ ‘better,’ perfect (?!). To have the humility of being ‘me’ and accepting me as I am. To love myself as you have created me (Have I ever thought of feeling angry at You for have made me this way?); to enjoy that I amuse You with my naive enthusiasm."
Recently, I heard a woman say to someone who was trying to help her, "Thank you for letting me hate you until I could love you."
Her comment hit me in the gut.
I remember a time when I was so angry with God that walking into a church one Sunday morning made me cry. I didn't want to be there. He didn't want me to be there, I told myself. What was the point of being there, I wondered. There is nothing here for me.
There was a lot there for me that Sunday and other Sunday's too. On that first Sunday, which happened to be the very first Sunday after Conrad was arrested and I was set free from that relationship that was killing me, the first thing the minister said to the congregation after his greeting and comments about what a glorious day it was outside was, "Aren't you glad you're not in jail?"
My gut tightened. My body went rigid. I desperately tried to push the tears back. To stem the flow. They fell anyway.
On that Sunday, almost six years ago, there was still a part of me that felt like it should be in jail. I had been so bad. So awful. So horrible. I didn't deserve freedom. I didn't deserve God's grace.
God didn't care.
He let me hate him.
Yesterday, at the spiritual service, the speaker used the analogy of the Berlin wall to talk about the walls we build in and around our hearts to keep others out, and ourselves locked up inside. Walls of judgement. Walls of anger. Fear. Loathing. Hatred. Walls that lock us in grief. In sadness. Self-pity. Walls that were built long ago or erected just yesterday. Walls that hurt us from the inside out as we struggle to make sense of the pain and grief and sorrow in our worlds and keep coming up against our pain and grief and sorrow inside.
On June 12, 1987, former US President Ronald Reagan challenged Mikhail Gorbachev, the then General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to, "Tear down this wall."
Tear down this wall.
In the 70s I visited Berlin and crossed into the East through Checkpoint Charlie. Bill, the speaker yesterday, reminded me of that visit. It was such a marked difference from one side to the other. On the western side, colour and laughter and life abounded. On the other side, everything was dark and grey and brown. People didn't look at people. They didn't smile. They didn't greet you. Everywhere there were guns. At the Checkpoint. Every few metres in the wall. Guns facing into the East. Guns to keep people from getting out. As I left the East to come back to the West I had to relinquish my passport. For ten long minutes, it disappeared behind the wall as I walked to the other side, hoping and praying my passport would come back to me. That in its return I would be set free.
I was frightened in those minutes of waiting for my passport. Frightened that I would be left behind. Left inside that grey on black world.
Like the internal landscape of my heart -- some days. Those days where my history rises up to rebel against my desire for freedom. Days when the past launches a folly of reminders that would keep me locked up in the prison of my disbelief that I am a magnificent human being on the journey of her lifetime.
Tear down those walls.
Enter the desert without my ego.
Let go of my fears that what was will be again. That what happened before will always happen again.
That God is not forgiving.
That God is not patient.
That He is not loving.
He is. I am. Love
And all He wants for me is to know, I am magnificent. I am a being of light and beauty. I am a wondrous creation of Love.
Just like you.
Tear down those walls, and live in the technicolor grandeur of Love. Magnificent. Alive. Free.