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Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Journey of Awakening

"The life unexamined is not worth living."
Socrates

I WAS WRONG...
...so very wrong.  And I am finally able to admit it to myself...with abandon and without shame.  I know that I won't stay here forever...but that in order to heal and move one, I have to acknowledge this.   

See, I've always been the people pleaser type...suffering in silence while my world around me crumbled to pieces, unable to voice what I was really feeling and thinking cause I was too afraid to hurt those around me or take any attention away from a dying mother and a floundering family.  I never wanted attention - but now I realize that I so desperately needed it.  Kids are NOT resilient - they have just been given some very powerful coping skills in order to help them deal with a seriously messed up world.

I wanted to let you know this is where I am writing from lately...from a place of very deep anger and hurt and disbelief and grief and sorrow and freedom....and the list could go on.  I don't just feel like I have been lied to ...I know I have.  And whether there is any one responsible for this I do not know...but I know that I have been lied to.  I write from my perspective and my experience, which I imagine some will be able to relate to and others will not.  But this is my story, my experience and I wish to share it.  

WHY AM I ANGRY?
Because of Patriarchy.  Male privilege.

Because of the systematic destruction of the feminine soul of millions of women - and most likely men - because of Patriarchy.

Because of the loss of the Feminine essence of the Divine...because of Patriarchy.

Because I have always been the Good Girl - able to see the bigger picture - never able to get angry at the pain and hurt that I have suffered through - even at the hands of the ones that were supposed to love me.

Because some where in the midst of these uncoverings within my soul I have covered up my one constant companion in all this - my faith in the Christian god...

Because I have been on the journey of awakening...and for better or worse - I cannot go back.

FROM WHERE I WRITE
This is the place from where I wrote that long list the other day.  A place of seriously suppressed anger...but deeper than that a place of seriously suppressed pain.  It seems this was just the next layer of the onion - as they say.

As I try to come to terms with who I am in and of myself, I have realized I've allowed myself for the most part to always be defined by others.  When I started to try to remove these definitions, that is when I found myself running into walls in my life...walls that have no way around them. Walls that had spiky spikes on every single square inch so that when you reached out to look for an opening all you got was a cut where rushing crimson blood would rush forth.  Walls that created so much pain that I didn't just want to numb myself with medication or alcohol or...  

Pain: that is the only reason I ever woke up to the world of patriarchy.

I have been on the journey of awakening...and for better or worse - I cannot go back.

AM I ONLY DREAMING???
I feel as if I have been inside a dream towards the end, you're just in the middle of an important part when - WHAM - your eyes pop open.  You lay there in the dark, disoriented for what feels like hours, trying to figure out where you are, what you are doing and if this is reality or if you are dreaming.  You close your eyes, trying to conjure up the dream, trying to get back into it...but you cannot.  You are awake now - and awake you stay.

This is what my journey of awakening feels like as I venture into this new part of losing my faith.  In a matter of 12 short hours...in a matter of going to bed one night knowing and believing in the Christian God - I woke up and something just snapped.  I realize that this - this step in reading Sue's book and realizing that I am a woman who has bought into the lies of Patriarchy that are ingrained deep within our cultural system for thousands of years...this step has finally made me "loose God".  Peter Rollins says its like loosing your security blanket.  Sue describes it as a deep, dark labyrinth from the days that Ancient myths prevailed that one needs to fight her way through in order to find the true Divine - in whatever form that might be.

However you decide to describe it - it doesn't really matter.  All I know is that in the last 12 hours I have consciously yet unconsciously - driven by a force greater than me - have lost the God that I thought I was getting to know. I think I have quite definitely, no I am positive that I have quite positively lost my Christian faith.  And I am left standing here in the midst of this deep, dark labyrinth without my security blanket, shaking my head and shrugging my shoulders and wondering - "What just happened?" (Okay, this question is much more emphatic with some other words inserted in there.)

If my thoughts and beliefs could go from one extreme to the other in such a short matter of time - in a matter of 6-12 months...then I am left questioning ALL of it.  What is Truth?  Can we know for certain what Truth is?  Or is Truth always moving and evolving as we come to deeper understanding about ourselves, about the cultural systems and about how they move/shift/evolve around us?  About how we move/shift/evolve around them?  Is the Christian God and this savior called Jesus...is he just a manifestation of a deep cultural need to have a savior?  A need that I am seeing was evident in the myths of other cultures from the beginning of time?  A need because we as humans don't want to own up to our own crap and BS and therefore must project the power of choice we DON'T THINK WE HAVE onto an external man who can save us?  Is Christianity just a crutch - an excuse for our humanness?  Is Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any religion...do they exist simply because the deep cultural need to have homeostasis?

I have been on the journey of awakening...and for better or worse - I cannot go back.

TIME TO LEAVE THE NEST...
I spoke at one point about how I was drawn to my marriage by the security it seemed to give me...but that eventually this security actually became my prison.  This, unfortunately, is how the Church feels to me now: A once dear place of refuge and community now feels like a cage set on keeping my wings clipped so that I cannot fly free.

With that being said, it seems that perhaps this move has been a while in the making.  I questioned whether or not I needed to play this card when reading Peter's book...to allow myself to feel the loss of the security of the Church.  Yet, at the time I didn't feel the need.  Now I do.

Up until now, I thought that since I was in an Equalitarian church I was okay, that I could stay and continue this journey.  And while I deeply appreciate and respect the pastors of my church...for the most part save one who speaks only rarely... they are still men, still speaking of a mostly masculine God.  While equality is preached, I have to be honest that I still don't see it being lived out ...I still don't see the female voice within my church.  Therefore I am, for the time being, feeling the need to exit...feeling the need to step out on my own...to figure out how to define myself without the Church's definitions of who God is and how he fits into my life.  And I feel the need to find God - if God exists - as a God of both genders.

For me this feels a little like a fish swimming upstream against both the current and a multitude of others swimming down.  Like I'm inside a bubble that no matter how hard I push against keeps expanding around me, enveloping me and pulling me back.  But fighting against the stream, pushing against the bubble until it finally breaks and lets me out I must do.  If I try to stay in the bubble, if I try swimming downstream - at this point - it just feels fake to me.

I have been on the journey of awakening...and for better or worse - I cannot go back.

...AND HEAD FOR COLLEGE
I guess you could compare this time for me as if I was a kid going off to college and having the space to own her own life for the first time.  Just as many college kids raised in the Church - and well I'm hitting college early at 16.5 years -  I am exploring my faith, my ideas.  I am questioning what I believe.  I am doubting the voice that I THOUGHT was God's, and now thinking, "Maybe I haven't been hearing anything more than some internal voice that is nothing more than voices of my own subconscious. I mean I have confessed that I DO hear voices :-)!"

I am questioning what I have been taught and what I have followed with "blind faith" all these years.  I am questioning if there is some really big God up in the sky or if it was nothing more than a gut instinct that has been fighting with my intellect for quite some time...fighting to be heard...fighting to be heard above the ruckus and confusion that Patriarchy, the Church, abuse and life have caused within my soul.

I have been on the journey of awakening...and for better or worse - I cannot go back.

ON ONE HAND...
On one hand, I am terrified to where this journey is leading me.  My fear is that I will travel down this road, leaving the "security and safety" of patriarchy - only to find out I am all alone on the other side.  My fear is I will become like one looking from the outside in...only wishing I could force myself to believe once again so I can be part of the community.  My fear is I will lose my friends, not because they will judge me, but because we won't have Christ in common anymore.  My fear is I will not be able to un-remember or un-discover these things that I have discovered.

Questions bounce around in my mind: What if there is no God on the other side?  What if I come through this journey and realize that Christianity is nothing more than a bunch of myths and stories that help us have order in a chaotic world?

Peter Rollins says this is a step that we must be willing to take in order to find Him.  But Peter is still talking about a God found in the Bible, a God still found within Patriarchy.  So is Rob Bell, and my pastors at my church and the majority of those around me.  They are still talking about a God that is mostly male and he is a he who doesn't express himself that much as a she - at least in my native language.  So I sense my journey into the unknown is even bigger than the one Peter describes people experience when their "Security Blanket" (i.e. the Church) is ripped away; because I am a woman not only in search of the real God (masculine) - but also the real God (feminine).

I have been on the journey of awakening...and for better or worse - I cannot go back.

ON THE OTHER HAND...
On the other hand, I am also exhilarated at what lies ahead.  I am excited to see where it leads me, to who it leads me to, to know that where ever I end up - I will have a greater understanding of who I am, who I was created to be without the definitions others heap on me.

I do not fear making God - if S/He does exist in the sense that I have understood up until now - I do not fear making God angry.  For I believe that Whomever S/He is...that S/He is big enough to know that I have to be free to go off and explore, to question, to doubt...I have to have the choice to know that I choose Her/Him freely and with my whole heart.  That it is because I WANT to choose Her/Him - not because I NEED to choose Her/Him in order to appease my conscious.

I really have NO idea where I will end up...if I will end up back in the Church or not.  I do not know that I will end up still believing what the masses around me believe...but I do sense there is something bigger and greater than me still.  At this point I still sense that Jesus and God have something to do with it...  Gosh, I never believed I could be where I am now...to say that I just don't know...I just can't even force myself to believe and that

I have been on the journey of awakening...

and for better or worse - 
I cannot go back.



2 comments:

  1. I want to give you a very detailed response to this post and I don't think a comments section will suffice. Is there any other way of contacting you?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Met,

    Thank you for your response and for wanting to share. I am more than willing to hear - as long as it is about your own personal journey. I would ask if it is about anything else, then kindly do not send it along. I am not in a place where I would be able to hear explanations or apologetics or in any way trying to convince me why God is true, why Jesus is true and why I can trust the Bible (as I have been well schooled in these things). If you can respect my boundaries, here is my email address: realworldmother@gmail.com

    Best Wishes!

    ReplyDelete

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