Coloring Outside of the Lines With My Questions
2014 is almost over. In less than a month, I will hopefully be divorced. This past year has been a long and bumpy road, but I chose to walk it even though I never hoped or planned for this. Nonetheless, I am walking through this valley, be it as sloppy and imperfect as it is, I nevertheless made the conscience decision to walk through it the best I can.
My uphill battle is experienced mostly within, at the prompting of me taking in messages targeted at blaming and shaming me through upholding biased standards of perfection to my face that despite my best efforts, I cannot seem to meet or sustain meeting them for long. The source of the pain that’s directed at me through blame and shame is real and valid. It is human, yet I need to be mindful of what I will take on and what I will not.
I have gotten lost in the shuffle to gain approval from others, especially those who I thought were close to god and that god approved of, because that ultimately is what I was and am after – secure intimacy with the divine.
Who is god? What is god like? How do I feel his presence? I want to feel fully known and fully loved, without feeling like I need to earn it or prove my loveability. I’m trying to define what I am after, and it is this felt-sense of love and security that is just THERE, because that is the nature of love. I do not need to fear being abandoned by love because of me being who I am. I can rest securely in being me, and in being loved. Why do I hunger for this? Why is it so strong? Why can’t I silence it without the painfully unwanted side effects of going numb inside? This hunger for divine love calls me out and is relentless in getting met. Why??? Is it because it is more available and accessible to me through experiencing and embracing this hunger for divine love instead of shutting it up?
In this current season of my life, I need to write out god’s name with a lower case ‘g’. The uppercase spelling of god represents something to me that I am questioning because I fear it. Love and fear at their core, have irreconcilable differences. Love delivers security; fear delivers insecurity. Love calms me; fear freezes me. Love opens me up inside; fear closes me up inside.
What is love? I read that god is love in the bible. But what is the bible? It is an ancient book written by humans who lived long ago, in a very different culture and historical setting. What do I personally share in common with those humans who wrote texts that are included in the bible? Well, for starters I share in common living on this planet called earth and interacting with the earth and all who share this earth through human flesh and blood. So, there are some similarities that permeate through gender, racial, historical and other socio-cultural barriers. But, how much of the writing in the bible is more of a representation of that particular culture’s context in which the writing came from, and how much of the bible’s writing is more of a representation of the timeless and ever relevant nature of the divine and of humanity? Doesn’t god meet us where we are at? But people in the bible were at a different place than I am at, due to a variety of factors like what they knew and didn’t know about the planet earth, humanity, neuroscience, human anatomy and other cultures and people far away from their own geographical locations. Many educated people in this time believed the earth was flat and that the earth was at the center of the universe, no?. Yet, god still entered into the human race and met humanity where it was at within that specific time and culture. That is what I take as the essence of the christmas story. It was the divine entering into humanity as a fetus in a woman’s uterus and taking upon our limited human nature and experiencing that which only humans can experience through their human flesh and blood, no? god had to enter into the human race through a particular culture (Jewish), at a particular point of history which enveloped their current understanding and discovery of science, medicine, politics, religion, culture, history, psychology, philosophy, etc., which defined and confined their understanding of what it is to experience being human and how the divine transcends those very humanly confined elements of socio-cultural/historical context.
I want love. That’s all. I want divine love, to receive it and redistribute it to those I come into meaningful contact with. That is the artful masterpiece I’m envisioning within me. It’s a work in progress, always. I’m bringing it back to the basics, which is love. Though I have areas of personal and unique weaknesses, strengths, wounds, talents, abilities, understandings, misunderstandings, shame, pride, fear, accomplishments, unfinished business – all which are still works in progress – I am totally human and I am a masterpiece because I was made by the divine, whom I call god, whom this book called the bible says is love and that seems to cross over sociocultural categories.
What does fear and love have to do with one another? I keep finding myself coming back to a timeless and relevant message that resonates within me that I found in the bible: “there is no fear in love. but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. the one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 john 4:18
The masterpiece within me is my human heart which is fused with the divine, my essence is growing in perfect love, which drives out fear. Divine love does not enlist or trust in the power of fear, because fear does have power; the power to coerce. – Yuck. I’m finding how repelling that is becoming to me. That is not love, that is control based in fear. Love transforms by driving out fear, not by eliciting it or by ignoring it, but by expelling it.
Jessie J’s song “Masterpiece” passionately captures how I interpret me in my current season with all that’s evolving within me. I’m finding myself meditating on it and experiencing god’s presence.