One of the things I learned in school was fear. I was a disaster at dictation, something every woman needs to know, especially if I was to focus all my energies on becoming a secretary. Back in the day my options were limited: nurses, secretaries, and teachers were the available occupations for women. The lid did come off pandora’s box just as I was entering higher education but I was stuck for years with these educationally attained fears. You can not spell, you can not write, you can not think. My blog is a screw you to my early education (I have faith that the reader can grasp my ideas in and around the atrocious spelling). I considered giving my password out to a few trusted friends so they could go in and fix all the errors. I realize now other people can not fix what is wrong with me. I am not the same person I was thirty years ago. I stand here holding out this homegrown blog, atrocious spelling, and all. It is the most courageous thing I have ever done.
What are you holding inside of you that desperately wants release? This is something I have been exploring for the past few months. I believe I am necessary only to the extent that I am willing to remain in a constant state of renewal. I am feeding myself more appealing ideas, letting go of the habits that no longer serve me (grudges, gossip, wine), and adopting new pathways to a higher self. I found out I had to allow God to occupy me or my attempts at change would fail. I have to admit, it is dangerous to march with God, because my tenacious habits fight for survival like a misinformed militia. This is the Lenten war I’ve been dealing with and I’m ready to claim victory.
I believe God longs for a new creation in me as much as I seek change in myself. I am trying to be a courageous social witness but what I witness is bounded by my own experience. How do I expand my bandwidth? The injustices of the outside world can replicate themselves within the walls of my heart as well as our most powerful institutions. Healing happens when we see a painful situation as an opportunity for growth instead of coercion, shame, or fear. (You should check out the amazing research on shame by Brene Brown) We can hide our inadequacies, or hold them up to the light, and see them for what they are, opportunities for change. “We understand the world by the things that pull at our attention,” Maria Popova, “If we see the world as a narrow vision of self, then by changing our own inner vision, we can change the world.”
As Easter Sunday approached I spent time mentally planning the atmosphere around this celebration of resurrection. What would we encounter? What would we eat? And most important how do I involve the young people in this symbolic hunt for new life? I had to reevaluate the traditional egg hunt because it no longer appealed to my children. So this year I did an IPA hunt (ironic as that seems). The response was quite unexpected. They ran, they cheered, they participated with the fever of young children. I believe I found a new point of interest for my twenty-somethings. If this keeps them coming back to the table then I’m all for it. I expect the institutionalized church to undergo this same kind of renewal (not that I expect IPA hunts in the church parking lot). I want a church that stands on the table of life waving like hell, “Come on over, join me, mangia.”
Let the conversation begin in the comments
You might also enjoy: It’s time to come back to the table or What I wouldn’t give
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.”
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SO happy to have discovered your writing Cheryl! I had spelling issues at school (and still do) but they're better now as I'm writing about what I care about rather than what others require of me, so I simply pay more attention because I actually (finally) care about being understood, rather than graded. Brene Brown + Maria Popova = two brilliant ladies I've been keenly following for a while 🙂 Thank you for this post.
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Wow! Thank you for reading and taking the time to respond Leah. I feel the same joy that I discovered your writing. Your piece in the Huffington Post on happiness and egg hunts is exceptional (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/leah-k-stewart/the-easter-egg-hunt-the-economy_b_7007566.html) I look forward to following your work. Brene and Maria keep me thinking. Check out On Being with Krista Tippett for outstanding blogs and podcasts. Read on…
I've linked the twitter sites for Maria Poppa and Brene Brown in my post. Check out their work!