Monday, May 26, 2014

Transcendance Movement Four- Prayer

encounter- hope embraced


Prayer is a response to life...

the quiet breath released into the heavens
a longing to connect

the warmth of silent  presence arrives
relationship embraced

majesty found in the shared moment

wrapping me in divine

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Blatant Rudeness and subtle sexism

Let’s keep in mind as we are entering the primary season for the 2014 mid term election cycle, that Hillary Rodham Clinton has not even announced her bid for the 2016 presidential race and the smear campaign has already begun.  

Here are few snapshots of ridiculousness in action:

1.  The media blitz around the idea that welcoming a grandchild might somehow derail a presidential bid that hasn’t even been declared yet.  How many grandkids does Mitt Romney have?  And how many grandchildren did he welcome into his family while campaigning for the 2012 presidential race?   And was the growth of Mitt’s extended family even a part of the discussion about whether that makes him fit for the highest office in our country?  Has being a grandparent even entered into the national debate...ever?  My memory says no.

2.  Karl Rove’s comments about Clinton’s supposed traumatic brain injury.  On the surface this argument did not trigger the sexism warning signal to me, only the what are you so afraid of warning signal...but then...

3.  Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairperson, followed that up on Meet the Press with this:

"I think that health and age is fair game," Priebus said. "It was fair game for Ronald Reagan. It was fair game for John McCain."
Yes, Priebus it was fair game and it was pretty short lived in past elections.  Only, I’m pretty sure you’re attempting to play off of the “equality card” out of one side of your mouth and the “tisk tisk an old lady shouldn’t be trusted card” out of the other side.  So let’s be real.
Statistically speaking women outlive men, so the age factor is quite inconsequential if you ask me.  Yes, she had a fall and dealt with some health what.  If you want to treat this next presidential cycle with the equality it deserves, then let’s stick to character and policy.   I know you said you were sticking to qualifications, but then again, your message was mixed.  Who knows which two people will face off in the 2016 race, let’s take our time tearing the allusion of opposition down before the time has come. 

FTR I was this riled up when witnessing how the press and opposition dealt with Sarah Palin in the 2008 election cycle, so I'm not just slinging mud because of ideological differences.  I hated the Newsweek cover and several other photos they released....for similar reasons.  Blatant Rudeness and subtle sexism.
I won’t vote for a president merely because they share the same anatomy as me...I vote for president based upon which person I place the most trust in.  Political party isn’t necessarily a factor, gender isn’t necessarily a factor, faith background or ethnicity isn’t necessarily a factor.  Potential FLOTUS/FMOTUS isn’t necessarily a factor.  

Getting the job done well is the factor I rest my decision on.  My crystal ball informs me that we have a long political journey to November 2016.  Off to cue up House of Cards, Alpha House, and my old standby The West Wing.  I can handle the ridiculousness in fantasy...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Against The Grain

I am angry.  
I am angry that maturity is not rewarded in the way I want to be.
I am angry that to go against the grain is hard as hell.
I am angry that I learned how to be my own worst enemy all too well.

Interestingly enough though, what I’m not angry about gives insight to what growth is taking place with in me.

I’m not angry with the man behind the curtain these days, because clearly I am up against a far more personal anger.  I’d love to continue projecting the darkness inside of me and blame my rage on some institution (the church), some power mogul (business/media), some representative (the government), or some attachment figure (the mom and dad), but I’ve hit midlife now, time to be more honest.

I am angry that being accepted has been the bottom line for me, even into adulthood.  It has not been about being responsible, having integrity, or following my unique path.  Instead, I have spent much energy craving acclamation and validation because I was afraid to trust me.  In my insecurity, I have made the mistake of listening to other voices instead of my own and welcomed bitterness to fester.  Here’s the thing though, gaining acceptance from others at the expense of accepting myself, has proved to be a toxic choice and it has taken much energy to walk that choice back.  Time has taught me that when I am surrounded by experts that are not my own voice, I am in dangerous territory.  And those voices might be real people but they might also be the projection of my own fear...regardless, I lose if those are the voices I listen to instead of my own internal guide.

Enough of that though...I’ve got enough life under my belt to see the results of my choices and I’m good with what has happened as a result following my internal voice.  And the interesting side note...I’ve lived enough life to know that the loud voices of objection to my life choices aren’t around to evaluate the resolution of my decisions.  They are too busy living their lives...because their words were never truly about me.  

Here is the pocket of grace:
Liberty really is the brass ring it claims to be.   

It is completely within my right to live however I see fit, so long as I don’t restrict someone else’s freedom or injure.  I’ve mostly made my own path in this life so far and I’m good with that, but I am angry that I let myself feel miserable for taking the road less traveled.  It has been an unnecessary pain.

There are many areas where I have tortured myself for choosing the unconventional, yet in time, what was once unconventional moved into mainstream and I’ve learned something really important about that... 

If an unconventional path is a better way of living, then I’m probably not the only one being led in that direction.  Good ideas and solid life practices spread.  Stepping out in faith is worth it.

Three really good examples from my life come through seemingly disconnected areas of living; body art, blogging, and bonding.  These three issue tie together to highlight the truth that going a different direction than most, specifically because you believe the pack is heading in the wrong direction, is wisdom...not a liability.

Body Art:
Body art has been a positive tool of expression of self for me, yet I walked in conventional circles during my 20’s, so I faced a backlash from folks who thought tattoos and piercings represented something really bad.  It was awesome that I eventually got to see body art be embraced as an art form.  Shortly after that, I got to observe the same folks who questioned my character, my faith, my sanity, embrace the movement.  Why yes, I most certainly remember the unkind words spewed at me and I’m angry that I let that fester for too long.  

I don’t care if all the cool kids are blogging now...I’ve been doing it for almost a decade and it has been an amazing experience for me, even when folks did not appreciate my words.  Yet recently, I’ve been growing concerned about this platform, because the blogging world is morphing into something I am uncomfortable with.  Blogging has challenged me to be honest about my view of the world, but now I see blogging being twisted into some virtual advertising agency designed to elicit a vacuum of jealousy and desire in others.  I believe that blogging is about speaking individual truth.  It is about documenting the mundane, as it adds up to something really important...a lifestyle.  A belief system.  A putting your money where mouth is sort of exercise....not about monetization.  I want blogging to continue to be about questioning the status quo...not becoming an agent of the systemic need to control. 

I wore my babes in slings when that was still novel in this culture.  I fielded questions about why I needed to hold my babies all the time.  I did not need to hold my babies...they needed to be held.  It was an act of discipline to put my kids’ needs ahead of my own in appropriate ways, not an act of giving into my kids’ every whim.  I had faith that it would be only for a season and as it turns out that belief was right.  For the record, baby wearing is a sweaty mess and sometimes it really sucked.  Then again sometimes it was heaven on earth...but contrary to what others warned me of, I am not still carrying them around out of a dependence I crippled them with.  Somewhere in toddlerhood they each started running away from the slings and I saw that as progress...not something to mourn.

I read and then promptly discarded faith based *parenting books* that implored me to train my children in rigid ways (Growing Kids God’s Way, aka Babywise, aka the Infant Way, and To Train Up A Child).  I believe babies show up to this world deserving dignity and grace.  They are human and thus sinful, but training them out of expressing their needs doesn’t make sense to me.  I tend to sin more when my needs are unmet, so how can these little people be any different?  I still believe in discipline and my kids are making their way just fine, potty trained, sleeping independently, and mostly making good choices as they navigate the world.  I am angry I worried so much...I rely on the bond I have with each kid every day.  Bonding was time well spent.

In the end though the bottom line is this...

I’m angry with myself because I spent too much time obsessing over other people’s opinions about how I expressed myself artistically, be it through body art or blogging.  I’m angry that I cared so much about other people’s opinions concerning how I mother my children.  And I am sad it took me until now to make peace with these truths, but I am filled with hope just the same, because I believe I’ll never waste such time again.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Transcendance Movement Four- Until

encounter- hope embraced


The until between midnight gloom and morning breeze
carries us from despair into new hope.
Allowing the past to melt away into oblivion
reconciled by present transformation.

Forevermore the wounds cast from mind’s eye
giving rise to the true beautiful life.
What no longer is hidden behind enemy lines
can evolve to respond to calling designed.

In the morning of life begun anew
the soul lifts praise to the source.
A living sacrifice Savior divine

releases grace into the until of time.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Re-post of last years Mother's Day Tribute

I have a complicated relationship with this holiday.... it's always struck me as a bit like forced intimacy. I've gone through the many seasons of my response to a holiday that is filled with expectation.  I've loved it, I've hated it, I've been hurt by it...and "it'" is just a holiday...nothing more...nothing less.  

A couple of months ago I ran across a you tube video that piqued my curiosity.  It was a bit o' propaganda so I won't share it, but there was enough truth in the middle of the attempt to manipulate me towards a particular ideology, that I began doing a bit of research on the history of this hallmark holiday.

What I found to be true helps me integrate this particular day in a much more joyful and holistic way.  You see the beef I have with this holiday is that motherhood is an art and a science.  I don't want to be told how to honor my mother and I don't want to be told on which day to do so.  I love my mother and I am grateful for her presence in my life.  I want the way I live to be the honoring of this woman I hold so dear.  I also don't want my children to feel forced to pay me homage.  I want them to live big lives with passion, conviction, joy, and integrity.  That is all the honor I desire.  The thing about this consumer culture is that many voices shout out that to be a good child or to be a good have to send cards, flowers, and gifts.  But this day did not originate in anything materialistic.  The materialism strips empowerment from this day...this movement.

Read This:  

Mothers are the main attachment figure for the next generation.  Some women never get to have children of their own, but they are still mothers if the care about and advocate for the next generation.  Support mothers in our world, because it is hard work.  Daily work.  Thankless work.

No more guilt or shame for doing the right thing in the eyes of some advertising executive who told us we are not quite good enough unless we consume and we bind ourselves and our families up in unrealistic expectations.  Instead there is an opportunity to excavate those passions that can heal the world, heal our communities, heal our families, heal ourselves.  

On this Mothers Day I dream this gift for us all... that we find the fire in our bellies that will lead us to join a movement that speaks to the humanity all around us.   If your passion is new life, support new life.  If your passion is adoption, advocate for that.  If your passion is gender equality, connect with a young girl and pour into her and then connect with a young boy and pour into him.  If your passion is the homeless, give.  If your passion is peace, serve a veteran.  

My passions are pretty obvious.  Gender equality, attachment issues for children, sexual violence advocacy, and a kinder faith expression within the church that stands on the teachings of Jesus.  Rather than feel anxious and bound up, I will spend energy on advancing those causes.  I will still enjoy cards and gifts.  I will still give cards and gifts... because I want to, and that’s okay too.  No guilt, no shame...just joy and love.

Happy Mothers Day!