On Faith/Life: From Suppressed to Expressed
After being in a time of creating space, letting go of unnecessary attachments, and getting clarity on what matters to me, I finally feel like the spirit is bringing to my attention where I have been bottlenecked. Just as I haven't been drumming since I left my church, I've found I haven't exactly known how to, well, pray, and I am seeing how my suppression has contributed to that of my family. I want my kids to have the opportunity to live a life of faith and purpose, and I greatly value the beliefs I have to share with them. Part of what I've wanted to avoid is the trauma I've gone through.
Having a more "liberal" outlook on life and trafficking in generally conservative circles isn't always easy or fun, I could be the first to tell you. I've been shut down from speaking, I lost a job, and I get some comments from people within that crowd that cause me to wonder... do I even belong in this conversation called Christianity?
Well, I still love Jesus, so I guess I do.
Part of the problem comes with trying to "fit in," seeing the systems and ideological rules that others are following without even knowing it and not being 100% on board. I've avoided using "trigger words" and have enjoyed the space from tiring conversations about end-times, liberal agendas and what God/the Bible says. Yet...
I see how individualistic spirituality can be, and I also see how it is missing life without community.
In my church hiatus, I've visited progressive churches that had beautiful content that resonated with me, yet had no... life in it. Maybe despite my best attempts to downplay or ignore it, I'm still a wild-eyed charismatic Christian at heart.
I voted for gay marriage. I speak in tongues. I am open and curious concerning other's beliefs and still have a host of opinions I hold dear. Sometimes I feel like I have to choose between a "liberal" ideology and a "conservative" faith, but I don't, because I'm... me.
I've learned that I can't play it small to fit in other people's boxes (or the boxes I imagine them being in). Wherever I am, I rock the boat, even gently. I have learned not to focus on provocation (it doesn't inspire me) and instead to focus on inspiration. I have learned that people will have their beliefs until they open themselves up to the possibility of things being different, and I can be a living alternative.
I'm looking forward to drumming. I'm looking forward to testing the waters. I'm excited to be open to receive the best of what people and groups have to offer and to contribute in all the ways I love to. I love that I do yoga, pray and talk about God with my kids. I'm thankful to have Jesus as the icon of my practice, as Jesus is all about breaking boxes.