play this softly while you read my blog, for its full effect.
religion isn’t my thing anymore, i can only do relationship. theology isn’t my thing anymore, i can only do experience. it wasn’t a conscious decision i made, but the foundation of my religion inevitably crumbled because its foundation was faulty and i had no choice but to walk towards what my soul was craving; something authentic, raw, messy and real. when i walked away from religion and towards grace i walked away from living my life for other peoples approval. that is when i began to experience a spirituality that made me come alive in every moment. it showed me that i can only experience and express the amount of love i have first Received as i live my life interaction by interaction and at the whims of a loving God’s will.
it is a spirituality that has led me to follow my bliss in LA. many people have told me how brave i am to have left so much behind: social status, a good and consistent pay check, a 401k and the approval of society. yet i feel like i let go of nothing and gained everything. (no shade to my old boss if you’re reading this)
so many of us live life as if we’re not going to die one day. and yet that as well—death—means nothing. nothing significant.
” listen my beloved;
has not God chosen those who are
poor in the world to be rich in faith
and heirs of the kingdom
James 2:5 “
here in LA i spend all of my days around the ‘poor in the world’: children because i substitute teach 8-12 grade to pay my bills, artists because i am one (writer and dancer if you’re new here) and soon i will be getting paid to help a woman with disabilities run her errands.
working with children has taught me how to forgive. it has taught me how to be more generous towards the state of our humanity and to separate making-bad-choices from being-a-bad-person. even bad choices are rooted in pain, so while it is my choice to set boundaries where i see fit at the days end i know that no one has the capacity to attack me, but to only attack themselves.
artists have taught me how to love myself, choose myself, believe in myself and to not make excuses for not being my best. living out that dream that God has placed inside of my soul has developed my self-confidence and subsequently my sense of humility; i don’t try to prove myself much these days. the shinier the more damaged. i feel surrendered from worldly success and i feel that the greatest success i have/will ever achieve is to become filled with God and surrendered to Him.
surrender is all about control and control manifests itself in so many ways: unforgivness is control, pride is control, bitterness and anger and vengeance are all control. other things are control as well because control is all about intention.
preparing to assist this disabled woman is really exciting for me because of this book i recently read titled ‘broken open’ by elizabeth lesser. it is a book that is all about pain, extreme tragedy, sudden death and sudden life altering illnesses. it is one of the most beautiful pieces of literature i have ever read. every person in this book-of-true-stories, after experiencing tragedy always recounts that they did not become full of life until after God ripped the carpet from underneath their feet. for them, tragedy made more room for peace and gratitude in their lives. people with physical disabilities and terminal illnesses are forced to look at their mortality in the face every single day; what a gift. they also have the gift of considering pain on the regular and how to perceive it in a fashion that gives way to life–to being alive. and yet we are all at the risk of death in any given moment, not just the terminally ill. and yet that too—death—means nothing. nothing significant.
the last thing i want to speak on is love. for me, nature is the best reflection of God there is. God being love. the stunning sun always rises every morning and changes places with the captivating moon every evening, both blessing us with their beauty and presence. the ocean continues to sway and provide food and oxygen for us, the rain comes right when we need it, animals don’t hold grudges; all are consistent and loving no matter what idiocracy us humans commit. if God’s love for us is the greatest love there is, then today right now in this very moment i have everything i could ever dream of. moving to la has really taught me how to be at peace. i don’t want any of those job titles i just want to love myself and be loved by God. whatever manifests out of those relationships is a cherry on top.