Baptease


Baptease:  

Someone who is contemplating baptism, but can't quite decide if it's for them.  Also, keeps calling the church members over to discuss doctrine and getting their hopes up.




Baptease (in Red)

Trusted Confidant (in Black)



"Why would I decide to join a monolithic organization/religion by being baptized in one specific church?  Can't I just keep increasing in light and love as I have been on my own, setting an example for others?"

"Sure, but what do you think baptism is for?"

"I guess I can't articulate that."

"Christ said to do as he did.  If he, as a perfect being, needed to be baptized, wouldn't we?"

"Of course."

"Baptism by water is a symbol.  It is symbolic of your commitment to follow whatever direction you may be given by Heavenly Father and to do whatever is asked of you.  You intend to follow in Christ's path.  Not your own ego."



"That sounds like giving away my personal power."

"If you were perfectly aligned with your God-self, you would seek exactly what Christ would seek, correct?"

"Right..."

"So, you are essentially announcing your commitment to your higher God-self as well as to the undercurrent of peace within you.  Do those words make you feel better about it?"

"I think it gives me a more complete understanding of what it means to be baptized."

"Would you suddenly, upon being baptized, lose your ability to choose for yourself?"

"No."

"That is the only way you can give away your personal power - by letting yourself think that you don't have any choices."

"Right."

"That also means you have the ability to choose which church functions you attend, however, you are still responsible for the consequences of your actions.  Know that through faith, sacrifice and obedience you will grow in spirit."

"Okay."

"It may also help you to remember that I believe you prearranged this path for yourself in the pre-mortal realm.  You and Heavenly Father composed this infinitely beautiful and intricate symphony together.  That is why going against your instincts, not listening to your gut leads to pain."

"I love hearing that still small voice."

"What is that voice urging you to do now?"



"Plain and Precious"


My five-year-old son has an endearing habit of asking questions without context. 

Yesterday, he found me upstairs and out of the blue and asked my favorite question ever:  

"Mom, is the last thing God and Love?"

I smile and think:

'Is the last thing God and Love?'  In what list of things?  This question must be important to him...It doesn't really matter the what list is.  The answer will always be the same.

"Yes."  I smiled and hugged him.

He nodded as if to say, "Good, I thought so."


The First Thing and The Last Thing




Jesus Christ

Here’s something I learned last week. Using Christ’s name on the internet causes serious waves. 

Some are telling me that I must think all people need Christ to be good and since they don’t believe in Christ they can’t possibly be good people in my eyes.

Some are telling me I’m not Christy enough.



Some are telling me I’m just too Christy and I can tell they have lost interest in what I have to say.

As a person who had to learn over a period of 20 years that it was truly okay to listen to what I felt and believed, I’m going to respond like this to all the above parties:
For me, right this moment, I love looking at the historical man Jesus Christ, and Christ the Ascended Master, and Christ, the son of Heavenly Father who came to Earth for the Atonement.  I am learning so much from the records of his life and the various interpretations of those texts.  But more importantly, I am listening to how I feel when I let in that light. 



Growing up in the Pentecostal tradition in the South and then trying to leave all that behind in a suburban Chicago high school really twists a person’s mind up. These were two different worlds.  It actually never occurred to me that I could have my own truth somewhere in between.

I’m a smart woman.  I was a straight-A student, but I really didn’t know that it was okay to listen to what I felt.  That is a dangerous place to be.  If you’ve ever tried to live your life according to someone else’s standards you will completely understand when I say it can and will put your light out.

It has taken me years of false starts and compartmentalizing and soul-searching to understand that I can love what Jesus represents and also not love all the things that modern Christians represent.


So, in the interest of revealing a little more of how I came  to reconsider the existence of a Higher Power after denying it for most of my adult life…  I give you Chapter 7



Big Love, Bigger Love, Biggest Love



First, the highlights of a piece I love by Raquel Vasallo at MindyBodyGreen:

How do you know you're living your purpose in this life?

You no longer have a nagging feeling that something is missing.

Work brings you joy.

You're not hiding parts of who you are.

You don't play small anymore and know that the world needs your best self.

You don't fear frustration and uncertainty. 

You aren't seeking approval and validation from others.

You're patient with yourself and others around you because you trust the process and flow of life.



I believe my purpose in this life is to forge the kind of biggest love that Jesus Christ embodied.  Having children, being humbled by mistakes, and healing through writing are all steps toward that goal. 

I plan to keep growing and practicing it until it becomes my default setting.  I won't have to remind myself to be compassionate, loving, and impeccable with my words.  It will simply be who I am.
  
A wise person said to me recently that we always like to think we know better. I used to think that I needed to know every "what" and "how" and "why" because it made me feel in control. In fact, when I relinquish control it is superbly liberating and glorious.  It makes my love even bigger.




Let's Get Real




So far almost everything I’ve written for my blog has been strictly from the lighter side of my dual nature.  In reality, I have two voices: my medicated, kindly, wise, inoffensive voice, and the other voice – the one I would not used in mixed company.

To sample my other voice, read Chapter 6 of my book in progress.

Lately, people who have known me for a long time (pre-motherhood/meltdowns/medication) have encouraged me to tap into that stuffed-down fire and lightning side of myself and add it back into the mix.  

I have honestly been terrified to do it.  I don’t like it when that lady puts on her boots and starts stomping around.  She is a fabulous force of nature, but she isn’t easy to live with.  She doesn’t always think before she speaks and while that can be funny and transformational, it can also hurt people irreparably.  Plus, I usually need a glass of wine and a nap after I let the beast out of her cage. 

So, Mom: If you don’t want to read these posts, I will neatly group them into their own category.  Just DON’T click on this link.  It's only for people who have seen me dress up like a cave woman as their French teacher, throw a ketchup bottle through a door, or tell a high-ranking Belgian university official to F-off.  (He deserved it.)  It is for people who know that inside my head every fourth word is vulgar and that I was scarred by a sexist fundamentalist Christian upbringing.

It is exhausting to be both this beast and her polar opposite, but I can't deny her anymore than I can deny my finger-fluttering, life-affirming, peace and love side.  The universal law of opposites lives in my head.

I don't know if I want to feed this beast yet.  I at least want to acknowledge her and show her gratitude for getting me through some intense and painful situations.  It just feels more like the whole me to include this darker, bolder lens along with the rest of me.  


The Whole Enchilada

My purpose in this lifetime is to add light - through my writing, through my parenting, and through my interactions with other people.  To be more accurate, it's to reveal light that is already there.

This afternoon, as I was eating a 3-pound bag of chocolate wondering if I would keel over from a sugar overdose, I realized that I was shoveling food into my mouth and filling my guts with carbohydrates to dull my senses.

(Polluting my body helps temporarily block out transformation, growth and enlightenment.  In other words, it's easier to eat than to face things, am I right?)

I treasure spiritual growth...but it can be painful.  So sometimes I do my best to avoid it.  Even through the sugar high, I could feel a spike in my head.  The spike was a thought that wouldn't leave me until I wrote it down to share it.

The spike usually begins as a sliver.  I know it's there, but I can put if off.  The sliver represents new inspiration that is out of my comfort zone.  I'm not 100% sure if it's true yet, or how people will react if I share it. 

By the time it has grown into a spike, I know it's true.  I can't deny it.  I just need to use courage and the right words to share it.

This spike has been sticking out of my head for a while now.  It is so present that I'm starting to think other people can actually see it there.


So, to rid myself of this spike and welcome the next wave of transformation...


I used to think that my depression was a punishment.  I wouldn't have been able to articulate it at first, but I felt like I deserved it.  I felt like depression was me.  Depression is insidious that way, of course.  Personified, it would whisper, "Let me throw you off balance, help you forget your purpose, take over every aspect of your life, and then make you believe it's your fault."  Now I understand that experiencing depression and mania has shown me the extremes of human nature.

It better equips me to understand what's at stake.

Mania has shown me the magnificent, divine and terrifying power we have.  Our ability to connect to our higher selves allows us to shed self-doubt, be driven into a frenzy with excitement and possibilities, and to see the heavenly web woven between music, love, words, the sunlight, and almost anything in our path.  

Depression has shown me what happens in the absence of all that light. A deeply compressed, dark energy that dims the light in my eyes solicits concerned looks, a hand reaching out to touch my shoulder, and a quiet question, "Are you okay?"  It's never okay to answer honestly (ex. No, I'm barely alive and if I just ceased to be right this instant, I'd be okay with that.)  So instead, I answer, "I'm just tired.  I hurt all over.  I am not excited about life today."

Now that I'm in a period of relative tranquility and evenness, able to appreciate normal highs and lows, I have started reading about other people's experiences with mood disorders.  I have examined my past to try and make sense of how it all came to be.  

Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I have started to think of myself as more, rather than less.  Instead of carrying guilt, regret, and profound sadness, I see my extreme dual nature as a gift.

I am in love with my life.  I am grateful for this love and how it has expanded my vision of my place in the world.