Following is a transcript from a talk I gave last week at Unitarian Fellowship of Houston. The topic, Spiritual Individuation, is one close to my heart. They were kind enough to also post it on their YouTube page. I hope you find permission and support to be your authentic and wonderful self.
Good morning. Thank you for inviting me to join you this morning.
My husband and I have had the pleasure of being in your sacred space for several talks and celebrations. I like remembering the floor to ceiling windows inviting us to look out and into the artistry of all of the shades of greens outside, and the streams of light filling the room on the inside. It is with this recall and imagination of what you have built and share as a fellowship that I’d like to invite us to take a moment to take in a deep breath and settle in together.
When I was asked to join you this morning, I began thinking about what I would like to share with you about me. And, the topic of spiritual individuation?
I think both of these questions: about me and this topic, can to some degree, be answered in Kermit’s song.
The song, Not Easy Being Green, was sung by Jim Hanson in 1970. I was too old by that time to be watching Sesame Street as a kid, but I was attracted to the simple melody and lyrics as a teen who was appropriately asking all of those deep questions about, who am I? And the more tortuous questions that were coming up in my search for my own identity while comparing myself to others, like: Why am I a brunette and not a blonde? And, what will I be when I grow up?
Over the past few days I have let the light drain out of me like a leaky oil pan.
My little duck feet have all but stopped paddling beneath the surface of what you see.
I have found myself in the weeds. The still stagnant waters surround me in a slimy film of greens. And, nothing but small broken twigs show up as something to eat.
As I see it, I have but two options: to continue longingly staring, with these eyes of self-recrimination, at the sparkling-in-the-sun river flowing on without me, or, to close my eyes and float in the shade.
With still feet and busy mind, everything screams inside of me, saying, “You had no business coming to the river. You should have stayed in the pond.”
this is where I am. I can see and admit this now, at least to myself.
This is where the currents of God and my free choice have brought me, so this is where I will be. Where I will wait and pray between the ripples of my little duck soul and striving mind.
While walking the deserted beach, I prayed, “Please forgive me, God, for wanting a loved one’s struggle to be over so that she can go on home.”
I knew it wasn’t right of me to ask this. I usually affirm that God’s got this; that God’s timing is perfect; that I can not play God or question what is between God and a soul. But sometimes I slip and ask for mercy as “I” see it—to some degree, having more to do with my pain than theirs.
This is #2 in the Writers Series of encouragement for folks writing for personal and public purposes. In community we thrive and dare to fly.
Joni Mitchell bounces between writing music and painting moods. George W Bush balances statesmanship and painting portraits. Thomas Merton wrote of the contemplative life then showed us with his artistry how loudly a small sketch can shout. I am beginning to understand why creatives move between outlets of expression, and why the creative bounce brings more, not less, of the soul and satisfaction to each effort.
This is the first in the Writers Series of encouragement for folks writing for personal and public purposes. In community we thrive and dare to fly.
“You’ve got to give it away to keep it.” That is what they taught me when I got sober. I am hearing it again now as I walk away from the work of publishing my first book, ROSETEARS, and begin my next project.
This next book is going well. It is easier, I notice, because I now know that writing a book is possible. I can do it. It won’t kill me. And, as much as I wanted to pretend that some amount of work could make it perfect—and minimize potential of appearing the fool—it won’t. But, on the other hand, putting the work in can make the book better—and a reality. Continue reading Give It Away→
I have finally admitted to myself that this time in our world is not so temporary of a state as to just “keep a stiff upper lip”, or to hold my breath and wait it out. I am finally being honest with myself that all of this is bigger than what my usual tools of faith and service can handle. I can no longer afford to pretend that I have “got this.” I don’t. It is time to pull out all the stops of self care.