Friday, November 18, 2016

Speaking Love Amongst Judgement, and my New Boundary Filled Stance on Friendship and Faith

Because our life suddenly went from spectacular to tough in the last 8 months, the outer pressure from a select devout few to "See God" or "Come back to the Fold" or "Listen the Revelations of the Holy Spirit" or "Find eternal life" have been circling around us like birds of prey. It's interesting that when those who are seen to have "little faith" in comparison to the "right" christian fundamentalist populous (I am not including the Christians who belong to more compassionate balance) are put under a radar of scrutiny and judgment during their painful moments. This also happens in good moments too when "praise the Lord" and "Only God could have brought this to you for your good" are also thrown around. So if "God" saved me from having a bad day, yet the child next door died, the equality of the statement does not add up. The standard reply for that of course, is that the child dying was "All in God's hands or plan to further the kingdom of heaven some how." It's so utterly predictable and robotic, and yet it STILL surprises me....the blatant disregard for love, LIVING, and judgment in the name of their God.

My friend Hillary wrote a post HERE *and in it she mentions:
"My formative years were devoted to an incredibly fear-based approach to life following a flavor of fundamentalism which taught that I would likely someday be tortured for my faith. Possibly burned alive, boiled in oil, or at least ripped away from my family and sent to a concentration camp run by Nazis, the Illuminati and the devil. This fear helped reinforce an unconventional way of life: become as self-sufficient as possible, follow a literal interpretation of the Bible, live off the grid, be undocumented (and therefore untrackable), follow strict patriarchal roles of men and women in the home, learn exactly how to think and what to believe, and much more. I became rigorously judgmental on the watch for evil. Everything was scrutinized and judged. Daily we judged whatever came along: media, government, food distributors, school systems, churches, local officials, doctors, modern medicine, banks, books, messages and music on the radio, news sources controlled by an “agenda,” clothes, careers, personal choices, other people—their hearts, intentions, beliefs, lifestyles, choices and motivations; those who had Internet, who used cell phones, who sent their kids to public school, who dyed their hair, who “didn't want to know the truth,” who didn't use herbs or alternative medicine, who were “trapped in the world,” who took advantage of modern conveniences, who owned a checking account, who went to (or even encouraged) college or higher education, women who moved away from home before they got married, those who were caught up in “the system,” who went to big mega churches or used birth control, people from other religions and faiths, parents who hired a babysitter for special date nights, anyone who was “tolerant,” which meant soft on sin, and anyone who was not like us."
Unfortunately, this sounds all too familiar. I had friends and family who believed that way or still do. I am surrounded by a community that takes many aspects of that crazy life up above and uphold them with various "Truth Projects." Anyone that even slightly speaks up is a pot stirrer, or sensationalist yet they are allowed to speak up all they want because "they are speaking for God." My words here would be seen as bitter, and deep down in their hearts they would rejoice that I will burn in hell for eternity, yet they will try to take the love path and bring me to Christ despite this judgment. They do not see beyond what they interpret from their Holy Book. Which ironically is upheld only by those who are also like minded and is not studied further beyond. 
Hillary quoted this at the beginning of her post:
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. 
Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts—adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take “everyone on Earth” to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale. 

…One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times."

— Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Because I am tired and well, just tired due to THIS and a nodule within, I have stopped playing the game to those I am friends with. For years I have tried to find a balance. To meet more than half way at least. Because I am their friend I still will meet half way but I will not take it beyond that.  I will not stay completely silent and sit there smiling while completely having a conversation that is not applicable to my life. That is not friendship anyway. I will no longer allow insinuations that because I am not a Christian I do not have a strong moral code. Because I am not part of the "brothers and sisters in christ" I am not also "called" to love because "I do not know better." I am tired of that ignorance and belief that because one is not in the same mindset, they deserve their sufferings to bring them to God, or are not part of the belonging that comes with the "in card of holy zeal."

Those friends who will leave me for this, are meant to leave. Those who will stay I will still respectfully listen to their faith that is a part of them as I have previously done, but now I will also honour mine. I will uphold more boundaries. I realize it comes to them, as pushing back, but that is a double standard. If they are allowed to speak bible verses, pray to me, and give their stances and opinions on all matters pertaining, should I not also be able to give mine? Not in argument as I am also too tired for that...but to be able to say, "I respect that, but that is not for me." Or as I said just this morning to someone asking me if God has given me any revelations this last year because we have suddenly been immersed in pain; "I actually don’t believe in God that way…😊 nor think bad or good comes from bad or good behaviours ect…What I take with me is that death comes to us all as well as life…there is both good and bad, dark and light in our world…who is to say which one is which sometimes…sometimes the darker things end up being what brings beauty and the beautiful things bring pain. So I am not really judging this experience or putting blame anywhere. It's hard but it has its light too…😊 xoxo. I appreciate you asking about me…" It was met with silence and I am sure we will work through it...but I feel it is exactly the same as them asking what revelations God has given when they know I do not believe the same way. Also, I understand the sentiment "it's not a religion but a relationship and Jesus is my best friend- I can't imagine life without him and I just want you to have that." Because I used to say that and believe that. I understand that deep conviction and feeling. But if that is said to me, it also must be understood that, after a few years of transition, I have the SAME comfort and feeling from within and without. The prayers I said inside, I still say but with the realization that I may just be finding comfort in my own energy and psyche...or maybe it is god... but either way, I can also wish that they could for a second experience what I have and know it is as JUST as satisfying and worked upon. If they are allowed to say they are happy to be a Christian, am I not allowed to say that I am happy not to be one? Why is mine insulting and theirs is not? Why must I apologize for sharing my lack of faith, while their faith is shared? I will apologize for hurt but I should not apologize for stating something I am truly happy about, just like they are truly happy about themselves. Why am I not allowed to say an exact statement in reverse as I have sat through their statements with the understanding that they are not meaning harm but instead rejoicing in whom they are and I can rejoice with them without sharing that? Why can I not say a statement and be given the same courtesy of non judgment that I give them and the same understanding that they are just being who they are and as a friend I can be different but celebratory of those differences?

And yet maybe they don't know? Maybe I have appeased and met over and beyond that there are slight doubts in their mind that I may not be on the same page, but they wonder how a person like I, who has a strong moral code, can spout bible verses and understand the general meanings of what they say from their heart and translate it into a speech I can relate to. How is that girl not a believer? Because that is what I do and will continue to do, but with firmer boundaries. I WILL translate what they say. I have always done that. If they say "I'm praying for you" my heart is touched because I translate it as "I'm thinking of you in the way I know how." If they say "God is with you" I translate it to "love is with you" and with gratitude I move on. Why take offence to a heartfelt sentiment even if it is spoken in a different language? Love is the universal language and I will chose that always. However, if we are in a discussion, I will no longer hold myself back from also being strong in what I am. I will not feel shame for deciding that a certain type of God is not mine. I don't fear death. I don't fear many things that I used to fear as a christian. It is freeing. That said, there are many beautiful attributes I chose to take from my previous christian faith. I don't believe my way is the only way and I try to speak in a language that anyone from any faith, in my house, can understand. I have tried hard to get rid of the Godspeak ingrained in my language. Because, I want to be able to translate my love to those in my home from any faith. I want to be able to speak love but that does not mean hiding the love that I am either.

This does not apply to people who are not my friends or love in my life. With them, I have no issues shutting a door or not allowing preachings at my family. It is vastly different and a completely different boundary to allow strangers to walk upon us. Strangers may be people who have been constantly in our lives but yet still do not understand our hearts at all. They fail to see the inner essence and judge based on what they believe they know. That is not love. It can be held with basic respect ( as in we will not come after them or send hate their way) but it does not require more. In our community it is actually dangerous to blatantly say one is not a believer. That is not for strangers or curious members to know, because they will make life a living hell for us. They will also put us under the radar of bitter radicles. That is something we do not need or want, thus it is important to keep up pretences somewhat or keep them guessing. Truthfully, there ARE aspects of faith and belief I have but that is mine to keep. In my home, I believe it is fair to ask that there is no preaching, even as a form of "understanding" but instead love MUST come first. If that can not be handled, it is important for them to find a home to visit elsewhere. We can maybe meet on neutral ground occasionally if there is a bit of genuine love there, but general curiosity is not grounds enough to infringe on our safe place.

Friends are those within our reach that are in our lives for the enduring good and bad. Friends may get irritated, be angry and have all scope of the human emotion, but in the end they still chose love, to try understanding, and to speak the other's language. I still intend to speak my christian friend's languages. I will still translate everything they say, give bible verses if that is what they need, and honour their faith. However, now I am also expecting the same back. I want them to translate the words I say that may not sound christian, I want them to translate and see my moral code even if it is not belonging to theirs, and I want them to honour my lack of faith or faith in what they may not understand. I feel it is both. I no longer have time for meaningless friendships and I expect an equal give and take with those in my life. Yes, it will hurt to be unfollowed, or unfriended in real life, but it hurts more to stay in a place where one's soul is not seen. Time is the greatest gift we can give because it is even more limited than money. I want to spend my time with those who honour it and I want to give my time to those who both need me and see me.

There will be judgment. There will be interpretations of friendships that are entirely wrong. There will be assumptions of bitterness or accusations of a wolf in sheep's clothing. I realize that God IS love to them. They translate my love as God's as well. That is fine. But I am also then allowed to translate their love in ways my soul manifests. I am also allowed to see it differently. Because in the end, none of us can truly truly know for sure what comes after death. Yes, I come from a faith that says that isn't so, but faith in it's very definition underscores that. If we are not entirely sure, why do we base every friendship and life off of something that comes later or maybe not at all? Why are we not living now? Choosing the love that is so fully here at hand now? Why do we isolate people simply because they are choosing differently from us? Why do we judge based on verses that have been written and translated by men through inconsistent revelations? Why are we creating full friendships on the basis of belief alone? There are so many other rich and wonderful topics worth connecting over. There is love and support in the world. Love and support DO come from aspects of religion but so do great evil, judgment and chaos. What we chose to speak into our deeper friendships and chose to translate is important. Yes, we each need to stand up and show our souls, myself included, but this should be done with proper translation and an understanding of clarity. We must not give up simply because we are communicating differently. If it matters, love will overcome.

"I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
'Til the landslide brought it down
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin' ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I've been afraid of changin'
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older, too
Well, I've been afraid of changin'
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older, too
Oh, I'm getting older, too
I took my love, I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down
Oh, the landslide will bring it down"- Fleetwood Mac

I feel very lucky that I have at least two handfuls of friends who honour this already. I have gems. And I am pretty sure I will have a few more after this post who may respect this and change accordingly...and I will lose a few as well. But in the end, even if I only had one good friend ( which I do with my bestie) my life is still supported, community minded and loving. I am still very lucky. My husband and I have our share of struggle but it's not because we chose's just what happens. We are still grateful even when we are struggling. We are still worth our being until we no longer breathe and give up our energy to a different form. We are still worthy as we exist.

Additional Song Choices: Friend- Meghan Trainor, Love Yourself- Justin Beiber

*Links to Hillary pertain to a time period in her life when she was on a different path. Sometimes her links do not work due to a Hiatus. She is on a completely opposite journey that I am on currently. I do not endorse some of the beliefs held from anyone I cite. However, I will forever be grateful to Hillary for some key awakenings in my life when our paths met and we may meet up again. She is a beautiful soul regardless of stances. I hold to this for anyone I cite.*


Anonymous said...

I tried to give a comment but it vanished. Anyways, I will write again. During my worst phase of thyroid I was confined to bed. There was this side effects of medicines, hazy thinking, confusion, anxiety and depression, shortness of breath, physical discomfort and pain, etc.etc. During that time, many people did not take my ill health seriously and advised me to lead a lifestyle according to "their" ways of life and methods.They told me that I am doing something wrong with my lifestyle and that is why I am suffering. On top of that , they advised me to do my daily activities as usual so that I will "forget" about thyroid. At that time, some people even scold me and got angry with me when I told them that I am too weak both physically and mentally to do these things. There was a lot of advise and sermonizing and lack of understanding. After that difficult time was over, I kept myself away and maintained boundaries with people whom I thought were close to me once upon a time. Many don't understand that things don't always happen for a reason. Only you know what u r going through. So, surround urself with love and positivity whenever possible. I learnt a lot in my difficult time.

Kmarie said...

Oh no I hate it when comments vanish! Thank you for taking the time to write again!
Thyroid and Parathyroid are more complicated than I imagined and I can't believe I had not even known what a parathyroid was a couple weeks ago...I have all those side effects and I KNEW it wasn't all in my head! ITs nice and scary to have it confirmed. Thank you for understanding by using your own struggles and I am glad to hear that yours are improving tho I am sorry to hear about your advisory fools. That is not fun. I agree to just walk away or distance or don't engage...they are not worth the time. YES! Thank you- I also try to apply that to others...that I don't know what they are going through and should trust their experience too if they are aware.
I am also learning a lot. And yes, to positivity surrounding- which is why I also have you in my life:) xoxo

MLW said...

I'm sorry that those who claim to be your friend try to tell you that your circumstances currently is God try to call you back. You know I respect and love you and also the beautiful life that you and ur hubby have created for your family and fought hard for. I hope that I never make you feel like the ways you experience life and love and process are to be judged or looked down upon because you do not walk the same path as me. Your journey is your own dear friend and I wish that others would honor and respect you guys. You have SO much love and magic and beauty in you 🔮 Please know from here you are loved as the person you ARE. 😘

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is better to live an authentic life you can truly own and love, than to live with a mask so that everyone else can feel comfortable pretending to live theirs.

Thanks for sharing ♡Half the women in the same position probably wish they would choose the same!
I know we don't see other a whole lot, but we're here and glad you are too! ♡♡♡ -D

Kmarie said...

MLW: Thank you. I know that about you which is why you are counted in my inner circles and why despite the fact that we come from two different stances we have LOVE over all and respect. Your comment means so much to me. And I also see so much magic and beauty in you too. Which is why you are in my life. xoxo

Thank you. yes that is an important concept. I do think a lot of people would chose this path if it wasn't so scary, filled at first with isolation and a complete shake of everything...its like a death. A spiritual death...but then there is so much life after...but the transition time was really tough and it take a great deal of bravery plus someone to support which is rare. I was lucky enough to walk it the same time as my hubby so we had each other which made all the difference because otherwise we would have been sucked back in by all the opposition, judgement and pressure...but having one other made all the difference! Thank you. I am glad too

Anonymous said...

o much love, Kmarie. Thank you for sharing your journey so freely. I fully understand what you mean about language...I am still contemplating what "label" I use for myself and my spirituality but I know that regardless, I continue removing myself from the old language, because it does not feel life-bringing to me. But at the same time, I want to honor the language others choose to use. I don't think this journey is ever over or completely resolved but I welcome the expansion that comes from it, just as you are doing so beautifully and with such grace.

Warmly, Rain

Anonymous said...

I was just reading this and it really resonated with me - especially the part about how hostile people can become when you stay true to your own beliefs and boundaries. While I was feeling grateful we're not in that space anymore it dawned on me that I may not have let you know that we sold our place and moved We tried our best for 6 years to fit in somewhere but unfortunately we never found a niche. We didn't recognize how depressed we had gotten because of our not-really-so-unique point of view until we moved and rediscovered that, at least somewhere else, no one cares if you are going to heaven or not. You can make small talk with a stranger without your personal or religious beliefs coming up once or having to scramble for an excuse as to why you're not interested in going to their church. The anonymity is very freeing for us. There was ok for awhile and we met some great people like you guys but I think the social atmosphere really took its toll on us. Anyhow if you are ever come to our area you are welcome to call us and you can come to our place or we can meet up anytime for a chat. We wish you all the best and are honoured to be a part of your journey! - SS

Kmarie said...

Thank you Rain. It was actually a tougher post to write...well it was easy in the sense that it took very little time- it WAS in my brain- but publish...I always have a tough time pressing it with my controversial christianity series because I KNOW what I will be labelled through the eyes of a different perspective. But then I remind myself about readers responsibility and move on. I like hearing your story and also your use of life bringing. And its true that we must honour the language others use however if that language continues to harm us knowing how we feel about it, I think its fair to se some boundaries while respecting whom they are. I agree that we expand and journey on!
Thank you for that compliment and your love and support. You are one of my vivid colours in my tapestry.

Kmarie said...

SS: I am glad it resonated.Well I am happy to hear that you found your haven. Where we are IS hard to live in if you do not belong to a church or system and the self righteous belief involved can be dire to those who crave more. I can hear the happiness in your mail. It sounds good for you! Yay! We wish you the best too and thanks again! We were also honoured to be part of your journey. xo