Friday, August 1, 2008
A Million Shattered Pieces
To say the the last five months have been "hard" in my life is an understatement. I've had to shovel my way through a lot of guilt, anger, bitterness, sadness, and the constant feeling that I am just letting everyone down.
To wake up today and realize that I can't stop smiling is an amazing, beautiful gift.
There is a big window made up of thick square prisms of glass in my shower. If I time it just right in the morning, I hit the shower just as the sun is shining through. Amazingly this casts thousands of tiny, incandescent, little rainbows all over my body and makes me sing praises of joy. It gives me time to meditate and feel grateful for my body, for this life and soul within me, for the beauty of a simple day in a simple town lived by a simple girl.
As many of you know, my religious foundation and I have had a rocky few years, and I finally took this foundation and broke it into a million pieces. I saw my testimony of Christianity as a solid rock for a long time, then after I served an LDS mission I realized it was a delicate glass globe that I needed to treat VERY carefully, as it was on the verge of breaking. Mostly, I packed it away, did what was expected, and tried to ignore what may be wanting to escape the confines of that globe. Finally, in March, I took the step of taking that globe, which really had become more like a HUGE weight around my neck ready to sink me, and I smashed it into a million little pieces.
What has come from that?
A soul that didn't just dissipate into thin air and leave me cold and alone...but a soul that was yearning to get free...to GROW...to FILL space and time unlimited!!! A soul that has surprised even myself.
For the past few months I have kept a lot of what I have been thinking and feeling to myself. I have made lots of apologies to my friends "I'll come back to church." "I know I shouldn't feel this way." "I know I am a doubter." "I am going through a phase." "I need to take a break from things." "Hopefully, I will feel like being in the LDS religion again." "Don't be sad for me."
Let me just say, those were all attempts to smooth things over, to hope that you would still love me, to pray that you wouldn't judge me or condemn me, or feel sorry for me, or look at me with eyes that say "you are on your way to hell." To those of you who may still think this, I am saying now openly that I am making NO more apologies or excuses for the way I am living my life. I am not going to hide things anymore, so if you want to get to know the real me, then I rejoice in that. If you want to pity me and inwardly think that I have made the wrong decisions and that I am ruining my life, then I respectfully say that I don't want you in my life anymore. If you call me to talk and to get me to progress to an idea that you think is truth, I say you better be ready for me to tell you how I really feel. If you pray for me to come back to church and be the good mormon girl I used to be, I respectfully ask you to pray that your heart will be opened to the many different ways people can connect with this amazing God who loves us all. If you can't handle that I drink coffee and wine and do other things that we have been raised to see as sin, then please...don't feel like I need saving. I've come to learn for myself that belief is personal. Faith is personal. There is something within us that seeks faith. Faith is not a religion. Beliefs come from faith and I respect each of you, your path, your beliefs, the humble and happy way in which you live your lives. Whatever works for you, whatever makes you happy, that is my greatest wish for each of you. I am on the path to discovering what works for me.
So, here I am, sitting on a big stone floor with a million little pieces of the testimony of God and Christ and religion all scattered about me. I have tried to pick at a few pieces and put them in different places. I thought this rebuilding would take me a few months and then I would have it all figured out again. I have felt pressure to replace my old solid beliefs with new solid beliefs. I had a friend ask me "So, you don't keep this "commandment" yet you decided to go to church on Sunday, how does that work?" I immediately went into defense mode (a mode I have been in for 5 months and I am so, so, so tired of it...can you tell?) I came up with a great answer and left it at that. But I didn't really believe my answer. I always thought that to just be, to be uncertain, to be scared, to be happy, to realize that you are finding joy where you didn't think you could, to be all these things was scary...I'd rather be "right" and have the "truth".
Not anymore. I am so grateful for this experience in my life. I am grateful for growth. I am grateful that I am sitting here not being weighted down by a big rock, not tiptoeing around life hoping that I won't drop the glass globe, but instead, surrounded by a million little pieces that are casting glorious rainbows of light over my entire being. I am grateful to let these pieces sit here. I am grateful that one day I will feel like moving them and rebuilding something new. I am grateful that I will probably get cut in the process and have scars to tell my children about.
And most of all, I am grateful that no matter what anyone else wants to believe or think or say about my life...that I feel close to a God who has only ever believed in me. A God who doesn't doubt me. A God who loves me unconditionally. A God that has seen my potential from the very moment of my creation. A God who continues to shower me with love and happiness and joy. A God who knows how strong I am. A God who is a big, big God...bigger than many of us might realize. A God that isn't confined to the religions of today. A God who is there for ALL of his children. Now, I may not know what religion this God wants me to be. I may not know what heaven this God wants me to go to. I may not know a lot of things. But that's ok. That doesn't scare me anymore.
I used to have everything about my life figured out. To the last detail.
I don't anymore...in fact, I've never been so uncertain of my path than I am now.
But I have also never been happier.
Thank you God.