Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Disease of Desperation

As I was driving this morning and listening to the radio, I heard a letter from a woman asking for advice that seemed so bizarre and twisted that I couldn't shake it. The letter was from someone who had been separated from her husband for ten years. Within these years, the two of them have been carrying  on a secret relationship on and off, even though she has given birth to another man’s baby and he (her husband) has been living with another woman all of this time.

Apparently, the secrete ‘affair’ was found out by her husband’s girlfriend. After some painful discussion, they all agreed to have a three way relationship (or so she says.) When the three way did not work out, (go figure) she felt that she had no other options but to become her husband’s mistress. 

Once again, they were found out by the girlfriend. The news that her boyfriend was having an affair with his wife seemed to traumatize this poor woman to the point of illness, which led to her being hospitalized.

As it stands now,(at the time of this letter) this man, husband, and father of her children continues to rendezvous with one woman, (his wife) while attending to another, (his girlfriend) by visiting her in the hospital daily. And now after all of this time, this misguided soul writes a radio D.J. and talk show host/comedian and asks for his advice about what to do with her husband/secrete affair. I said it was bizarre didn't I?

At first, I joined in with the montage of insults being hurled toward this woman from the radio personality and his crew. I agreed with the words stupid, foolish, crazy and just plain dumb. I nodded profusely as the judgments projected toward her like a Lear jet taking off from the runway. This situation was just too unthinkable to validate with sound advice, or so I thought.

The show broke to commercial and I had to get out of my car and come in the house (by now I was sitting in my garage in the dark confused) I couldn't shake what I had just heard. As I unloaded my bags, and walked into my kitchen a single question popped into my head, and I know for sure that I was not the author of it. “How many lies do you think she believed to get to this point?” I stood still, the judgment ended... the compassion began.

“How many?” I started thinking. I assessed that this woman would have had to believe every lie told to her about her unworthiness and insignificance to come to this place in her life right now. I imagined her being driven to a secluded spot after a date and being coaxed into “appreciation” for the evening or just as bad, being ignored and forgotten after the date.  I imagined no father figure, or the lack of the love that should come from one being in her life. No hugs, no Daddy daughter dates, no sweet 16 celebration, no honor shown to her coming of age, just a deep sense of hunger and a profuse neediness. This may be a stretch of my imagination but a plausible theory none the less.

The picture was becoming clear to me, this woman’s mind was diseased with desperation and no quick advice could heal her.

I was then presented with another question: “What would you say to this soul if she wandered your way?” I borrowed my first response from my tutor then added three more:

1. What lie did you believe in order for you to get to this place right now?

2. Is it possible that the only man you have ever loved (as you say) has never, ever loved you, but has only loved himself and uses your neediness to satisfy his selfish desires?

3. And finally…What truths (advice, guidance and prayer) have you passed by all of these years, only to end up embracing a reproductive lie?

It seems that healing begins not with answers but first, with questions.

We have all been presented with two options at some point in our lives. The first is to believe the falsehoods that we are unworthy, unlovable and simply not enough, so therefore we must settle.

The second is to embrace the truth that we are beautifully designed by a Master Creator to add fragrance, color and music to this world with the understanding that we should only share ourselves with someone as equally worthy…

Which one do you choose to believe?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Make a wish...

In three days, I will be 46 years old and ironically, I am finally getting younger. This is the year that I actually feel the weight of life slipping off of me and I couldn't be more content. Notice that I didn't use the words thrilled or happier, such emotions are subject to change, contentment, however, is more of a lifestyle.

I deemed this past year, ‘the reconstruction of Bonita’. There has been a much needed (and no doubt it will continue) overhaul on my mind, my heart and my soul. It has been brutal, full of tears and some rejections (that’s par for the course) but mostly rewarding. And yes, I’d do it all again, if it meant getting the same results.

 It seemed that in every corner that life tried to shove me, there was an endless supply of resources prepared by God, to give me the strength to shove back.

 I am a reader by nature and prayer for me is nonstop conversation with God, but this year, both of those practices increased to an all-time high. I managed to get my hands on some extremely significant material relevant to where I am in my life, all the while talking God’s ears off, then, sitting still when I was spent from chatter to hear His beautiful voice guide me through what I didn't understand…which was mostly everything.

There were moments when I could almost tangibly feel Him cup his hands just beneath my face and catch my tears as they made their way from my soul to my cheeks, no matter how many, He caught them all. The hush of the Holy Spirit was like a cool breeze blowing through my window on a hot night. Often, I would experience the exhaustion of sobbing, followed by the childlike slumber that only He could give me. When I awoke, I knew instinctively, that he had dried my eyes and tucked me in during the night, as only He could do.

 My relational disappointments began to fade into the background of this ever developing story and God became the main Character…sometimes friend, sometimes foe, depending on my emotional state, but always in the end…the hero of my soul.

The wilderness that He so brilliantly has guided me to has been the most lush and beautiful landscape that I ever could imagine. The fear of loneliness that used to taunt me… is now one of my greatest teachers of self-love.

 At this point, when I think of my future, I am no longer consumed with the question of who will be by my side. I am more invested in protecting, the fierce, strong, peaceful, fiery, resilient woman that I have come to be. And I realize, that rushing the process of who, could truly put this treasure in jeopardy and she deserves someone who is willing to journey to the wilderness of his soul and become whole and full of self-love, all the while looking up for guidance.

Nothing less will do for this “Wilderness Princess”…

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In the Secret Place...

Sometimes, walking toward the future can feel much like wading through tall grass in the thick of night without a moon to guide you. It’s as if God has dropped us off on a remote island and hid the sun, indefinitely. At first, we may panic and start running off in various directions, trying to find our way to…anywhere. But after a while, if we’re smart, one day, we just stop running and stand still. That’s the day that we realize that our journey is our destination.  Realization hits us, that everything that we learn and everyone that we encounter is part and parcel of our life story.

If we are blessed at all, it is not by the fact that we have so much to do. It is not by the fact that we know so much. No, we are blessed because we know so very little, which leads us to an infinite being that can guide our path with great grace.

 I call this phase of my life “slow motion” because all of the energy that I used to put into being busy and making an appearance here or there, has completely diminished. Now, a successful day for me is when I can identify God’s still small voice and receive my directives for the day and carry them out. As for the busyness and the bustle, I allow very little and even then, I take great care not to step out of bounds and risk being out of my place.  

If we are ever going to find out what it is that we need to do for our own lives, then there will come a time, a season, when we have to close the door to society’s neediness of us, risk being forgotten or even yet, resented and just simply be. Be still…be quiet…be at peace.

As part of my legacy to my children, I try to demonstrate on a daily basis, the act of being still and silent before God. I want them desperately to know that God is not impressed with our “on” switch but He does take notice to when we switch to the “off “position. That’s when He can make His way into our day and begin to speak life, abundance, healing, peace and balance to us. Until we become still, our encounters with Him are much like fast food dining, we grab it and eat it on the go, which only leaves us in a perpetual state of hunger, because we have not taken the time to sit and savor our meal.

I find that when it comes to dining Jesus, the lover of my soul, likes a beautifully dressed table where we can sit undisturbed, eye to eye, and engage in a beautiful exchange.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you, don't go back to sleep. - Rumi

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Out of the box...Again

I was raised in a cult. I’m sure it wasn't on purpose. I imagine that my family (minus my father who did not buy into these beliefs) felt very strongly that this was the way of God. Overnight…literally, things changed in my house when this belief system came in place. All holidays were permanently banned. Birthdays were gone as well. It was believed to be vanity to celebrate your birthday. As you can imagine this “religion” brought on many depressing days this time of year for me. No one was allowed to vote or take part in the military by any means. I imagine, if we were allowed to vote, we would have been told who to vote for and why. We would have been expected to do it without question, in mass. No free thinking here, because WE SAID SO was enough reason to obey, along with a few scriptures neatly placed to drive in the point.

I was only about six years old when this heavy ban was placed on our home. My mother was roped in by her siblings and thus the disease of “one mind” continued for many years for us. I remember wanting to question everything but being told to question nothing. It’s like having your vocal chords squeezed into submission along with your mind. At age 19, I was finally free. Kicked out, disowned, but free nonetheless. By the way, I found out that my mother pulled away from these people before she died, that information was not privy to me until I grew up… she too was free.

The search for the true meaning of my life began after 19, and I spent many days like a hobo in life, meandering about in my mind as to where I belonged. Nothing could have surprised me more to find out at age 28 that I was in fact loved and accepted by God.  I had no choice but to conclude that the God that held His hand out for me then, was not at all behind all of the brainwashing and behavior that I learned in my childhood. In fact, this new God of mine allowed me to ask questions, as many as I needed in order to understand Him better…and He still does.

Because of my upbringing, I see life differently a lot of the time, people who have been in my shoes know exactly what I’m talking about. I tend not to want to stand in the same lines (figuratively speaking) as everyone else at the same time. I don’t like playing ‘follow the leader’ (many of ours were very dishonest people) and please, whatever you do, DO NOT ASK ME TO REPEAT AFTER YOU in a church service, I know you mean well, but it feels…well…cultish to me. I must seek God and the words that He wants me to speak, the things that He wants me to believe and the way that He wants me to live on my own. I must hear His voice. I must know for sure that my decisions were not influenced by the majority, because the majority can be wrong.

God is unconventional, this I know. He is not cut and dry. Look at creation. Okay, so He made an ocean, but why make waves and add sea life?  Fine, He created a sky but what’s with all the beautiful fluffy clouds and the sunrise and sunset? He didn't have to do so much extra, but He did, because He is the originator of creativity in action. So, I got to thinking, God if you are so creative with our landscape we call earth, than I’m sure that you have many more unconventional methods of bringing change to our world. Why do so many Christians believe otherwise and stick to conventional thinking? We say “get out of the box” but then jump right back in it again when challenged.

God never asked us to picket, protest or wear t-shirts about what we believe. He simply asked for one radical movement of love and then He demonstrated it by being Christ who showed no form of discrimination whatsoever. He simply loved. Oh, He was honest and direct with people, but the mercy and grace that flowed from Him was all that was needed to understand right from wrong, the rest was up to them.

These past few years of cleansing myself from any form of religion has led me to one astounding truth...NOT ONE PERSON on this earth, has claim to God more than the next.  Christ died for ALL. Is it possible that those who profess to know so much about Him would be willing to demonstrate His love?

Or will this life changing movement come from an unexpected source with a willing heart?...

The person that does not love does not know God because God is love. 1 John 4:8