Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's the little things...

I wear a uniform everyday to work.  It isn’t horrible but, I hate it.  I hate that it has no color and that the part I have no choice in is a man’s sweater vest.  I grew up wearing dresses only for church and school.  The rest of the time I wore my big brother’s hand-me-downs which eventually were handed down to my little-brother.  I was not a tom-boy.  I hated wearing boy’s clothes, and the haircut my mother gave me when I was six (short like a boy’s).   

It’s not that I don’t get it.  She was a stay-at-home mom with three kids and valued all that was practical and thrifty. She put a great deal of love and time into the things she made for me but, sewing new clothes for me had to be reserved for school and church.  Nevertheless, I never felt right wearing my brother’s clothes, and I hate most of the photos of my childhood because I look like a little boy and I remember how wrong that felt.

I like wearing different clothes to express myself.  I still like to wear different clothes to see how it feels, to try-out facets of identity that I am exploring, to try-on different ways of being a woman.  It occurs to me what it must be like to be a trans-gendered child, to be stuck in a body and expected to dress and behave in a way that does not agree with your true self. 

It may seem to be a small and petty thing, to wear clothes.  They are simply a means to protect our bodies from the elements but, I have always experienced them as an expression of self, or an exploration of identity.  And that is no small thing. 

It really is the “little things” that make a difference…

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Asking the questions...

I read two articles this week by two women who have a great deal in common with me, or at least it seems as though they do. 

Both were full of insights that rang true for me and more than a few details that did not.  We are not all the same but, we have enough in common for me to identify with them.

My ex-husband has recently fallen head-over-heels, off the high dive and into the deep-end of the ocean without a life jacket, in love for the first time in his life.  I am very happy for him, truly.  It is good to see, and to know that I did the right thing for him, that by making the choice to leave, I made room for him to find that most precious thing. 

It has me thinking a lot about my own emotional availability.  I know how to love others.  Loving other people is very important to me but, do I know how to let others love me?  Do I know how to be open enough, to let someone get close enough, to let them inside?  Do I know how not to push them away, or how not to run away as fast as I can?  Do I only fall in love with those who are unavailable to me in some way?  If I truly am one of those people who do not know how to let someone love them, can I learn?

I do not know the answers to these questions but, I think I am finally ready to begin asking them.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Visions of the Ideal Self

This past weekend I attended the Sacred Space Conference for the first time.  It was a wonderful experience and I have come away with much to process and integrate.  The tone of the conference was set for me in the first class that I attended, “The role of the Ego in Spiritual Evolution” with James Dickenson, a cherished friend and High Priest of my Tradition. 

I have never before had the opportunity to experience Jim as a teacher due to his living and serving more than 3 hours from where I live and I was looking forward to it with great anticipation.  I was not disappointed, Jim gave me much to consider.  He does not ask rhetorical questions but he does ask questions that make those present dig for the foundational beliefs they hold about the subject at hand. 

The answers offered by many helped me to be more aware of the diversity of thought on the subject and by noting my reactions to them I came to understand my own beliefs on the matter with more clarity.  James also offered his own position which he expressed with more grace than I am able to as yet but, which gave me an articulate model to refine my own.  I find it interesting that his expressed experience of the class was much more critical than mine.

In a nut-shell, the Ego is that self-aware part of us whose function it is to assist us in living up to our Ideal Self.  This exploration of identity is indeed a search to realize my ideal self, to refine and clarify it, and with the recent changes in my life I find I need to seek vision of who it is that I wish to become.

The classes and workshops and rituals I was able to attend, and the social interactions with beloveds as well as with new friends and acquaintances, taught me much about who I am and how I function and how those things might have changed over the past 48 years and how they might yet change as I step forward into an ever-changing vision of my Self.

Indeed I was granted visions of who I am to become.  Not flat images, but rather multi-dimensional experiences of who I am to be as a woman, priestess, lover, dreamer and human being.  

I give thanks for the teachers and beloveds and new friends who love me for who I am now, and who help me to see where I wish to go, and how I might get there, and who walk with me on the journey.