Last night I attended a worship service for Ash Wednesday at my church, the Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa. As I started to think about the commitments I could make for Lent, the first and strongest thought that came to me was that I needed to write something each day, even if just to write in my journal. Then I realized that blogging each day would be good discipline for me, and would challenge my perfectionism. It would help me to loosen up and be more spontaneous in my writing because I won’t have time to write lengthy, highly polished articles every day. My biggest excuse for not writing has been my belief that I am too busy and don’t have time. So my commitment for Lent is to sacrifice at least one hour each day to write and to sacrifice some of my perfectionism so I am freed to speak from my heart.
So here is my first step on my journey of Lent. I’ve got to start somewhere, and this is what is in my mind and heart today. It’s not perfect, but it is my first step and will do very well in getting me started on my journey.
WARNING: ADULT CONTENT
My intention is to write as honestly as I can about ideas and experiences that matter to me. Because spirituality and sexuality are core themes in my life and all human life, I will address them in some way in each of my blog articles.
Everywhere I look, I see suffering. I grieve for the suffering of people all over this beautiful planet. So much of it is unnecessary. It is especially sad for me to see how much suffering is experienced within relationships that began with the highest hopes for love and joy.
I think in many ways civilization is highly over-rated. With civilization, we have sacrificed much of our organic nature as biological, spiritual, and sexual beings. When we judge our desires, our bodies, and our sexual nature as less than divine or even sinful, we are rejecting the fullness of God’s gift to us at birth. We are putting social/political/religious teachings, intellect, and logic, above the organic reality of our birth.
Traditional views of most religions are dualistic: they have split human experience into what is good and bad, what is moral and immoral, what is sacred and profane. That split is embedded in our experience of self: we have learned to value our thinking self and to discount/ignore/reject our physical, biological self.
For most of us, our bodies have been lost to us at an early age, and this loss leaves us vulnerable to disease, depression, and exploitation. And the loss of our bodies is de-spiriting. For this part of our journey, it is clear that our souls do not thrive when the temple of our body has been neglected. And, in fact, our minds/intellect don’t function optimally without healthy interactions with body and soul. Without access to the whole gift of our being, body and soul, we function more as mindless cogs in the economic-social machine.
Maybe our western ideas of spirituality reflect more our fears of the mortality of our flesh than any divine guidance about how we should live. To live as a whole being, we will be vulnerable: we will suffer painful feelings, failures, rejections, disappointments, loss, illness, and death. Yet, it is only when we can open our hearts to the terrifying vulnerability and messiness of life that we can experience love, joy, ecstasy, satisfaction, and peace.
So for Lent today I have sacrificed some of my time to write. I am challenging some of my self-limiting beliefs. I am making time to connect my body and soul. I am making time to write, to listen to my soul, to exercise and move my body, and to feel pleasure in my body, including sexual pleasure. Amen…