Archive for the ‘societal expectations’ Category
Yesterday I posted the following video on my Facebook page:
My comment that accompanied this video said simply, “Good message. Worth the watch, even if your stance is “worth the wait”.” Worth the Wait is a curriculum us Bible Belters use to terrorize our children into keeping their venereal diseases and their penises to themselves until they are married. It does have some merit. Probably not a bad program all in all, once you get past the fear tactics. It really does present some good information.
One of my high school classmates, who has recently discovered religion, proceeded to start preaching about the video I posted. His comments were, “Nothing good about this video… it facilitates the idea that living outside of the will of God is appropriate and acceptable, for Him it is neither. Mark 9:42. If you really wanted to save planned parenthood…get a husband and wife back to church and into the will of God. Teach your children. Quit allowing the school systems, television, and radio…videos and others to mandate the upbringing they should be receiving at home. “Good Message” = God Message.”
Personally, I love how the religious zealots can make my points about religion without me saying a word. They tend to make themselves (and thus religion) look ridiculous with very little effort on my part.
However, my blog gives me opportunity to pick his preaching apart one little piece at a time.
First, I must confess. As a teen I would have been holding one of those signs. Now before you jump to the conclusion that I had loose morals, let me clarify. I would have been the one holding the sign that says, “My friends have sex.”
Because they did. Some of them, anyway.
And as for the argument that getting husband and wife back to church and into the will of God…teach your children…etc., let me say that my parents rocked on this one. We were there every Sunday twice a day, and every Wednesday. I was at every youth group activity. I went to at least one church camp every summer. I even chose a Christian college and sent in my application as soon as they would take it. I was pretty much convinced that sex outside of marriage (along with drinking, smoking, etc.) was a one-way ticket to hell. Plus I was scared to death of getting pregnant.
And then I met him.
He was so handsome. His kiss was intoxicating. He made my heart race when I was in his presence. He pushed my boundaries to the edge. I was captivated. I was a tease. I wanted him and I wanted him to want me.
And then I turned 18.
And having educated myself on a variety of “things” related to the female reproductive system, I made a decision that I wanted him worse than I wanted to please God or my parents. I wanted him worse than I feared the fires of hell.
I got lucky. Because we were both “informed” about the facts, I made it all the way to my college graduation without getting pregnant. My post graduation (from that Christian college) Christmas present was an engagement ring, and my New Year’s present was a pink stick. Our April wedding was moved to January 14th, and the following September, my beautiful baby girl arrived on this planet into the loving arms of her new parents.
Four beautiful princesses later, there is NOTHING I would change. I am still intoxicated by his kiss, and he is still gives me butterflies. He still pushes my boundaries, and I am still a tease.
So, Preacher Boy, your argument fails. My parents did everything right. For that matter, I think his parents probably did a pretty good job, too, yet I’m pretty sure there is at least one of the signs in the video he could have held as a young adult.
Flinging God and Bible verses around as justification to ignore the facts of life is nothing more than shoving your head up your arse and ignoring reality.
Religion aside, the point of the message is Planned Parenthood takes a very small amount of the overall federal budget as compared to the bucketloads of cash thrown at corporations in the form of corporate welfare. If the so-called leaders of our country want to make effective reforms, there’s a good place to start.
With that said, I personally think many government services should be relegated to the private sector for financial support. Those who believe in the importance of planned parenthood should signify so by hitting the Donate Now button on their website. My neighbor who thinks PP has ruined America shouldn’t be required to support it. Same thing with NPR, and to some extent poverty welfare.
…Which brings me around to the early morning shower thought that triggered my need to respond publicly to the mini sermon I received over the posting of this video.
What would Jesus’ response be to this video message?
I mean, after all, we are supposedly Christians around here, so it would seem appropriate that we turn to none other than Jesus himself for guidance on this thing.
Would Jesus pick up the nearest scroll and begin pounding it on the lecturn as he proclaimed the evils of modern day school systems, television, radio, and the internet?
Would he point a finger at the teens holding those signs and say, “You kids need to stop having sex and get right with God!”
Would he turn to their parents and say, “This is all your fault! If you would raise your kids with an appropriate amount of God in their lives, they wouldn’t be having sex.”
Or would Jesus turn to the teens in this video and say, “It’s pretty tough being a teen, isn’t it? There’s a lot of pressure and a lot of mixed messages out there. It’s never as simple as just following a rule, is it? Oh, you over there, the blonde. Your name is Samantha, right? You are 18 and already have two kids by two different men. I bet that’s been tough trying to raise them and finish raising yourself. You keep looking for someone to love you for who you are, but you haven’t found him. Maybe I can help make your life a little easier by showing you how things work so you can make better choices. Maybe I can show you a different kind of love. ”
The woman caught in adultery and the woman at the well are the Bible stories that haunt me today.
How often do we pick up “stones” in the name of religion rather than loving and teaching a better way?
What is that better way?
The bottom line is that for teens, relationships (and in many cases sex) are more appealing than religion. Fear works for some, but not forever. Middle aged adults can shove their heads up their arses and keep them there while they spew their religious crap about getting right with God and pleasing God, but it won’t push religion any higher up the priority pole for teens. In most cases, the desire to feel perceived physical love trumps the desire to obey an unseen, unheard, unfelt imaginary entity.
And so we educate them. We protect them as best we can. We teach them that sex is a beautiful and incredible thing when with the right partner. We give them information that allows them to make educated choices based not on fear, but on what’s best for them and their future. If something goes “wrong”, we love them and help them through it, and get them pointed back down the road to success as best we can.
Religion fears education in all forms. Once educated, people can make intelligent decisions and often times that leads them to the realization that religion isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They take their checkbooks and their beliefs and walk away.
Hence, the religious right hates programs like Planned Parenthood.
I personally think Jesus would have been standing at the door of PP welcoming people in.
If you’ve been following Catholic news in recent months, you may be aware that Pope John Paul II is on the fast track to beatification and eventual sainthood. The current pontiff has set a date to give his official validation of the necessary miracle required to point the deceased church leader in the direction of eventual sainthood.
Pope John Paul II, like Mother Teresa, was perceived by his followers as a good person, a good teacher, compassionate, giving, caring, and helpful.
Soon, he will likely be identified as a saint. He will be, in the eyes of many, a deity as proclaimed by humans, although Catholics typically do not label saints as deities.
I can’t help but wonder……
Is there any possibility that Jesus was just a man? A well-studied teacher? A good person? A compassionate, giving, caring and helpful human being? A natural born healer?
Is there any possibility that he never intended to become the object of worship?
Could it be that he never intended to save humanity in any way other than through his teaching them to love one another and experience the “kingdom of God within”?
Is there any chance that Jesus was no different from Ghandi or Buddha in his promotion of peaceful and passive resistance?
Could the salvation he brought possibly have been as Renae says, “…(to show) ordinary people that they were not beholden to those systems in order to ensure their fate?”
Could it be that he came to show us a God that was different from the vengeful God of the Old Testament scriptures?
Could the deity of Jesus be the result of the posthumous elevation of his character to “saint” status by his devoted followers who admired him much like Pope John Paul II’s followers do?
The tragedy in all of this is that many miss the message of Jesus while attempting to worship the death, burial, and supernatural resurrection of the Christ.
In a sense, it doesn’t really matter whether Jesus came to earth as deity or was elevated by man to deity status. It doesn’t matter whether we take communion the right way, worship on the correct day of the week, or play a piano when we sing. It doesn’t matter whether or not we are given a special bath by a designated church member.
What matters is NOT the message of Paul or Peter, or John.
It doesn’t even matter whether we believe there is a mansion in the sky somewhere or a fiery pit of torment below the surface of the earth.
The only thing that really truly matters is our demonstration of love toward everyone we encounter every single day. What matters are those things Jesus taught as a human being who lived an extraordinary life.
The deity part is irrelevant. It distracts from the real point.
No one who really matters cares whether or not you’ve been saved by the blood, recited the sinner’s prayer, or accepted Jesus as Lord of your life. They only care whether or not you care about them.
End of story.
A lot of why’s have been on my mind lately. When I was a kid, growing up in the somewhat conservative Church of Christ, there were plenty of adults in my life life willing to tell me what I should believe. I didn’t ask a whole lot of why’s where church matters were concerned.
That was always pretty black and white.
My left-brained, orderly sequential self just needed the list of rules to follow. The only why’s that were necessary were the answers that we were taught to use when attempting to convert someone.
Fast forward twenty years.
My why’s have changed significantly.
Why do we accept the Bible as the inerrant divinely inspired word of God when it was written by men, translated by men, and compiled by men?
Why do we say the Bible is perfect for all times when we pick and choose what we will apply to our lives today and what we assign as “having passed away”?
Why do we tolerate and explain away the glaring inconsistencies of a supposed divinely created library?
Why do we accept as perfect for all times a collection of writings that promote slavery, oppression of women, racial bias, and discrimination?
Why do we ignore those teachings that make us uncomfortable or no longer fit our culture, yet we embrace those teachings that endorse our remaining prejudices?
Why are we okay with a God who gives ten commandments, one of which says “Thou shalt not kill,” then turns around and tells the recipients of that commandment to slaughter every human being in the land of Canaan?
Why do we feel compelled to justify that slaughter by saying it was because those people were evil?
Why do we accept as our loving father a God who required a human sacrifice to be able to forgive us when we have stupid moments?
Why do we demand that the ten commandments be posted in front of our publicly funded facilities, when Christianity was about releasing that old law?
Why do we accept as literally truth the notion that the earth is only about 6,000 years old when there is significant evidence to the contrary?
Why will we believe that a virgin birth happened in Christianity, but deny that it actually occurred in other religions and mythology?
Why do we accept as logical an all powerful God who supposedly wants us to love him, gave us a free will so we can choose whether we will love him or not, but threatens to banish us forever to a fiery place call hell if we do not choose to love him?
Why do we call ourselves Christians, yet pay more attention to the teachings of people other than Jesus Christ?
Why do we believe that there is a magical age of accountability when a child is instantaneously transported from not responsible for his/her actions to responsible and subject to the fires of hell?
Why do we participate in organizations that promote exclusivity and “I’m right, you’re wrong” ideology when we don’t truly agree with their extreme views?
Why do we believe the writings of authors who were not even eye-witnesses to events 2000 years ago, but doubt the testimony of those who claim to have been abducted by aliens or visited by a ghost?
Why can we accept as gospel, legends of miracles from two millennia ago, yet dismiss as coincidence the spontaneous healing of an organ previously labeled as diseased?
Why can we easily detect when modern day evangelists are playing us (or others) for our money and loyalty by using promises of prosperity, fear of infirmity, and the threat of eternal torment, yet we cannot see that an organization did this very same thing 1800 years ago by proclaiming their work divine, destroying documents that would cast doubt, and killing anyone who disagreed with them?
Why do I feel so much anger and resentment toward religion? Why am I unable to simply let it be and release any emotion associated with it? With whom am I angry?
My answer to all of these is quite simple.
I do not know.
I’m really curious as to whether hormone fluctuations attract emotional drama or just magnify what’s been there all along so that it becomes glaringly, blatantly, unignorable.
I don’t need this.
I need my brain chatter to shut up so my body can sleep at night.
I need the sun to shine today and the temps to warm up. So far today that hasn’t happened.
I need my thoughts to shift from what I perceive to be the current state of affairs to something more along the lines of beautiful non-radioactive oceans and crisp clear mountain air… Some place where my girls and I are goddesses surrounded by people with common sense and emotional stability oozing out of their pores.
I need people in my world to stop fighting and start loving like the Christians they claim to be, because right now, I don’t want whatever it is they have.
I need to understand why I feel responsible and powerless at the same time.
Or maybe I don’t, because then I have to “feel”.
I don’t really want to feel right now. I don’t want to feel responsible. I don’t want to feel powerless. I don’t want to cry.
I don’t want to be silent. I’ve been silent. Yet if I speak, I will hurt feelings and further damage relationships. I don’t want to hurt people.
So I remain silent.
I want this almighty powerful God that everyone says is in control of all things to fix it. I want the people who say God never gives/allows us more than we can handle to be smacked upside the head. There are plenty of good people who get more than their sanity can handle. No amount of prayer or giving it to God can change that.
Crap happens (not my preferred word, but my mom reads this stuff). Good people get hurt. It’s called life. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it sucks. People take on tasks for which they aren’t prepared. Parents get a bad wrap for wanting and expecting (even demanding) the best for their kids. Kids get caught in the middle and labeled spoiled brats by people who don’t know what the hell they are talking about. (Sorry, Mom. I blame the hormones.)
And sadly, in the big game of life, none of it really matters. Not. one. bit.
This is small potatoes.
Yet before you know it, the world of a teenager becomes a huge heavy burden. People she respected and admired six months ago are now bullies to be avoided in her mind. Adults who should know better act like self-centered three year olds mid-tantrum. Instead of asking where it all went wrong and how can we make it right, revenge becomes the reaction of choice.
And another of my goddesses learns that silence is far less painful than finding your voice. And she begins to think, “If only I can make it one more year, I’m outta here.”
Pain and stress change people for the worse.
I don’t like stress. Everyday I see how it ravages our bodies, especially negative stress. It ravages our minds, too. Rational thought flies out the window and our heads crawl painfully far up our arses when stress takes over.
Right now, my body is feeling it. I want to release it, but my hormones are holding on to it like it’s the last piece of chocolate on earth.
I can’t fix this. Speaking up puts me on a “side”. I don’t want to be on a side. I just want it to go away and for everything to be right again. I don’t want to see anyone else get hurt.
I want my kid to be happy, relaxed, and joyful. I want her to get to be a kid.
I want her world to rock again. All of it.
Apparently one of our small town religious groups has awakened enough to recognize that just maybe it can acknowledge that science is suggesting there is a gene for homosexuality.
HOWEVER, apparently like the alcoholism gene, one can choose whether or not to act on that genetic urge. At least that’s what Sponge Bob Square Pants is reported to have said from the pulpit to his captive audience. And of course, if someone does choose to act on that urge, well…..we all know how “God” feels about that. <insert dripping sarcasm here>
The way I see it, that’s akin to saying to someone, “Wow. You got the gene, eh? So God screwed up when making you, and as a result you don’t get to experience happiness and sexual satisfaction on the level that ‘normal’ people do. Better be careful. If you do decide to choose happiness, God’s gonna get you in the end. Don’t worry though, we’ll still love you because we rock like that. We’re so Christian and all. We’ll love you, the sinner, but we’ll still hate your sin and do everything in our power to prevent your ever having rights equal to ours.” <insert even more dripping sarcasm here>
As for the comparison between homosexuality and alcoholism, acting on one destroys a person’s life. The other, if handled properly and given appropriate support can result in a well-adjusted human being in a normal, committed relationship who contributes to the betterment of society in a multitude of ways.
Charlie Sheen or some of my gay friends?
No comparison. None. Not even on the same planet with this one.
I officially dub that one of the most ignorant comparisons ever to come out of a preacher’s mouth. In all fairness, I’d be willing to bet he is a victim of religious abuse growing up. I’d also be willing to bet he’s never taken time to get to know someone who is GLBT. There is a video on YouTube that suggests no one chooses their sexual orientation. They just recognize it and evolve into it, sometimes with love and support of others, and sometimes enduring brutal persecution and torture.
I might also point out that the same book that is used as justification for persecuting GLBT’s also says women should keep their heads covered, slaves should be loyal to their masters, and it’s okay to annihilate entire nations of people who don’t believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
It even says that we all can have the power to perform miracles, and that children who disobey their parents should be killed. Oh yeah….and there’s that little bit about stoning people who commit adultery and that remarriage after divorce is adultery.
Raise your hand if you know someone who has divorced and remarried.
I know I won’t be throwing any stones. I love them and want them to be happy.
Anyone out there for making a law that says no one can marry another after a divorce?
What’s the difference between that law and one that bans gay marriage, or only recognizes the commitment of two people if they are a heterosexual couple? There is no difference. It’s the same thing.
So help me to understand the logic that says since the Bible condemns homosexuality, we as a 21st century free society must do the same. However, even though the Bible condemns other things, we can conveniently sweep those under the carpet and look the other way.
Either it all applies today, or none of it applies today.
One simply cannot pick and choose what is for today and what isn’t to use as a means of persecuting those who experience life differently from our narrow view of what should be.
That is where my religious convictions died. The day I realized that I had allowed myself to be conditioned to accept inconsistency because someone said I should was the day I walked away.
It’s never been the same since.
I caught a glimpse of a bigger picture. It’s a beautiful picture. I think it’s the one that artists like Jesus and Buddha worked on.
Maybe I’ll have a few opportunities to add some brush strokes to it.
Younger generations don’t often recognize the stress and trauma our elders endure when their spouse crosses over. It’s compounded in unbelievable ways when the one who remains behind falls one too many times and the children decide it is time to move them to an assisted care facility. Even when it makes sense, when it’s in the best interest of the elderly for their own safety, the emotional toll is worse than death.
Yesterday, I helped one such sweet lady escape her nice, safe, comfortable prison for a few hours to seek help from an alternative practitioner for the toll this stress had taken on her body. It was an emotional release that was a bit unexpected. She is such a strong woman, who has held it together and put on a happy face for everyone who walks through her door.
I had no idea her wounds were so fresh. I knew her husband had crossed over, but I didn’t realize how recently it had happened. And I didn’t realize how quickly she had been moved out of her home. I also didn’t realize that I was taking her on her first out-of-town trip since all of this had happened. It was overwhelming.
My heart breaks for her.
To my knowledge, these people are never given appropriate mental health support, only meds to help them sleep through the nightmares and forget how sucky life just got.
And grief counseling for a 90 year old?
Probably not gonna happen.
Oh, and I officially SUCK as a daughter-in-law.
Why is it easier for me to show compassion to someone else’s family than it is my own?
And why do we insist on keeping people alive when they really want to be allowed to go? Nature tends to create multiple opportunities for their escape, yet we believe we are doing them a favor by treating the illness instead of letting it take them.
I just don’t know how I feel about it.
Who made Christ?
Now there’s a loaded, cage-rattling question. I’d venture to bet the typical responses would range from “He’s always existed” to “God did” and everything in between.
Now here’s my loaded, cage-rattling answer.
Humans made Christ.
Yep. I said that. I went there.
“How dare she suggest such a thing?!,” you might indignantly exclaim.
Well, see, it’s like this.
There was a man. He was born of a woman. Some say she was a virgin. Science says there is no way. History presents a few problems of its own. The faithful say God can do anything he wants, including impregnating a teenage female. Maybe so, but I think going that route misses the whole point of the man named Jesus.
This man was a gifted seeker, wise beyond his years. Was he a gift from the heavens? Possibly. Extraordinary people are born from time to time: People who do amazing things in their lifetime.
Joan of Arc.
The grieving parents of a dead teenager who choose to take a message of safe driving out into the world.
The point is, he came, he lived, he modeled, he taught with amazing wisdom, he empowered the underdog and in many ways saved them from their own poverty mentality, he angered the ruling class, and he was martyred.
In the process, he created a very loyal (although somewhat divided and disagreeable) following of disciples. As happens frequently when a person dies much too young, his legend grew as the years passed. His goodness was magnified into the miraculous. It happens.
The stories evolved unchecked through word of mouth.
Many, many years after he ceased to exist in the world that we know, the stories began to be recorded. The earliest known accounts do not involve a virgin birth. They do not mention salvation. They recount the stories of a man who taught people to forgive each other and take care of one another, especially the poorest and most helpless among them, and who offered his services as a healer for free.
He overstepped a lot of boundaries that had been placed on the common people of his time. He bucked the system.
And he was murdered.
Or martyred. Whichever floats your terminology boat.
As the old saying goes, “If you can’t shut ’em up, figure out a way to get their money.”
Oh, that’s not how it goes? My bad.
Along come the second, third, and fourth century marketing gurus, a world leader looking for a purpose, and a few fast talking fourth generation prophets.
Scripture is written. A resurrection is added.
Contradictory writings are destroyed.
Haters are killed en masse.
Non-believers are labeled heretics and killed.
Pretty much everyone is killed.
And suddenly (okay, so it took 400 years), we have a world religion complete with a new deity who defied all laws of nature and a divinely inspired, inerrant canon of scripture.
Jesus of Nazareth who taught compassion for neighbors and enemies, Jesus of Nazareth who was the ultimate socialist, Jesus of Nazareth who probably studied the teachings of Buddha, is now Jesus Christ, hater of all things not Christ-y.
Jesus Christ doesn’t even really resemble Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus Christ has evolved into a hard-line, right-wing conservative with little compassion for anything or anyone.
Jesus Christ saves people who call on his name and believe he is the son of God. And that is necessary because according to this doctrine, we are all born evil. And yes, you should be a good person and help others, but that is secondary to believing and getting someone else to believe. After all, the brightest crowns in heaven will go to those who take the most souls with them, right?
I actually believed that at one point in my life.
I wasn’t such a great “proseletyzer”, so I figured I was probably screwed on that whole heaven thing, even though I believed and was buried with Christ in baptism—the…ahem… right way. My “I’m right, you’re wrong” method of beating people over the head with a club wasn’t much of a soul-winner.
Somehow Jesus of Nazareth has gotten lost along the way. He was over-shadowed by the human creation that is Jesus Christ. The way I figure it, Naz Boy is the one who is the son of God. And I am the daughter of God. And my husband is the son of God. And my brother is the son of God. And my girls are each the daughter of God.
…Whomever God is…….that’s another post in itself.
Each and everyone is just as capable of doing amazing things to improve life on planet earth. Each and everyone is capable of being someone’s savior. Each one could easily anger the leadership to the point of being “erased”. And each one could become the stuff legends are made of.
Even to the point of having a world religion created in their honor.
Cage rattled. You’re welcome.
Prejudice. Bigotry. Racism.
These are very ugly words. So ugly, in fact, that when my first child was born over 20 years ago, a made myself a promise. As she and her sisters grew, I refused to use race as a descriptor in identifying their friends.
I did not want my children to grow up seeing race as something that separates people. I did not want them to struggle with the same stereotyping ignorance that I have struggled with all my life.
I love watching how this effort has evolved. I also love seeing how my own beliefs and ideals are being pushed and tested in a way that makes me question whether I truly feel the way I say I feel.
It’s a “put your money where your mouth is” sort of push.
It feels as though I am part of a bridge between what once was and what is to become.
My parents witnessed and experienced public school segregation and subsequent integration. They remember a time when skin color and even religion determined the level of opportunity afforded a person. I am proud of the fact that my dad had a good friend from the “wrong side of the tracks” even when that was a bit unusual. He has had many such good friends throughout his life.
My children only know about it through history books.
Unfortunately, my children have witnessed the self-destructive poverty mentality that tends to attach itself to certain ethnic groups in our part of the country. I have seen it as well. In spite of my best efforts to protect my children from connecting behavior to race, to some extent, it has happened anyway.
Therein lies some prejudice that I never intended my children to acquire. In many ways, they have chosen to separate themselves from the behaviors that they find unacceptable. In doing so, their opportunities to experience a variety of cultures has been somewhat limited.
My oldest child has stepped away from this place and out into the world. She is a connector, seeing people for who they are, not who they appear to be. She challenges me and my stated beliefs on a regular basis. She has landed in a place where diversity does not necessarily equal poverty mentality and self-destructive behaviors. It exists as an equal opportunity as does goal-oriented focus and success.
Her new friends have many roots, yet they are all connected. She connects and she helps them to connect with others from all over the world. It is a true melting pot of interdependence and compassion.
This generation, both here in the U.S. and in countries like Egypt, want so much more from their world. They desire peace and cooperation, and many of them know exactly how to make it happen. They have been nurtured to recognize that God is not a divider separating people into categories of worthiness. They do not see skin color, religious beliefs, or sexual preference as qualifiers. They understand that God is within them and will be experienced by others through their compassion, their vision, their passion, and their love for one another.
In a sense, they are collectively…..God. Aya. One.
They may very well be the catalysts who usher in an age of true interdependence.
They are The Connectors.
I am glad to be a part of the connection.
Personality tests are a lot of fun for me. Most of the time when I take them, I am mixed up and confused enough that no single dominant trait just screams to the world, “HEY, THIS DESCRIBES ANGIE PERFECTLY!!!!”
Today was different.
Maybe I’m getting really comfortable in my new skin.
Today I took the mini version of Enneagram test. Hitting the submit button revealed that I am a strong Type 7 with moderate doses of Types 1, 2, and 4.
So I clicked to read the description of Type 7.
And I died laughing.
Rarely if ever have I seen a more perfect description of me. Every quirk, whim, emotion, and attitude was right there on the screen before my eyes.
Apparently, I am an Adventurer.
Adventurers are energetic, lively, and optimistic. They want to contribute to the world.
How to Get Along with Me
(this is important–and right on target, so pay attention!)
- Give me companionship, affection, and freedom. Freedom is the biggie.
- Engage with me in stimulating conversation and laughter.
- Appreciate my grand visions and listen to my stories. Yes, I know my left-brained, details-heavy version is a bit monotonous, but hang with me on it.
- Don’t try to change my style. Accept me the way I am. You’ll only frustrate yourself if you expect anything else.
- Be responsible for youself. I dislike clingy or needy people. Including my own children….just sayin’. You ARE over the age of four. I think you can fix your own breakfast at this point. And lunch. And possibly dinner, too.
- Don’t tell me what to do. Really. Don’t. Unless you want me to do the opposite, then you can try it and see what happens.
What I Like About Being a Seven
- being optimistic and not letting life’s troubles get me down
- being spontaneous and free-spirited (Some might go so far as to say “irresponsible”. It’s okay. The spontaneous part is a bit of a stretch.)
- being outspoken and outrageous. It’s part of the fun. Another way of saying this is I really enjoy yanking the chains of those who think they’ve got things figured out. Really. Have you read my stuff?
- being generous and trying to make the world a better place
- having the guts to take risks and to try exciting adventures (Can you say, “I quit!”?)
- having such varied interests and abilities (There is so much to learn and so much to do? How’s a girl ever gonna pick something?)
What’s Hard About Being a Seven
- not having enough time to do all the things I want (or money)
- not completing things I start (uh….ouch…but true)
- not being able to profit from the benefits that come from specializing; not making a commitment to a career (Let’s see how many different things I can find to do in my lifetime!)
- having a tendency to be ungrounded; getting lost in plans or fantasies
- feeling confined when I’m in a one-to-one relationship (This doesn’t apply to my marriage of 21 years, but that’s mostly because I got someone who respects my free spirit. If he were possessive, he’d probably already be dead.)
Sevens as Children Often
- are action oriented and adventuresome (My guess is riding baby calves and milking cats falls into this category. Hey, what can I say? It was 13 miles from civilization. A kids got to find some sort of entertainment when cable doesn’t exist.)
- drum up excitement (Ask a few old band directors about this one. Puns intended, but only those who knew me will understand.)
- prefer being with other children to being alone (But only if they are nice to me.)
- finesse their way around adults (Might have played a few to my advantage.)
- dream of the freedom they’ll have when they grow up (As I hear the sound of Simba singing, “Oh I just can’t WAIT to be KING!” playing in my head.)
Sevens as Parents
- are often enthusiastic and generous (or not)
- want their children to be exposed to many adventures in life (and spend their retirement trying to pay for it)
- may be too busy with their own activities to be attentive (uhm….possibly)
I posted this valuable info on Facebook and a friend asked me what my MBTI is. That’s the one that measures introvert/extrovert, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. I presented as an ISFJ, 67, 38, 12, 1. That means I am significantly introverted, in case you are confused.
You can stop saying “Nuh-uh” now.
I know. It’s shocking. The world simply isn’t prepared for the news that Angie Cox is an introvert. Well, folks, it’s true. It’s been true most of my life.
Case in point: Tuesday night was the stock show sale. Not exactly a crowd in which I have lots of buddies. There are great people out there, but their path in life has typically taken a very different route than mine. Hubby had gone to a basketball game with daughter #2. I was on my own with the munchkins who actually have a social life and promptly abandoned me to avoid total embarrassment.
Where was Angie?
After forcing myself to visit with my nice neighbor from 3 houses down with whom I haven’t spoken in a very very very long time (don’t worry….it’s strictly due to my introversive nature, nothing is wrong with this relationship), I meandered about for awhile, watched a bit of the proceedings standing by myself, held up the wall for a few minutes, tried to be my big brother’s shadow for a bit, then found my way into the sheep/goat barn where there was a radiant heater beaming it’s glorious goodness down on whomever would stand and absorb. There I stood until almost time to come home. A few people came by and visited for a few minutes, but I did not seek out anyone to “hang with”. I was perfectly content leaning against the wall all alone with that luscious heat beaming down on my cold body watching the comings and goings of the the night.
And was I ever so glad to get home.
Facebook and blogging are an introvert’s best friends, by the way.
Apparently I am also a sensor/feeler. I knew this. Although I have been in denial for a very long time.
I am like the thermostat for a room full of people. I can detect if even one person is uncomfortable, confused, or otherwise “off-kilter”.
And I am miserable for them until the situation is corrected.
Sometimes I even take it upon myself to ask the question I know is contributing to the look of confusion on their face, even if I already know the answer.
I rock like that.
This information means it is highly unlikely I will ever be a boss.
I could never fire anyone.
I’d be too worried about how they would be feeling.
So when I’m old and gray and wrinkled (well, I’m already working on that last part), and you find me alone next to a wall warming myself by a heater, please consider engaging me in stimulating conversation and laughter as you’ve been instructed above.
Maybe it will help keep my brain in semi-working condition.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that the story of Jesus speaks directly against the things embodied in American Christianity (at least, its most prominent forms). It’s amazing how far it’s come when people who (frequently, loudly) call themselves his followers are most commonly associated with mocking people who seek peace, with lambasting the poor for their condition, with demanding vengeance in all things foreign and domestic, and with their unquestioning support of a financial system that inevitably promotes the accumulation of useless shit.” –Rob, in a comment on Nakedpastor’s website.
That just about sums up perfectly where I am at this point in life. As you may have noticed in previous blog posts, my current spiritual quest is to find and follow as best I can the real Jesus.
Not the one created in 70 C.E. and the 300 years that followed.
Not the one created by Constantine, Peter, or Paul.
Not the one most of us hear about on CBN, the Angel Network, or even Pat Robertson (although I’m considering becoming a fan since he suggested legalizing pot might actually improve this country).
Not the one who died for our sins so that our poor, wretched, miserable, sinful, self-loathing, unlovable, pathetic, awful, unworthy selves could sit at the feet of a lightning-bolt-wielding, angry, bitter, resentful, all-powerful, ever-present, all-knowing male God for all eternity.
Not the one who didn’t go down to Georgia and didn’t make a deal with the Devil.
Nope. I’m in search of the guy who walked the earth in leather sandals, said love is the greatest commandment, told his disciples to go above and beyond in their compassion to others, even when those others are their “haters”, and used the healing power of touch and energy transference to change people’s lives.
I’m looking for the one that showed people how important it is to take care of one another‘s basic needs.
The one who was killed because the church of the day saw him as a subversive.
That’s the one.
I want to be like him.
Maybe minus the “killed” part.