Shoulds and More Shoulds

It’s Sunday again.

I SHOULD be getting ready for church. That’s what people do on Sunday around here….go to church. It’s what you are supposed to do.

And that is precisely why I am not going.

At 42 years old, it finally dawned on me that my only motivation for going the last 20 years was because I SHOULD. Because people expected me to be there. Because that’s just what you do when you are raised in “The Church”. Before that, my motivation was purely social. Maybe I’d meet a hot guy. At least I’d get to hang with my friends who were there for the same reason. We could time prayers, if nothing else.

I have finally decided that until my motivation is something other than SHOULD, I have no business being there.

For that matter, I’m not really what most churches in these parts want in their midst. I am a female who doesn’t exactly behave or think the way most people around here believe a good Christian female SHOULD.

Too much has awakened inside of me.

I have an overwhelming urge to speak my truth.

Unfortunately for them, most churches around here can’t handle my truth. It threatens their male dominated traditions. If I speak my truth (and I did), it might awaken other women as to their sacred feminine-ness (and it almost did). If that were to happened, who knows what horrible evils might befall the Bible belt population. We might end up like <gasp> those liberal west coast people.

I was, in fact, told to be quiet.

I knew I couldn’t be quiet.

It’s not in my nature.

Awakening is not a one time thing. It’s ongoing. Ever evolving.

Once I awaken to a new realization, a new logic, a new way of seeing the world, it becomes very important to me to share it with someone….many ones. It doesn’t really matter whether or not anyone agrees with me as much as it matters that they will still accept me and at least CONSIDER the POSSIBILITY of what I bring to the table…without suggesting I’ve made a pact with the devil.

Unfortunately, I am only accepted so long as I keep my weirdo ideas to myself.

Jesus totally relates to this. In a moment of randomness this morning, I closed my eyes and opened my Bible. I do that alot with various books. It’s my preferred way to receive the most appropriate guidance. This morning, it opened to John 11 . The heading was THE PLOT TO KILL JESUS.

The Pharisees are having a freakazoid about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. v. 48 “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

Huh? There’s some really intelligent man-logic. NOT.

So the head hauncho, Caiaphas, says “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

Oh, yeah. And this was the logic of highly respected men. Men in a position of leadership. The men who ran the church. Kill the awakened one. Snuff out the flame of passion before it catches on. Otherwise, we might be overtaken by change. We simply cannot let this happen.

Not much has changed in two thousand years.

And so here I sit. Sunday morning. Faith in God fully intact. Faith in religion shot to hell. (Which at this point, I’m not convinced is a real place. That should further freak some people out.)

I don’t blog because I SHOULD. I blog because I must. Because something inside of me has to come forth. It waits to be born. My excitement at birthing words on a computer screen is pure joy.

I don’t feel that in church. I know I SHOULD. If only I’d devote myself to the WORD, I’d probably catch that excitement and joy for fellowship with the saints.

Yeah. Whatever. I devoted myself to the WORD and was awakened by what it said. I was excited and joyful about it. Still am. But that isn’t really what churches want. They want dutiful compliance to their stated ideals. They want you to show up, write out your check, and not rock any boats. Even the preacher who is begging for passion and energy and volunteerism doesn’t REALLY want those things to the extent (usually) HE claims he does.

They are too dangerous. Too uncomfortable. Too….edgy.

And so I sit on the edge. In the wilderness. The grass is beneath my feet. Mother Earth’s breath wisping across my cheeks. Her sun warming my flesh. Meeting my God in a space both desolate and expansive. Listening to her reveal the most amazing things to me. Things that only a person willing to experience the hazards  and isolation of awakening can ever experience.

It SHOULDn’t be this wonderful.

Yet it is.

11 Responses to “Shoulds and More Shoulds”

  • Lisa Gore:

    Oh my! You are stepping out there with posting about (gasp) churches. I for one appreciate your uniqueness.

  • Thanks, Lisa. You know better than most the consequences of truth-telling.

  • Vicki Benson:

    I’ve been trying to explain this to myself and others in intimate conversations for years. I have a relationship with God, I just don’t have a relationship with organized religion.

  • There was a time when I would have said, “Then you don’t really have a relationship with God, otherwise you’d obey him and be in church, because that’s what you are supposed to do if you really love him.”

    So glad I have awakened from that. I do think it is important to have a tribe, a group, a support system. For many, that is the church, a church, any church. Yea for them. Glad it works.

    However, it doesn’t have to be a church. God has never really shown up for me in a church environment, but he has often shown up for me in solitude, especially in nature.

    These days, I find my tribe is more virtual. The internet has made it so much easier to find like-minded people who have had similar experiences. I depend on these people for strength and encouragement. I love my local friends and family just as much, yet many times, they simply cannot give me what I need.

  • Welcome. It’s good here, isn’t it?

    As a child I was damaged by the Church – not in the abusive way that we hear about in the news (at least not that I remember) – and its influence on my parents. The extent of my distrust and disgust at the institution left me unable to claim a belief in God.

    But only in the name.

    Because I feel a presence always, the breath of a spirit, the light of the one, especially when my camera guides me to something beautiful in a place I don’t expect it. And, lately, when I find someone wonderfully and truly a sister here on the internet. (So many of us! It’s wonderful!)

    I used to think of all the pain and death wrought in the name of “God”. Everything from the crusades to keeping a child from her friend because the friend’s parents had divorced, and all of the small evils in between.

    Today I can accept your calling her God and even feel the same way, even though I still don’t use the word to describe my own experience of her.

    So, please, yes, spend your Sunday in the peaceful garden of your heart, visited by other angels and spirits and faeries that we all may grow and expand into the sacred truth of beauty.

    I’ll meet you there.

    Hugs and butterflies,

  • I am smiling all over. I find myself using words like The Divine and The Universe more and more and God less and less. Your words are beautiful and I am blessed that they are gracing my “space”. Looking forward to knowing you more and better in coming weeks and months.

  • Quentin:

    Your exactly right! And I couldn’t agree with you more!!!

  • We may well have the beginnings of a tribe right here. A fantastic support system of people who see the Divine through different eyes. Thanks for your thoughts, Quentin.

  • You know I’m with you in this, right? Love your voice, Angie. It is strong – and kind. Awake, indeed.

  • I know, and I am so glad. It is nice to finally feel like I’m on track instead of derailed. Thank you for perspective.

  • […] to write this story. I just knew I hadn’t found whatever “it” is in the places I should have been able to find […]

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