June 28, 2012

Bullet lists

I grabbed my journal a couple of days ago and shoved it into my purse. It wasn't begging for me to write something...but to review. And so today I finally re-read the past couple of months of entries and saw again the pain of the last year, and the healing journey. The very last entry I made was my prayer for love to come my way again in the coming year, and my "list" of what I wanted. AHhhhhh, you'd think I'd have learned my lesson of making lists and asking God to deliver me lovers in such a manner! Perhaps I had done a better job this time! My short list asked for:
• deep soul-connection
• passion
• equal partnership - healthy balance
• fearlessness

A great list, if I do say so myself. Sure beats my list of basic requirements that I'd come up with in high school with my best girlfriend:
• had to have a home
• had to have a phone
• no hard drug use
• reasonably close to my age

Also good, but this new list is certainly more refined on speaks to needs on a deeper level — a soul level. 

What makes for a good relationship? I've blogged and reflected about it before, and posted the list of characteristics of what constitutes "healthy" and "unhealthy" and seen my relationships wander down both paths. I'm always interested in hearing about what works for other people, so I think these sort of lists make good sense. What would be on your list?

As for my list, I am realizing that these are not just characteristics that I am desiring in another person, but also ones that I want to nurture in myself: they are all a mutual sharing on every level that can be shared, with the essential ingredient being fearlessness. It's takes courage to share every aspect of yourself with another in the deep levels I'm talking about, that I'm dreaming of. My prayers will be focused on overcoming my own fears and continually surrendering, trusting. God is with me on this journey...I am never alone, and I am so freaking blessed that I don't even have the words of gratitude to express. I am continually humbled by God's good gifts that are showered upon me. Amen.

June 26, 2012

Shake the Dust....

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Matthew 10:14

I was served up a lesson this week that I really needed and it's taken me a couple of days to digest. What I am entering into now with my writing, and also on my own spiritual front, will make me very vulnerable in places that that I need to be more prepared to protect. And I need to be prepared to "shake the dust" from my feet and walk away from the people who just don't get it instead of reacting defensively. I have to have faith that God will do his/her own work within them, and that my role will be elsewhere. I am but a seed in the garden.

Some spiritual armor is helpful here, when encountering people who are not open to your message, or people who do not have your highest good in mind. I'm learning slowly how to arm myself, with a deeper surrendering and opening to God, increased confessions of my own past wrongs, and penance through good works. I'm also feeling a deeper calling to focus on forgiveness. As I get closer to true forgiveness of those that have hurt me, I know that I am closer to true freedom and true salvation -- and the dust shaking can really begin.

June 21, 2012


So back in January, I wrote about some creative pursuits that I was looking at. And then I sort of let it go for awhile, because I wasn't sure about how to write about religion, spirituality, faith and where they intersect with politics for the audience I was hoping to reach — the LGBT community. Was I even really qualified? Doubt had set in. But in the last couple of weeks, I took the leap of faith that I needed to, and made it happen. In the next week or so, my new blogging project will begin, and I'm really excited to be able to finally reach the larger audience with the messages that I've wanted to, thanks to teaming up with a well known website in the Chicago area. More on that to come, after the official launch. I know that Delle will guide me and encourage me, as she always did, in my writing. I'm only somewhat prepared for the fallout that may come my way as result of such writings — but as I witnessed with Delle, I know the consequences of speaking out politically against the RCC. I will have to give quite a bit of thought to my words and their consequences before having them published, from here on out. But this is what I've been moving towards for quite some time, so though I will move cautiously, I will move forward. The momentum is with me now. May my conscience continue to be formed in the Light of Christ, as I speak truth to power.

June 18, 2012

Melancholy Movie

Still can't shake the bad dream I woke up from last night...but I'm hoping more coffee will chase it away. Ah, just when you think you're feeling emotionally strong, throw in some PMS and whammy, you can lose your bearings again. Yes, lets blame PMS. Or the sad movie I watched yesterday: Requiem for a Dream. Intense on many levels and struck a nerve. I've known too many additcts, lost friends, had to walk away from too many people in the grips of the demon of addiction. As for my own little demon? Turns out, it's intention is to make me feel isolated... alone...even in the midst of so much love and grace. I'm still trying to shake the feeling that I woke up with this morning, let go of the voice in my head telling me that I'm all alone, because I know on every rational level that it's not the truth. I have a life full of people who care about me and love me, and I am never alone. It must have been that movie, dammit. Damn that Ellen Burstyn. She really got to me. Sigh.

June 07, 2012


I'm getting a sense of the path that is opening up in front of me. It's still sort of unclear, but I know that I'm being called into a deeper spirituality, a deeper communion, and to let go of things that hold me back — even things that I think I've already dealt with but are lingering. This has been the year of letting go, of battling demons. I'm getting the sense that that there is some big work for me on the horizon, and a major spiritual hurdle to jump.
The thought of being free, that it is possible, is a blissful one. I have known evil and and worked hard on protecting myself...but to be completely free? Is that possible?

June 04, 2012

I Love Cheeses

Getting to know each other, I mentioned my love of cheese. "I could give up meat before I could give up cheese," I proclaimed. 
"So, you love cheeses."

The Soldiergirl wants to know what my relationship with Jesus is. I thought, surely the explicit answer lies within the pages of this blog, five years of spiritual exploration. Surely my relationship with Jesus is evident here. But maybe I've also never really tried to answer it as a question. I think as Catholics, we're not entirely comfortable with expressing our faith to others. It's just so personal. So, I found myself at a loss for words, on a topic that I thought might be easier for me to express, given that I feel in touch with my spirituality.

So...Jesus. All of the obvious theological answers apply here: Only Son of God, Redeemer, died for our sins, will come again in glory, etc... I don't think this needs a lot of explanation. I'm pretty in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church on who Jesus is.

As to my personal relationship with Jesus: I guess I'd start by saying that I've always had a little difficulty in separating my relationship with all of the members of the Trinity and that they sometimes blur together when I'm in prayer. I feel a sense of God as Mother/Father, as Jesus, and as Spirit. Jesus, primarily, is the teacher and example that I am to model my life after, as exemplified in the Gospels: the living word of God sent for all humanity as the perfect example of God's love. Jesus is present to me in the Eucharist, and through that sacrifice, which I take into my physical body, all barriers are destroyed.

I pray daily, and one of the prayers goes like this: "Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." It is repeated continually, "ceaselessly" throughout my day, when I can. Jesus is the great healer of my life, who has heard and responded to my desperate cries. Jesus is our God who shares in all of our own suffering and knows it intimately, to the points of betrayal, death, and beyond. Jesus is the author of my conscience.

Jesus first came to me in reoccurring dreams when I was just six years old. We dined at the Last Supper together, his hands extending toward me, welcoming me to the table. I had this vivid dream many times, between the ages of 6-9. And at my First Communion, my classmates joked that I was turning into a "mystic saint" as I had to be carried outside just before we received communion, having fainted after my visions of gold light filling the entire church.

I don't know what all of those things mean, and I haven't thought of them in years. I haven't told virtually anyone about those experiences, and five years into writing about my spiritual life, I'm literally shocked that I've never blogged about my own mystical experiences. I'll have to go back and double check this fact, because I'm incredulous. I just know that today, I'm feeling like it's coming up for a reason and I'm meant to reexamine those experiences again. There is something about it all that scares me...

Church date

So, I went to church on Sunday with the Soldiergirl. Evangelical church! Of course I had my preconceived notions about what that might look like, but I did my best to lay it all down and walk through the door with an open heart. Right away I felt a welcoming presence, both in the place itself and in the warm welcome I received from probably a dozen or more congregants. The place literally oozed with joy. I could hear Delle's voice: "the hallmark of the Holy Spirit is tears," as twice during the service I felt them well up within me. I could see what the Soldiergirl loved about this spiritual home.

It's clear to me that our path seems to be going down a rather spiritual track together. I'm not sure where this is leading. I'm trying to keep an open mind, an open heart and let go of my expectations. It's sometimes hard, when insecurities come knocking. I've not been in any other relationship that started out this way...I'm covering completely new ground, and it's challenging me in ways that are really unexpected. I've never been completely comfortable with taking a trip without mapping out my course down to the last detail, so I'm finding that its a real challenge to be comfortable with what the destination will be. I'm being challenged to give up my illusion of control, to step out a little more in faith and trust that whatever happens, it will be exactly what is meant to happen. Balancing hope against expectation, and trust against control, and waiting for signs along the road, to show us where the path is leading.

June 01, 2012

The heart of love is trust

So the Soldiergirl looked across the table as I sipped my beer and ate my sandwich and asked me if I'd jump out of a plane with her. Panic. My heart raced. She began to talk about the free fall and I could feel my pulse escalating. I confessed that it was my biggest fear — but also one I had hoped to confront at some point before I die. So, would I jump out of a freaking plane???? GULP.  I didn't say no, though even talking about it filled me with a sort of anxious dread.

I'm realizing something rather glorious about myself, something I've wondered in the past couple of years. I've wondered if my ability to trust was so damaged that I wasn't going to be able to have a mature relationship with anyone again. I'm realizing that healing is possible, and that my willingness to step out in faith, allow myself to be vulnerable with another person and trust them — is not broken. It's a fantastic feeling, to know that this essential ingredient remains within me. Without it, how could I ever hope to find real love and return the same? So, today I am grateful that through the healing work and prayer that I've done in the past year and by the grace of God through whom all things are possible, my brokenness is becoming more and more of a story of my journey toward wholeness.

And someday, I may even be capable of taking that big jump.