Monday, May 20, 2013

Daughter of Eve

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I sat at the temple this morning mulling over my personal inventory.

How am I doing?

I have been feeling sadness and (of course) anger a lot this past week. It seemed almost anything could set me whirling into shame and disconnect. As I work through the 12 Step program I am learning my disconnect comes from not wanting to feel feelings. Even happy feelings I've tried to escape. Feeling anything at all can be difficult sometimes.

Those things I used to lather myself in for the thrill of happiness just don't do it for me anymore. Certainly, there are little drops of joy in what I used to relish in--the colors in my house, new clothes, parties--but it's so far diminished from what it used to be. Happiness for me now begs for more than what is pretty or perfect.

It's imperfection that is beautiful to me now. I find myself buying into it more and more. Imperfection is the story of Christianity. It's the taking up of the cross. For centuries Christians have told stories of weakness and work, of overcoming great personal obstacles and broken relationships. Their imperfections told their stories. Why would my story be different?

The more I try to develop a relationship with God, the more I am aware of my pride and lust, my worshiping of idols and denial of truth. I know of my desire to be desirable, to have everything I want to have, to be just a little bit better than someone else.

But then, while gathering in my confessions and awareness, I have a moment where God transforms the worst of my vices into strengths. When my vanity turns from despair into a sweeping love for myself, I know I am seeing myself as God sees me. And in that moment I derive power from the idea of helping someone else swim in that sentiment too. Oh. Oh. Oh happiness.

Happiness beyond purchase and beyond colors and born from grief.