Sacred

Today has me thinking about the “sacred” in our relationships.

Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart and considered worthy of respect or devotion; or inspires awe or reverence among people.

There are beautiful little things we know about the people in our life. The silly things, the deep soul wrenching things. The space that holds a memory or remembers in memoriam.

The irony is not lost on me that the thought of sacredness comes to me on Maundy Thursday, the day in which Christian believers honor the Last Supper. Additionally, tomorrow, Good Friday holds the same space as the 25th anniversary of my dad’s death.

Where many people hold sacred the tenets of the Last Supper, my soul lands in the Garden. The place where Jesus cried in anguish over the fact that the Duh-ciples couldn’t stay awake to watch for the end with him. The place where dissapointment was more prevalent than just Judas. I will circle back to Judas later…

There are so many wonderful nuggets-of-knowing that I have with people in my life. Some nuggets I hold safe for others, while others are the keepers of my sacred.

I have a longtime friend that LOVES the first baby leaves of Spring. Not the tightly wrapped buds of “soon” but the bursting forth of the arrival of new beginnings. The Promise of brighter skies ahead. Each time I see that Promise, I think of her.

I know that there are one, maybe two people on the planet that know why I weep like a willow when I hear the song “Rainbow Connection”. They know the deeper tether to my sacred better than anyone. They know the cries of my heart.

I delight in the memory of my dad and his deliciously impish way of putting his birthday on other people’s calendars. If he was in your home or office long enough, and you had a wall calendar, his birthday mysteriously ended up on it. I’m pretty sure that is where my notion of taking a whole month for my birthday stems. Birthdays are a big deal.

I hold some stories and events safe and sacred, locked up tight until the owner is ready to bring it to light.

I hold the memories of sweet childhood just as tightly as the trauma in the same hourglass.

I know the heartache of betrayal and I have also been the betrayer.

And it is ALL sacred.

Back to the Garden…. While many people make Judas a villain, I think of him as misunderstood and misinterpreted. We’ve all been there, feeling as though we are doing the right thing and then have it go so horribly wrong.

Jesus knew what was coming. He knew it in every wrinkle of his garment, in every stone where his foot fell. He knew he would die. He prepared a place, arranged a meal, probably even wrote a sermonette to explain the coming days, but he would not bring about the end on his own. There was protocol in place and the proper authorities needed to be made aware. I think that Judas was chosen by Jesus, not because he was voted to be the Dickhead Disciple but because he was a devoted friend. He heard the rumblings in the square, he knew (he thought) that the authorities would be reasonable…

Yeah, we think we know the motives of others, but you can not hold motive in higher esteem than the sacred.

The officials ALL had their own agenda, and “by hook or by crook” they were going to get their way. Judas loved his friend Jesus and didn’t want to see him harmed. He was duped by the authorities into thinking Jesus would have a fair trial and life and lessons with The Boys would go on.

Judas held on to the sacred; the love of Jesus, the times at his feet learning, the pure heart of a man who loved God and all people. Why else would he have “betrayed him with a kiss” when he could have easily told the authorities, “yo, the dude with the prayer mantle/shawl is Jesus.”

When the dust had settled after the events in the garden, Judas held the kiss he gave Jesus as sacred. The sacred that played in his mind over and over and quite honestly, Judas just couldn’t deal. He couldn’t bear what had happened. That he’s been deceived by the authorities. That he was now the most hated human in the land. So he did what he did. He exchanged the sacred for surrender.

Even with nearly eight BILLION people on this planet, YOU are sacred. You alone. You hold the sacred of others and others hold yours. It is in this beautiful transfer of trust, love and belief that we are all so connected even if we are one thousand miles away or our paths only crossed once.

While I implore and beg each of you to not look to an exchange to surrender, I ask that you explore your sacred. To listen to the quiet and find the moments of awe and beauty in remembering who’s sacred you are holding and who holds your sacred.

Look at those baby leaves, Hermana, just look ❤️

Tiny Dancer

This quote from my friend and author KJ Ramsey kicked me square in my elastic waistband, comfy pants.

unless peace begins within my very breath + bones, it might just be performance.

Gah. I feel attacked. Well, not really attacked, but uncovered. Revealed. The phrase has bubbled around in my guts for a couple of days.

Why?

Why is it dwelling and gurgling in my soul?

Truth be told y’all, it’s conviction. Conviction is easily defined as declaration/pronouncement of guilt, sentence, judgment. {And if you’ve been hanging around here long enough, y’all know that I come from a long line of guilt riddled/flinging women.}

But why did this particular quote convict me so?

Because. It. Is. ME!!

I’m in a pretty strange season of deconstructing, uncovering and discovering Self. It seems somewhat silly, at 53, that I wouldn’t really know Self; but I am learning and unlearning more every day. The little revelation nugget shared by KJ really cut me to the marrow.

Has my life been a performance?

Have I learned how to behave based on the cues from “directors” in my life?

Have I acted in a way just to please an “audience”?

The short answer to the above questions is yes. But y’all know I can’t just give a short answer.

As the daughter of big time people, in a small, small town; there is an element of constant performance.

Don’t behave in a way that disgraces the name.

Be a good girl.

Smile and always be gracious.

I was that girl for a little while… My mom would tell a particular story of my childhood, over and over. I don’t recall my age but it was my very first dance recital. I had practiced and practiced and felt confident in my steps. When the little dance number was finished, every other child ran off stage. (Allegedly), I remained steadfast and blew kisses to the roaring applause of the crowd.

The birth of the performer.

I used to think she retold the story because she thought it adorable. As I grew older, I realized it was mostly an accusation, a spotlight on my flair for being dramatic or need to be the center of attention.

Ironically, I truly dislike being the center of attention. My exterior is somewhat a misnomer. It would appear that I like to be seen, but truth be told, it’s armor. (And a scoop of rebellion.) People are quick to make assumptions about you based on outward appearances. For some, the exterior is porcupine-esque. If you look dangerous, people will not approach. It’s safety. It’s protection.

For years, I was the shape-shifter. If I was more like “this”, So-and-So would approve of me. If I was more like “that”, What’s-Their-Name would love me more. Shape-shifting is performance. It isn’t authentic. Neither is people-pleasing. And it was pretty good at that as well. But you know who wasn’t pleased? Me.

I was a pretty good phony. Making it all look like life was ok. While I quietly recoiled and lost Self. It took decades for me to realize that I wasn’t happy and neither were the people around me. It was up to me to stop performing and seek Peace.

I had no clue what Peace looked like. I still struggle with it. The need to be valued and seen and blow kisses to an adoring audience simmers beneath the surface. The need to strive and please still bubbles up occasionally. The sure fire way to quiet that urge is Truth.

Truth speaks and reminds us our value is non-negotiable. To others, it simply is or it isn’t. Our performance does not increase our value. “But if I do this, they will love me more”. Nope. If love and acceptance is performance based, it isn’t genuine. No act of service, gift, performance will tip the value scale. It just teaches others how to treat you.

The Critic will watch for your misstep, that’s a given. But, the Fan will applaud when you rise up. They will truly roar with adoration for being authentically, albeit clumsily, Self.

I am an eternal student. I will always seek new and interesting pathways. I will always ruminate on the ways of old and uncover their meaning. I will always learn a way to dance through my chronic life. Even when the physical body is unwilling; my soul still will tap dance.

Performance or Peace?

Excuse me while I just shuffle-ball-change my way, exit stage left.

I choose Peace

Mary Lee’s School of Dance circa 1970-something

Birthday

Dear Big Brother,

Today, you would have been 58 and in a few short weeks, I’ll be 50… You could see 50 so closely the day you left this world, were you excited about it?

This is such a weird journey on my own. Yes, I have lots of people in my circle, many of the names and faces you would remember. Our family-circle has shifted and changed and it still isn’t right without you here. Even though we not super involved in each others day-to-day life; I always had the promise of you. I always knew you were at the other end of an email or phone call. And now, now I can’t help but feel a little lost.

So in true Little Sister fashion, Big Brother, I have a few questions…

Is there Bingo in heaven, if not, I bet Mom is super pissed

Has Dad made peace with God yet?

Is Grandma Hedges still gloating over all the times she gave me the wrong ingredients to a recipe, so I’d fail and she would be needed to make it right?

Is Uncle Stan still playing the piano and telling bad jokes?

Did DiAnn make in the gate ok? She probably gave Saint Peter a rough time

I don’t remember Grandma Blanchard, does she remember me?

Does Jesus still do the water into wine trick? Golly, I hope so

Uncle Hink still has a harem, doesn’t he?

Will you save a seat for me, next to you? I’ve got a lot of shit yet to do here and lots of people to annoy.

Miss you much.

XOXOXO,

Me ❤️

p.s. I still haven’t forgiven you for locking me in the dryer, but we’ll hash that out when I get there

One Word

2017 was the first year I purposefully set a “one word” into being, rather than offering up a well meaning, but never fulfilled “resolution”.

My word for 2017 was Boundaries. I totally lost sight of my word, allowed myself beyond boundaries that were healthy or helpful. My word rediscovered me, revealed itself where I had least expected, and showed me lessons learned while I wasn’t looking.

My word for 2018 can be found in the waiting; for my 3rd grandchild to be born, for a BIG birthday year, and the vision of a 2nd book (yet to be written).

My word can be found in the hoping, believing in better health solutions and for relationships restored.

Yes, I can safely say, 2018 is to be filled with Expectation!

Cheers to 2018! And all that you are expecting!!