Sunday, November 14, 2010

Coming Out of the Spiritual Closet

From today's entry in Mark Nepo's The Book of Awakening (I want to give this book to everyone I know):

Being true to who we are
means carrying our spirit like a candle
in the center of our darkness.

If we are to live without silencing or numbing essential parts of who we are, a vow must be invoked and upheld within oneself. The same commitments we pronounce when embarking on a marriage can be understood internally as a devotion to the care of one's soul: to have and to hold...for better or for sickness and in love and to cherish, till death do us part.

This means staying committed to your inner path. This means not separating from yourself when things get tough or confusing. This means accepting and embracing your faults and limitations. It means loving yourself no matter how others see you. It means cherishing the unchangeable radiance that lives within you, no matter the cuts and bruises along the way. It means binding your life with a solemn pledge to the truth of your soul.

It is interesting that the nautical definition of marry is "to join two ropes end to end by interweaving their strands." To marry one's soul suggests that we interweave the life of our spirit with the life of our psychology; the life of our faith and truth with the life of our doubts and anxiety. And just as two ropes that are married create a tie that is twice as strong, when we marry our humanness to our spirit, we create a life that is doubly strong in the world.

Yes. This is what is seek, to make myself stronger in the world by marrying my humanness to my spirit. I am withdrawing from Imps leadership - and the pursuit of full-time/partnership relationship - because I need to learn to hold space for humanness, first my own so that I can better hold space for others. I am choosing to dive into my spirit, to strengthen my relationship with the Divine within so that I can better relate to the Divine in the others. I am pulling back and examining every life choice from the perspective of integrity and desire: is this aligned with what I know about myself, what I know about Love, and my Divinely inspired desires for my life?

I need to fall in love with my self and my dreams. I need to learn who April really is and fall madly, deeply in love with all that I find: both my Divine Spark and my imperfect human filled with quirky desires that are spiritual and hedonistic, generous and narcissistic, creative and ordinary, playful and dark.

Letting go of the Impropriety Society is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. But over and over God has asked me to turn my heart towards my spiritual longing, and over and over I have only gone so far and then said no, I will go no further. I would entangle myself in relationship or creative projects, and exhaust myself so that solitary time was spent vegging out in recovery rather than in soul-feeding activities (art, writing, reading, spiritual practice, yoga, etc.). I would keep my spirituality subdued, so that the people who know and love me best really have no idea how important God and the spiritual life is to me. And my emotional, physical and spiritual health suffered for it. I am not living in integrity with my faith and my truth.

This is how deep my faith is: I have known every single moment of my life that there is some kind of God/Universal Energy/Sacred Presence, something that binds all of life and feeds the passionate energy of evolution. I believe conscious growth and evolution is the point of everything. We are pieces of God experiencing all of life through evolution. And somehow it's all powered by Love.

I have always, even in my darkest moments, felt held by God and trusted the power of Love. This seems to be a rare life experience, to not have known one moment of doubt or faithlessness. I don't know how to explain my deep abiding faith in God and Love, especially in light of how much trauma and loss I have experienced in my life. Maybe I was born with it. Maybe faith is part of my unique genius.

It is this faith that keeps me choosing open-heartedness as much as I possibly can no matter what happens in my life, no matter the heartache and painful experience that comes from being vulnerable. I trust that I cannot be broken. I trust that God and Love will keep me safe and thriving in life no matter what circumstances come my way. I trust that the only thing that holds me back is my fear, which is why I work so hard to become conscious of my fears and fear based behaviors. I shine the light into my darkness so that I may act in enlightenment and love as often as possible.

And maybe this genius for faith and my desire to contribute to our collective evolution is why I am drawn to this idea of sex positive spiritual guidance (coaching, counseling, whatever), with a creative twist (using art/music/writing projects as part of the coaching process), as the kind of work I desire to be doing in the world. I believe this is my bliss, the vocation I have been looking for since I initiated myself 15 years ago as Priestess/Bodhissatva, surrendering my life in devotion to lightening the suffering of all beings. That has always been the driving motivation of my community service, art, writing, and my flavor of giving friendship and love.

My first step towards this goal is putting out an invitation very soon for spiritual community to gather in my home on a biweekly basis to share ritual, prayer/meditation, study and discussion about the spiritual journey (and whatever else we decide to do together). Through conversations with community members I have found that for some of us there is a hunger for spiritual connection. We believe in some kind of Divine Presence or Universal Energy or Sacred Connection, and we see its importance and expression in our relationships. We don't feel comfortable in churches. We don't know of any spiritual communities for sex positive, bdsm practicing, queer and poly freaky people. Even the ones that embrace freaky folk don't bring discussions of these parts of our lives into the spiritual conversation. And what we get from the sex positive community doesn't fill our longing to share our personal spiritual journey with others who feel a connection to the Sacred in some way. I desire this in my own life and so I am going to try to facilitate the creation of it within our community.

The interesting thing is that I have been thinking and talking about doing this for two years. Truthfully, I've been feeling called to it for many years in various forms and I have kept saying no. I probably have friends who doubt I'll follow through this time because they've been listening to me talk and not act for so long. But I can't ignore the longing in my own heart any longer...or the fact that a week after deciding to resign from the Imps the Universe sent me a friend who specifically asked me to do this because she needs it, too. It doesn't get any more obvious that I am being called than that.

Being true to who I am is bridging transcendent spirituality with immanent earthy human life and sexuality. To marry my own soul is to marry the importance of my spiritual path to the rest of my life, despite the fears of exclusion, rejection, loneliness, etc. I am following God's call to come out of the spiritual closet and am trusting that my tribe and community, who has held all the freakiness and quirky Aprilness I could throw at them, will continue to hold me, support me and connect with me where I am most in integrity with the truth of who I am.

I am trusting Love.

Image Source: Born of Light by Meganne Forbes

1 comment:

Marcos said...

Just say when and I'll bring the coffee and donuts.