When someone speaks about their own spirituality it may or may not speak to our own free will. That’s ok. We certainly don’t need or appreciate megaphones on the street corners telling us how incorrect our lives are. At least I don’t. When ever I see these folks downtown, I challenge them face to face. And try to correct them – their approach is always old testament – not the new one. Both testaments have circular references to each other – but the new was built on the old one, further the new one exists because of the old one. That’s was the path – or the way I always understood it. The “megaphone” aspect of ministry has always been more noise than signal.
First (enter denomination here) of (enter city’s name here). To clarify, I was never denomination first. Is any authentic person denomination first? Denomination wasn’t even second for most of my younger life. I was myself first and this enabled me to be different in many people’s eyes. I was, and am, still perfect with this notion.
I was maybe fourth or fifth denomination. Mathematically, I was 1/5 religious denomination and 4/5 me, the authentic 4/5 which may have made others question me or make others uncomfortable when they were around me. I grew to accept that about them – but now I realize I was more worried about what folks thought about me, more than I should have.
As time has gone on, being around other authentic people and learning about their authenticity has helped me lean into my own. Leaning into this wasn’t always easy for me, but over the last 8 years I’ve own and accepted who and what I am. It’s not the bar that’s raised in from of me that I had to clear or reach – there’s not longer a bar – the bar was pushing me to be the things I thought I was “supposed” to be. NONE of that worked for me and just caused immense pain and emotional scarring.
Experiences, friends, education, and self awareness helped me find and understand the puzzle pieces of myself which form an amazing picture of me – not the bar I thought I had to clear.
As I move through the rest of my life some puzzle pieces will get replaced because of changes in my physical or emotional geography. This grande picture will just get more definition, clarity, and color. This is how it’s working for me now, and I don’t see any changes coming soon.