No better day than today to share another excerpt from my upcoming book, Returning – a woman’s midlife journey to herself. This excerpt is from the chapter entitled, Illusions – specifically those things we place on a pedestal (for me, the Catholic Church) and what happens when we see the truth beyond the illusion.
And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”
Acts 5: 28-29
As I began to see myself and the world around me more clearly, one of the most devastating realizations was that the Catholic Church, in which I had invested my faith, hope, belief, trust and now career, was imperfect and flawed. It was not a coincidence that my awakening happened right on the heels of the priest sex abuse scandal. As I was more diligent in asking questions about God – what did I believe, what resonated as truth for me, who was the God that I had come to know through my own prayer and explorations, the Church fell farther and farther from the pedestal on which I had placed it (with the Institution admittedly helping itself along the way).
As I came to more and more freely embrace the truths I had come to know within myself, including my call to contemplation and hands-on-healing, I came more and more in conflict with the Church that was “supposed” to love me without condition. As the illusions I had created around my faith shattered at my feet, the more I was compelled to “make it right,” an endeavor that eventually proved to be fruitless and one that came at a terrible cost – the loss of my Church and the loss of my faith in my Church.
In spite of this, my faith in God never wavered and it was to my ever-expanding image of God, that I pledged my allegiance.
The Woman I Know Myself to Be
The Woman I know myself to be,
Created by God, in persons three.
Holy Spirit, feminine Divine
Creator God, your breath is mine.
Christos, human actualized,
the journey, fully realized.
Within my heart, the truth be told,
denying the lies that I have been sold:
“You are unworthy of your mother’s love,
in sin you were created, not of God from above.
It is never enough, whatever you do,
and how could anyone really love you?
If they knew the truth of the woman you be,
then surely they would turn and flee!
Not perfect, no matter how hard you try!”
Encased in my body, living the lie.
But through the years and through the tears,
I have sorted out these fears,
and deep within the muck and grime,
I have discovered the truth sublime:
Beauty is my name you see.
Joy the dance inside of me.
Created in and of God’s love,
God within, not from above.
Never separate, always one,
To this truth, I have come.
The Woman I know myself to be,
is made of love, not sin you see.
Beautiful, wise, intelligent, kind;
a loving mother, you’ll surely find.
Compassionate, tender, silly and fun,
Passionate, sexy, smile bright as the sun.
Strong, yet vulnerable, healthy in mind,
admitting to weakness, accepted as fine.
The wounded healer I know me to be,
living life’s lessons, the truth set me free.
I am singer, dancer, writer and friend,
student, creator, to thee prayers I send.
Love and joy, the breath that made me,
know that this is too what made thee.
Created in the image of God,
belief in less – illusion and fraud.
Divine is what we truly be,
if we but live authentically.
Seeking God above all else,
toasting to the growing wealth
of abundant promises discovered true –
All of this is made for you!
Realizing faith defined,
owning the truth in body and mind:
One not two or three or four,
love alone unlocks the door.
Believing the promise of Creator Divine:
“I love you and you are mine.”