DAMN IT. All these years I’ve been serving (internally anyway) the wrong kind of GOD!!!!! In my head I know better….and my work reflects that. But internally, I’ve been serving the GOD of someone else’s making. ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!
Hi. My name is Lauri. I’m a recovering perfectionist.
Trying to be perfect
Maybe that’s all you need to know…..but maybe not. For as long as I can remember, I have tried to be perfect. The perfect daughter. Perfect student. Perfect pianist. Perfect dancer. Perfect friend. Perfect wife. Perfect mother. I’m not sure if I was born this way or if it is a product of my conditioning or a little of both. The Enneagram suggests we are born with our “Type.” There is no doubt that I am a Type 1 on the Enneagram and that I undoubtedly look at myself, the world and my life experiences through the lens of this question: “How could this be better?” So there’s that.
I am also acutely aware of how my early life experiences along with my Catholic upbringing fostered the critical nature of this lens. Little messages along the way which have said I’m not good enough, there is something wrong with me, the way I’m doing things is wrong, what my Soul needs and wants is not in line with what society expects from me….and worst of all…..the ongoing message of a jealous God examining my every move and like Santa Claus, keeping a record of all the bad I’ve done in my life – bad for which there will be some sort of punishment – if not in this life, then certainly in the next.
But I’m not bad!
But here’s the thing. I’m not bad. I’ve never done anything bad. Yes, in the normal stages of childhood development I fought with my siblings and was likely mean to them at times. Yes, I became angry at my parents and sometimes grumbled against their guidance. Yes, in college and early adulthood I made the usual “mistakes.” But ultimately, I’ve never done anything to intentionally harm another or to do damage in this world.
So if I’m not bad and I’ve never done anything bad, then why have I spent a lifetime feeling so bad? Feeling as if there is something wrong with me? In response to this deep inner feeling of wrongness, I have done a WHOLE LOT OF WORK. Healing the pain from past abuse. Healing trauma. Undoing negative conditioning. Reclaiming all the parts of myself that I locked away deep in my subconscious because it might not be “acceptable” in this world. I have opened Pandora’s Box and have welcomed every single demon therein – meeting it, listening to its fears and concerns and supporting the healing and transformation of all my old wounds so that I might not only feel better about myself, but so I might also feel better about this world and my place in it.
This week while reading the comments of the women and men in my Magdalene Priestess Training I realized there was one final demon to tackle.
My favorite Moses scene is when he throws the tablets to the ground in disgust, rage and disappointment over his people. This is me everyday! And yet, I’m just as guilty of confusion, doubt, and running after distractions and shiny objects (hello Facebook). UGH! We are excruciatingly human – and isn’t that the point!? God loves us no matter how dense we can be at times….and this is THE GOOD NEWS. We are utterly ok exactly as we are in this and every other moment. God doesn’t care. This is a lesson about Unconditional Love I am still trying to learn. God doesn’t care if I enjoy a glass of wine. God doesn’t care if I’m depressed and unmotivated. God doesn’t care if some days I just don’t give a fuck. God doesn’t care that on some days I despise the human race. Because God knows WHO I AM and in the center of all my human frailty there is Love. Just plain Love. And Love is who I am even when (maybe especially when) I am excruciatingly human!
That demon’s name is “GOD”
Now, before you get your undies in a twist, let me explain. The GOD who I am calling a demon, is not God – but is instead, the god of someone else’s making. This is not the God who Jesus spoke of who loves without condition. This is the GOD made up by a hierarchical and patriarchal system who rules by fear, power and control. This is the GOD who was created to make us feel bad about ourselves, to plant seeds of doubt, confusion and pain in us …. all so that this hierarchical system might control us. Because here’s the thing – if we believe in a GOD who is always judging us, who is measuring our humanness against us and who is waiting to punish us for that evil, then we will always be afraid. We will feel badly about ourselves and can therefore be easily manipulated. You see, when GOD’s love can be taken away, if we have to earn that love, if we will be punished for angering this GOD, then we will do anything to gain the approval of this GOD – a GOD that ultimately has nothing to do with God, and everything to do with humans that want us to look toward them as the ultimate authority so we will do what they tell us; and humans who wants our money. Notice- the Church is not the only creator of this GOD. Oh no….they are co-conspirators with every other hierarchical institution which has arisen out of a desire to have power and control over the masses.
The Demon isn’t only in the Church
Oh, and for the record…..a whole lot of “New Age,” “Ascension” and “Prosperity Gospel” people also preach this kind of GOD. You know…the GOD who will only reward us if we “think the right thoughts.” The GOD who isn’t actually a GOD but is in fact ourselves – because WE are GOD and our life is created by what and how we think. If we think the right thoughts we will get what we want because WE are GOD. And if we think the wrong thoughts, then we can expect the consequences of these thoughts because we are GOD and we made it happen. And if what we have in our lives is not what we want (if we are poor, struggling with illness, experiencing difficulty in our lives) it is because this GOD who is US is punishing us for thinking the wrong thoughts and the solution to changing what we do not want in our lives is to simply think better thoughts. Or perform magic spells. Or do the right ritual. Or light a candle. Oh wait….there’s more. We also need to be PERFECT. If our life isn’t what we want it to be it is because there is some wound in the way and if we clear that wound (fear, compulsion, etc.) then our external life will magically change. Ourselves disguised as a demon disguised as GOD.
(For the record, I’m all in favor of healing our wounds….it is what I do best……but healing our inner wounds is NO GUARANTEE of a change in our external lives. Jesus never promised EXTERNAL abundance – only the abundance we know within when we are free. #authenticfreedom).
THIS is the demon GOD that remains at the bottom of my Pandora’s Box. The GOD that says I’m not good enough. That I will never be good enough. That no matter how hard I work to heal my past wounds, fears, etc. I will never be free because this GOD is looking over my shoulder waiting to hand out reward and punishment. The GOD that has me believing that my life experience will change if I can just figure out what about me is soooooo wrong and heal that one thing so that everything will be good again. DAMN IT. All these years I’ve been serving (internally anyway) the wrong kind of GOD!!!!! In my head I know better….and my work reflects that. But internally, I’ve been serving the GOD of someone else’s making. ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!
NO MORE! Today, I reclaim my RIGHT TO BE HUMAN. Excruciatingly human! Jesus spoke of a God who loves without condition. A God who made me exactly as I am – for a reason and a purpose – and THIS creation is PERFECT. I am already loved by God. I don’t have to earn God’s love and it cannot be taken away. I was LOVED into being and I am LOVE itself – and this version of love swears like a sailor, enjoys a glass of wine at the end of the day, on some days despises the human race, becomes impatient with ignorance and intolerance, grows enraged in the face of injustice, is at times judgmental and self-righteous and is sure that my way is right – or at least better; who loves deeply, burns passionately, gives generously – even if sometimes out of a “need to help or to feel loved,” who hates certain individuals and harbors resentment like Gollum harbors the ring. Sometimes I’m depressed and unmotivated. Other days I’m a workaholic. I have anxiety, suffer with migraines and sometimes have panic attacks. Like Denis Leary sings, sometimes I’m an Asshole but I can also be one of the kindest people you will ever know. This is me in all my excruciating humanness exactly like God made me and there is nothing wrong with me and nothing wrong with how I am living my life. And the parts of my external life which I wish would change (Gawd I’m tired of always having to worry about money and how my next bill will be paid) have absolutely nothing to do with something I have yet to heal, or some thought I need to correct. SHIT JUST HAPPENS. This is life. And God has nothing to do with it and neither do we. We are here to be human – excruciatingly human and maybe somewhere in that humanness we have the opportunity to discover that in addition to being human we are also LOVE.