on not belonging

I don't belong easily.

When I listen to other Christians talk about Christianity, I realize this.

When I listen to people in the New Age talk, I realize this.

With every article I read and YouTube video I watch, I see it. 

I feel it.

It has been this way my whole life.

 

My guiding word of the year is Belonging.

These are the images I chose to express my intention.

So many long tables and the golden glow of candles.

So many cups.

But this is not my life.

In my actual life, I often feel isolated and alone.

I am a baptized Christian and confirmed Episcopalian. I love my church and I seek to follow Christ, but I also know not everyone walks this path. 

There are many many paths to God. 

God is everywhere. God is in your heart right now.

The Bible wasn't dictated by God, and it must be read with discernment.

Why was this left in? Why was this taken out? Who said this and why? What is the context? What is the Greek meaning of this world? To whom was this letter written and when?

I love to study theology and understand the origins of Scripture. In fact, it's one of my obsessions.

I'm fed by the liturgy and I take good sermons into my whole body. Good preaching changes me.

The Eucharist changes me.

But the fact remains, there are beliefs many Christians seem to hold and deny that I will simply never hold or deny.

 

I'm well aware, perhaps more aware than ever, of how my beliefs and thoughts and ways of being in the world don't fit neatly into anyone else's ideas of what my beliefs and thoughts and ways should be.

But I don't have any time to waste on trying to get other people to love and accept me.

Or the energy to give to that endeavor.

 

So, I'm out here by myself, but I'm also standing on bridges. 

There are bridges that link us all together.

And I believe in the power of those bridges. Because they're built on love and that's where truth is. 

I'll not build a life or a faith based on fear. 

Only love.

We are love. We are loved. We were created by love. Love is what we have to offer one another. Love is who we are.

If it's not love, it's not God.

People feel panicky at the thought that we might all have something in common, that they are giving up some exclusive hold on the truth. It is something like discovering you are a Frenchman and a human being at the same time. That is exactly the challenge that the great religions face in the Space Age.
— Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That

I am 48 years old.

An Enneagram 4.

An INFP.

I'm a writer and an artist. 

My sun and moon are in Aquarius with Capricorn rising.

I'm probably much more emotional than you realize, my moods change with the wind. I experience great highs and great lows. Often in the same day.

I need a lot of personal space and a lot of downtime.

I have a fairly good grasp on who I am and how I navigate the world. 

For a while now, I have not been willing to bend or re-shape myself or hide parts of myself in order to be accepted by a group.

Even if the group is the whole rest of the world.

There are times when I feel the sharpness of that decision like a knife blade in my heart.

 

Christians talk a lot about community.

Jesus models community. 

The people who teach energy currents and astrology are talking a lot about community right now.

Sometimes when I hear that talk, I recoil.

Sometimes I think my true nature is that of a hermit.

And yet, I pinned all those pictures of tables in the woods, women bringing pies, glasses raised in unity.

My heart saw something in those images that it needed, that it longed for.

 

I sat down with my coffee cup this morning and thought...I feel completely emptied out.

And alone.

And I don't love that feeling.

Even though I've felt it my entire life  -  that I stand outside the circle, outside the understanding, outside whatever it is that's linking everyone else in unison. 

The more I share of my true self, the more people I lose, the greater my unfollowers become, the deeper the silence that greets me.

That's not a good thing or a bad thing. 

It just is.

Because I can't be other than I am.

My life is halfway over and just beginning.

I'm standing here on a bridge. Holding a lantern. And maybe a pie.

And I'm thinking, I can't be the only one.

So I'll wait here.

And when we find one another, we'll sit down and pour the wine and eat.