So, I haven’t posted a Spiritual Saturday in (runs to check real quick) in over a year. Seems kind of ironic, or lazy. Or something. What has happened? So much, and yet not all that much. I had a crisis last year that bled over into this year. But not a crisis of faith. I don’t think I’ve had one of those since I was 14 and began walking down this path. But my reaction when I have a crisis is to withdraw within myself. This is based on my childhood where my self-expression was often harshly criticized by my father. I was a very open child, I felt so much, so when this happened, I did the only thing that made sense; I drew in on myself to protect myself. Even now, as a grown woman who has been able to forgive my father and do my best to move forward with a relationship with the man he has become, those early experience affect me. And what is the best way to hide within yourself? For me, it’s to fill the void between me and whomever else with words.
This is something that I touched on because of a Facebook challenge. The challenge was that I was given a number (9 in my case) and was told to tell things that no one knew about me. Now, most people posted things that everyone knew about them. Or things that people could figure out after only a moment of looking at them. For once, I decided to answer authentically. I didn’t think it would actually get much attention anyway, so I posted. And the reaction actually surprised me. My friends and family responded to the moment of honesty with an outpouring of love. They didn’t focus on what was said, but on the fact that I was willing to say it. And something inside me opened. It was…lovely.
Now some people won’t understand this. I mean, I have a blog. I share my personal life with whomever in the world wishes to stop by and have a look. But it’s part of that space I like to fill with words. Even when I talk about what’s happening, it all seems so clinical and empty, because I put that artificial tint to it. Or it’s happy and the good times. I have words. I have more words than a single brain should have to hold at any one time. My brain never stops – which is part of the reason I have so much trouble with sleep. But I learned an important lesson that you’d think I of all people would know by now.
Words have power. When they are given the respect they deserve, when the reader is given the respect of the benefit of the doubt, words. have. power. That one moment of authenticity brought me together with people who are a part of my life in a way some of us haven’t been brought together in a long time. One was a friend of mine that I’ve literally known my entire life. Our dads were best friends and we grew up together. Then we were lucky enough to get to go to high school together. In high school, we hung out with different groups, mostly because she’s a year older than I am. And since then, we’ve wandered our separate ways – she lives in Pensacola, Florida, and I’ve lived all over. But her comment was a moment of connection between us. I love that woman the way I love other members of my family. She’s the cousin of my heart.
Now, what does all of this have to do with spirituality? What about this qualifies this for Spiritual Saturday – particularly my first Spiritual Saturday in over a year? Just this. Sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking about Spiritual Saturday because I want something deep and insightful, something that screams spirituality. And I let myself forget the point I wanted to make with this blog and Spiritual Saturday in particular. EVERYTHING is spiritual. LIFE is spiritual. We are not creatures of only the physical.
I know this was written by a Jesuit priest, but y’all shouldn’t be surprised to see it by now. Some wisdom is universal, no matter the intent behind the one sharing it. I thoroughly believe that life is, in and of itself, a spiritual experience. I see my Gods in all things. Which is why even when I find myself falling from a formal practice, I am comfortable. I am still connected to my Gods. More so, this spiritual experiment of life is about more than just my connection to my Gods. It’s about my connection to other people. A true connection. Which is probably why my most spiritual connection is to the one person I am able to trust with the whole of myself – my husband, Joshwa, who is so wonderful for all the ups and downs I put him through. Love is a miracle.
But that is a topic for another day. For now, I will leave you with this. Take the time to genuinely connect to people. Even if it’s just one person a week, take that time to actually connect. Even if it’s only a moment. That brief contact will ease and feed you in a way you may not necessarily understand. But try it.