Open Heart, Open Arms, Open Spirit

While I’ve been exposed to Christianity various times and in various ways in my life, I happily and heartily embraced Paganism throughout my adulthood. I never really got into the whole God and Jesus and church thing. It just never appealed to me.

Until recently.

To say the least, I’m weirded the hell out about it.

From a deep sleep, I was awaken at 4:30 one morning with terrible past experiences on my mind, things I have already apologized for numerous times. I tossed and turned and cursed under my breath, but sleep eluded me. Finally, I gave up and made my way down the creaky wooden steps to the kitchen, and I flipped on the coffee maker, which puttered to life with about as much enthusiasm as I felt at that hour. And I sat at the big farmhouse table in the kitchen with a cup of coffee and the Bible.

You all, I never saw this coming. I never imagined I’d be a woman who’d wake up and read the Bible. I further never thought I’d be a women who not only read the Bible, but who also cried big, ugly tears while praying to God about past hurts I could not forgive myself for.

And yet that’s exactly what I found myself doing in the wee hours of the morning.

Sometimes the weight gets too heavy. Sometimes we’re carrying around a load from decades ago that we’ve folded and unfolded and heaved from one shoulder to another, stooping lower and lower under its weight until one day, it’s just too damned heavy to carry anymore. One day it happens that it’s now or never to take a leap and either put it down and breathe forgiveness into our lives and our Spirits, or just succumb beneath it all.

That’s where I was.

I have no idea where this is going. I wonder if this will be just another ridiculous interest in my life. Maybe the placebo effect of surprisingly good spiritual music I happened upon recently. I also wonder — and this is a tiny, hopeful part of me — if maybe this is IT. Maybe this time, I’m doing the very right thing for myself.

Maybe this is my chance to really grow more generous, kind, and gracious.

I don’t want to preach to people about God or Jesus, or any of that, as I believe our spiritual journey is personal and we must come to the place we need to be, in our own time and in our own way.

What I do want to share is the sweet relief I felt when I finally put all that past shit down at Jesus’ feet and asked for forgiveness and, more importantly, asked for help in forgiving myself for what I did so many years ago.

I don’t like to think of myself as broken. However, I seem to have broken bits floating around inside myself and like a chipped elbow bone that makes itself suddenly known when I move a certain way, these broken bits occasionally send searing pain through my Spirit.

This time, I just couldn’t go through it anymore. I didn’t have the strength.

I like to think of myself as strong, but I am not that strong. I have limits and I feel good having finally honored them by saying, “Please, God, take this from me. I don’t want it anymore. I can’t carry it anymore.”

I am grateful that he listened.

I don’t know, maybe someone out there is carrying a heavy load right now and maybe you’ve been carrying it for a really long time. Maybe you’ve gone over and over it in your mind – things you could have done differently, or maybe it replays in your mind like a broken record – and maybe you aren’t sure if you deserve to put it down. Maybe you feel so terrible for what you did that you feel you deserve the pain that the memory brings to your life.

I have been there. In a lot of ways, I’m still there. I’m still a crazy misfit who doesn’t know anything. All I know is the profound sense of relief I felt.

I think the devil is in our minds and I think reliving past hurts and being consumed with guilt is the devil’s way of keeping us down, making us believe that we’re too fucked up to be helped.

It’s all a lie.

We can let that lie go and we can stand up in our faith and release whatever has a hold on us. When we do this, we give others permission to do the same and we create this ripple of beautiful love that can touch so many.

All it takes is the courage and the humility to let go and I don’t know about you, but letting go is really hard for me. I don’t like to give up. I don’t like to be vulnerable and while I have shared a lot in my life, I never really allowed myself to be vulnerable until this past year.

This year has been transformative for me. Hard as hell, but transformative.

I have fallen and I’m going to keep on falling because, you guys, I’m a mess, but I feel like something big is happening in my life and for once, I am opening my heart, my arms, and my life to it.

I’m ready.

Come what may.

Who’s with me?

Xx

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