It wasn’t until last week, paging reluctantly through the Old Testament for a prayer group I’m in, that something clicked into place about that fickle, angry Old Testament God who I could never previously relate to.
She’s like a scorned woman/mother/burgeoning-entrepeneur/creative/hot single chic doing a lot of important shit and getting no respect. She’s like, I told you what I like. Aren’t you listening? I was so nice, wasn’t I? I was gentle! I was kind! I had patience! And now you’ve really gone and pissed me off!
And when I thought of God as someone like me, who’s been through some shit and has a lot of wisdom and yet keeps getting bombarded with assumptions that she doesn’t know very much, I could relate so much better.
What brought this to light for me is dating, because our relationship with potential sex partners is the source of a lot of beauty and frustration, and it uncovers some of our deepest wounds, namely the ones we began to accumulate in childhood. So I can’t cut myself off from the waters of dating, even though I keep wanting to. If I do, I’ll prevent myself from learning a lot of valuable lessons about who I am as a person. If I’m open to learn. If I don’t want to continue to make the same mistakes. If I’m willing to open up and see the fullness of who I am.
Pain in the ass, this learning/growing bullshit is.
When I’m dating, or browsing through men like they’re in a fucking catalog, I realize that my bad-wiring, my old programming, can sometimes kick in. And that old programming is the way I protect myself, the way I avoid hard truths.
For instance, I grew up without my father, and this absence of strong fathers pervades my matrilineal line. So from a young age I carried a seed that never had time to sprout: understanding a father’s love. Understanding the way a father cherishes his daughter. Understanding the way he can lift her up and help give her the confidence to make wise decisions, to trust herself in challenging times. Instead, what grew in me was a desire to make the unavailable become available, the false idea that once I attained what was absent, all my cares and problems would melt away. My deep hunger for a childhood safety and security I never had made me look for men who my soul knew would get attached to me and never leave. And those men didn’t fit my needs. Those men and I were not compatible. We were just hungry for something a sexual partner couldn’t ever provide.
So over and over again, I was drawn to emotionally unavailable men, without even realizing it. And I was invigorated by the conquest of having them be mine. On the outside I was kind, nurturing, encouraging. Patient and thoughtful. (And I truly was all these things, because I’m a loving person.) But from other depths, from a shadow place that hadn’t healed, I was grasping at them, wanting to secure them in place, wanting to make them a fixed mark in my life that wouldn’t leave me so I could feel the safety I hadn’t felt growing up.
Surprise! It didn’t work. And that’s bad karma, besides.
Healing wounds of childhood, healing old trauma, is not about just mentally recognizing it’s there. (This is why counseling doesn’t always go deep enough.) If I have a gash on my leg, seeing it and knowing there is a gash doesn’t make it disappear. Talking about it doesn’t heal it. Knowing it takes time isn’t the same as applying the salve. We need healing on a physical level and spiritual level, not just a mental one.
And deep healing means we actually unravel a bit before coming back together again. We have to go to the source, uncover. We need to see, wholly and clearly, how it has been at work in our lives. And then, once we’ve grieved, and made peace, we can begin to live from the ground up. We are a new temple, ready to love.
This is what it means when we read that Jesus cleansed Mary Magdalene of seven demons. It does not mean she was more sinful than anyone else. It just means that Mary Magdalene was the kind of brave soul who went all the way, who kept seeking until she could release all parts of her shadow side. She did not just get a taste of Jesus’s healing powers and move on. Her warrior spirit meant she pursued his healing in all seven energy centers of her body—her seven chakras—and was cleansed from past traumas and wounds. This is why her loyalty to him was fierce. This is why they had such a special relationship, even partnership. She experienced his power more intimately than most. She moved through so much fear and societal mores and let him challenge her in all kinds of ways. She met him in every place a human can meet the divine. And for this, she learned how boundless his love was, and she would never forsake him when the other apostles did.
I speak from experience. He did this for me, too.
I do not think Jesus is the only way to worship God. I respect all other religions, their beauty and what I can learn. But dammit, I just fell in love with my guy, Yeshua, Rock-Star, Wild-Man, Reiki Healer, Compassion Fully Realized. My loyalty to him is fierce, and my love for him abounds, and I will follow him anywhere. His goodness is mine, and his will is always what’s best for me. I trust him implicitly in every aspect of my life, because he taught me I could trust myself. This does not mean I implicitly trust church leaders, or those who call themselves Christian, or those who assume they know the will of God. Pompous! The One I trust is Jesus, and there is a difference.
I finally got that illusive figure I was always looking for, but it wasn’t in the shape of a sex-hungry man. (Though sex-hungry, when it’s added to the whole package, ain’t bad.) I got that figure through bowing down and falling in love with the brightest, vastest, juiciest, sexiest, all-encompassing spirit that lifts me up and shows me the vastness of who I really am, and what’s possible in life. And he’s mine, and I’m his, and that’s that.
Now, for what a lover can do?
We’ll have to see.