The Blog Has Landed

we-are-here

Well, after a somewhat harrowing weekend of moving my blog from one host to another, I believe the transition was successful.

I’m once again contemplating a FB fast. Of course I probably should wait until AFTER the 25-year high school reunion (egads! really?!? 25 years?!?) at the end of this month. We’ll see. I’m once again exhausted by the slurry floating by on my wall and my brutal need to continue to scan for the redeeming bits of actual personal connection. It seems to get harder, rather than easier, as time goes by.

I think I’m going to have to search for a good blog (RSS) feed reader again. Ever since Google killed Reader, I’ve been sort of floundering from tool to tool and I know that I’ve been missing actual quality writing from people I really DO want to hear from. If any of you have a suggestion, PLEASE leave a comment!

On the religious vs. spiritual front, I’m still doing a lot of demolition and sifting. Feels good to breathe fresh air, and I’m enjoying the scenery. Other than that, I have nothing to declare.

Currently Reading:
Notes from (Over) the Edge: Unmasking the Truth to End Your Suffering
by Jim Palmer

A Time of Transition

If you are seeing this post, you have been successfully directed to the future location of my blog.  The rest of the blog has yet to make its appearance, so please bear with me.  If I can, I’ll try to find an annoying “under construction” animated gif from the ’90s to make it complete!

Lundie

Metamorphosis

Questions
Times are changing. Thoughts are changing. Perceptions. Yep. Them too. There’s a stirring going on and I’ve avoided writing because I don’t have any answers. Just many, many questions. But I read a blog yesterday of a person who wrote anyway. If we hide the questioning, aren’t we putting out the idea that we have all the answers?

Why do we need to have all the answers? Why was I trained to never be caught without an answer (and a backup text to prove it). Where did the idea that we have to have all the answers come from? Where did the wonder go?

I don’t have answers. I have personal experience. I have some book learnin’. But mostly I have questions. And they’re not questions that I want answered by someone who “has all the answers”.

I’m scared and excited to allow the “what if…?” bounce around my skull for a while. Time to be ok with some soft answers like “I think…” and “Maybe…” and “It seems like…”.

Does God exist? Do I have any idea what I even mean by the term “God”? How does my soul connect with God? Is my True Self a part of God? Lots of good questions, but I’m not in aggressive pursuit of answers right now, just wandering pursuit.

I’m a little tired of seeking out and arguing over absolutes. I don’t think the world works that way. I don’t think I’m wired to work that way. But that’s ok. I’m going to keep watching, listening, and learning. And if I get it wrong? I’ll change my mind. :)

Internal Battle of the Conformist

ambivalence-conflicted

I recently took a personality test for work and the results really didn’t surprise me: Lower scores in Dominance and Extroversion, higher scores in Patience and Conformity.

Conformity can be a strength in areas like Accounting where close attention to detail, and adherence to rules, are what keep things working smoothly. Where this can be a challenge, however, is when roles and responsibilities are less constrained by defined rules, and are subject to my own thoughts and opinions.

What do you do when your gut instinct and your natural tendency to conform, clash? Which part of you do you listen to? How do you move forward when there’s no clear “right way”?

Five Minute Friday: Hero

Heroes to me are people that see a need and fill it. The first person I think of is my friend Sher. She has an uncanny ability to see the invisible people. She inspires me to slow down and realize that a lot of the fuzzy blurry obstacles in my life are actually people who may spend a great deal of their lives unseen.

Do you know how it is to be actually seen?

I love the greeting*, can’t remember what it was specifically or where it came from but it was the equivalent of “I see you.” I don’t know about you, but that’s something really powerful. Spending time with someone and being seen. Acknowledged. Heard. Accepted.

So, my heroes are those who my achieve greatness in some way, but who actually “see” the people around them. I think that’s why so many people are falling in love with Pope Francis. He is removing the walls between himself and the people he interacts with.

That, to me, is real heroism. Someone brave enough to not have walls between themselves and those around them.

Last night on FB, someone posed a video collection of military personnel homecomings. That makes me think of other heroes. Not just those who leave to serve (they are automatic heroes to me) but also their families. They hold the fort for those who protect, giving them a place to return, to be seen, to be welcomed, to be loved.


*The greeting I was referring to is “Sawubona”:


For more info on Five Minute Friday:

Five Minute Friday Today’s Topic:
Hero

The Beauty of Being Me

There was an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that I have always loved, “The Perfect Mate”.

The Enterprise is unwittingly used to present a unique gift to an alien race: a beautiful empath whose sole purpose is to please her mate. Problems arise when coming out of stasis early in the voyage she imprints herself in many ways on [Captain Picard].
- Written by Moviedude1 on IMDB.com

ST-TNG_The_Perfect_MateKamala to Picard:
“I will never truly love him.”
“You’ve not even met him.”
“It no longer matters. I wish I could convey to you what it’s like to be a metamorph; to feel the inner strength of someone; to realize that being with him is opening your mind and heart to endless new possibilities; to hear yourself say “I like myself when I’m with him”.”
“Kamala..”
“For a metamorph, there’s no greater pleasure, and no greater wish, than to bond with that kind of mate at the end of the finis’raal as I have bonded with you.”
“With me?”
“Who I am today, I will be forever.”
- (Memory Alpha Wiki)

At the end of the episode, though she had bonded with Picard and had an opened mind and heart, she went on to marry the person she was originally intended for, in order to keep peace between the worlds. She had been set free to choose her own path.

This year, this season, whatever you want to call it (since I’m not thinking of this in terms of resolutions, but as in eras in my life), I’m entering an era of discovering what I want, what I like, who I am. I am going against all my anti-selfishness resistance that comes with traditional and/or distorted Christian rhetoric. I’m discarding the idea that anything that examines my own value must be inherently selfish. I think that perspective has been damaging me. All of my strengths, all of my value, all of my uniqueness…all of it has been buried underneath a blanket of “forced selflessness”, which after a while ended in feelings of worthlessness and resentment. How is it that worthlessness became a desirable goal, a virtue?

I have reached a point in my life where I no longer want to look to others for my identity. I do have a few close friends (including, thankfully, my husband) who I am able to connect with on a deeper level, that I can exchange ideas with, bounce thoughts around and off of, but no longer do I want to extract my identity as a copy of theirs.

Just as different body types cannot wear the exact same clothes successfully, neither can different people with their unique spirits, minds, and hearts travel exactly the same journey successfully. Being different, even opposite, does not mean one invalidates the other. In an age where we’re inundated with sound bites of polarizing and “other”-ising information, it can be hard to recognize the absolute beauty in all of the different-ness out there.

There’s something that my best friend used to say all the time, with great joy — that Jesus was bringing “freedom for freedom’s sake”. I’m honestly not sure where that saying came from, and for the longest time just saw it as something she said that brought her happiness. I sensed it was much more deeply significant in her path than it was in mine, but it sounded nice.

Lately, though, I think I’m starting to get a feel for just how awesome freedom can be.

I can be free to be me.

Free_to_Be..._You_and_Me_(album_cover)[Oh goodness! Here's another long-ago memory being unearthed!

"Free to Be You and Me" with Marlo Thomas was a staple in our household. Memorable stories like Princess Atalantis, and Ladies First! (And so she was...and mighty tasty too!) You can't beat that stuff!

Ok, ok. So, back to my post]

I’m ready to dedicate some time to exploration and familiarization with my brain, my heart, my soul, my thoughts, my desires and allowing my motivations to be my own. On one hand, it sounds all me-me-me selfish, but now I see that there is this “other hand” that I’m opting to explore. It’s my responsibility to be uniquely me. Whether I subscribe to divine design or not, the truth is, no one else can be me the way I can. It’s time for me to figure out what works for me, and start to discard the things that don’t.

My uniqueness, my custom identity, it deserves to be explored and not shoved through a mold that doesn’t fit in order to attain…what? Conformity? Lifeless existence? Standardization?

Meh.

Me. This year I’m dedicating to sitting back and taking a look at what makes me, me.

This is me.

This is me.

You know, I always wondered what happened to Kamala after she left the Enterprise and went on with her own life. That’s kind of what I feel like right now. I’m excited to see where it goes!

Five Minute Friday (on Saturday): Tree

WikiTree - a FREE collaborative single worldwide family tree

Family tree is where my brain goes first. I’m becoming a bit of a genealogy geek lately. I inherited a trove of boxes of papers from my Grandfather, Robert Forman and I think he would be proud of what I have done with it so far. I have been back and forth with my desire to move my research out to the WikiTree project, but that’s a bit risky if I make that my primary source of information. I’m finally realizing the need to control what I have noted as researched fact, and secondarily donate my research for general use via the wiki.

It’s fun to imagine what all these people would think if they realized their facts would be the treasure sought by people down the genealogy tree. Did they have any idea that their basic facts would become gold?

I think it’s important to pass on information to generations down the line. To have some sense of the people you came from. Mostly, though, I do it for the feeling of connection with my Grandfathers, and for all the other people that have passed. To note their existance. To keep them remembered.

That’s what I think of when I think about “tree”. Putting roots down, passing on information. Finding connections with people miles and miles away. It’s just another thing to keep us connected. Recognizing that we come from the same places.

Now that we have DNA testing used in genealogy, it has become even more interesting to dig in and find connections!


For more info on Five Minute Friday:

Five Minute Friday Today’s Topic:
Tree

Five Minute Friday: Together

Hm. As an introvert, this word at first makes me uncomfortable. Claustrophobic. There’s good together and bad together.

Togetherness can be cozy – like how I feel when J4 and I are in a really good conversation during a long car ride where we can just talk and there’s no pressure to be or do anything but be together. I am blessed to be married to my best friend in the whole world.

But sometimes “together” can feel trapped and exhausting. It’s not that way with everyone. Together when it’s just you and a friend having coffee together = good. Together when it’s a bunch of girls all riding together somewhere? I’m usually in the back seat looking out the window wondering how long until I can get home.

Enforced togetherness is the worst. Family functions based solely on convention and not a desire for face time? Kill me now. “Bonding exercises” that are obviously trying to make something happen that hasn’t happened naturally? No. Waaaay outside my comfort zone.

Surprise togetherness is pretty bad too. It takes me time to gear up and ferret away enough energy to endure a large social gathering. I need to choose it.

Ok, so time’s up. My brain just started unpacking the concept, but that’s enough for today. Plus, I’m about to have the welcome togetherness of my 8yo coming off the school bus. I actually miss the (not so) little guy today!

Have a great weekend!


Here’s the scoop on the Five Minute Friday:

   The Rules:

  1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
  2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
  3. Go a little overboard encouraging the writer who linked up before you.
Today’s Topic: Together