summer solstice!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

this far by faith june 2005


For once I’m simply going to write and not include the typical plethora of outbound links my readers likely aren’t interested in or could seek out for themselves. Every now and then in my assiduously shaped language and cadence I catch a glimpse of the (maybe) mildly manic creator, designer and wordsmith; although separating out ideas from each other can be labor-intensive, I need to communicate, so here’s one more! And please note: it’s late evening, and rather than wait until tomorrow morning when I might decide all of this reveals too, too much, I’m publishing it now.

This summer solstice evening as I continue my faith narrative, again I need to acknowledge the overwhelming abundance of the gracious, merciful and loving Rain of Heaven that keeps persisting in spite of me and in spite of everyone else, too!

Assessing where I am at the moment:

Since early February I’ve been participating in a weekly CoDA [Codependents Anonymous] meeting; the codependent characteristics I most recognize in myself are my (owning it!) tendency to minimize, alter and deny how I really feel as well as deny my own needs—those behaviors have gotten me into big-time trouble again.

Historically – yes, for a long, long time – I’ve been extremely determined, sometimes too disciplined (but hey, I had my eyes on the prize of a lifetime of service and when I’d eventually find myself living in that prize, I could let up on the controlled discipline, which I have to a degree, even though currently I’m not vaguely living my dream), and intermittently driven. However, I’ve never, ever been remotely competitive. During my undergrad years at Boston University’s exceedingly high-end School for the Arts (now renamed College of Fine Arts, which to me sounds exactly like a fly-by-night trade school), although I took ample advantage of every opportunity imaginable to perform, it always was about being my best and never outstripping, outshining or contending with anyone else. During those earlier years and throughout more recent years, consistently I trusted the best was yet to come, as in every area of interest and endeavor I strove for a level of expertise that would bring me a multitude of opportunities. Once again, rejection and bad press say far more about the speaker than the spoken-about, but in whatever way I deconstruct, reconstruct, scrutinize or agonize over much of what has been happening, the fact still remains I’ve experienced a long – and ultimately highly erosive – series of question marks and little resolution.

Hmmm...a few days ago on this blog I wrote about truth-telling, primarily referring to my own life and experience. To update, there’s no such entity as one-sided truth—that’s only facts; you need to discern and declare the facts on all sides in order to have truth.

When I was living in Salt Lake City, someone essentially remarked to me, “With your energy and optimism, you must be a very effective leader.” I responded that I do have some leadership ability and I’ve developed some skills, but leadership in the classic (corporate?) model isn’t one of my strong suits, since I’m far more into helping others get their dues in terms of developing their own gifts and finding occasions to use their abilities than I am in placing myself front and center, having my opinions heard or getting my plans completed. Relating to my passion for enabling others, these days almost constantly resounding in my ears are some of the words to me from one of the pastors with whom I served. He observed, “With your abilities you can afford to be generous; most people aren’t in your situation.” He also once noted, “You’re very modest when you talk about your abilities—and then people see you in action!!!!!” I’m not modest in the least, but I am matter-of-fact; nevertheless, I’m well aware of my gifts and abilities and make a major point of not intimidating anyone as well as making a concentrated effort not to convey the impression I’d ever imagine taking over anyone else’s position. From the good manners angle and from sensitivity to others’ needs, I’ll never invade or insinuate myself into any setting or anyone else’s space; since childhood I’ve given folks a whole lot of time and a reasonable amount of space so they can feel comfortable with me and know my intentions for them are the best, hopefully eventually welcoming me on their terms rather than upon my insistence. However, because I do enjoy being in charge and having things my way, possibly I’ve overcompensated in the opposite direction?! A tangent: in high school I was intending to become a social worker; that in itself means I’ve always been people-addicted!

Sophia is one of my middle names; Sophia is a wisdom archetype! Long, long ago, when I was far too young to expect to hear those words applied to me, someone cited what he considered my, “wisdom, maturity and insight.” Amazing! More recently, another person told me I was a good self-observer, which in general is true. For the past few months I’ve been journaling as well as revisiting a lot of my past behaviors and trying to look at myself from the outside—at least as much as anyone can do. The best of classic Leah was just as I described in the paragraphs above: drawing out people and their gifts, hearing their story, not making assumptions about them or about my potential place in their space, but watching, waiting and hoping! However, not long ago, I realized once again I’d waited far too long and been much too patient, again seeing but not acknowledging evidence there was no real potential there for me (remember, I’m always reminding myself of the verity the world does not revolve around me and that others need to participate, too), and despite a few lagniappes thrown my way, I’m wondering when I’ll be able to claim something, anything, to replace the loss I’ve experienced?

Over on my theology blog I asked, “Isn’t homecoming the ultimate redemption?” I’m waiting, hoping and longing for a community somewhere to buy me and my gifts (read: “my life”) back into their grace, fully and beyond any doubt. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll try to finish and post the piece I’ve been writing for my theology blog. Good night and a grace-filled dawn!

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