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the deconstruction of my life and other not-so-fun moments : patriachy, britney, and finding my voice

    **I don't know Britney Spears, why she did the things she did, or what her life was like growing up. These are just thoughts about my life, my assumptions of hers, and how the church is the one thread that weaves its way through both our lives.      Britney and I were both raised in church. Certain beliefs were instilled in us, even if only in subliminal ways (again, I don't actually know her life). Be a good girl, good daughter, good christian, good wife. The man/husband/father is the head of the home. What he says goes. What we want or have to say isn't important, our voice isn't important. Women, like children, are to be seen, not heard. Even while rising to her stardom, I'm sure these thoughts were always a part of her. The world may have been watching her, judging her, but more importantly, god (man) was watching and isn't he the ultimate judge?  be a good girl For years, Britney has used her voice in ways that entertained the masses. She used her voice
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the deconstruction of my life and other not-so-fun moments : deconstruction is not for the weak

    Deconstruction is not for the weak. I use this phrase often because it is so very true. Weak doesn't ask questions because it is seen as disruptive. Weak doesn't rock the boat because it is seen as interference. Weak doesn't leave the fold to explore because it is seen as disobedience.  Weak sits meekly, waiting passively to inherit the fruits of another's labor. Weak swallows down all that rises up against the status quo, effectively becoming quite ineffective. Weak believes that its very weakness is a virtue, a symbolic step on the ascension to those pearly gates. I know because I have been there. I have done that. I have been weak with a capital W. I have sat down, and shut up, and done my best to be a "good little ___" (fill in the blank with whatever title fits for you that I am currently not living up to - churchgoer? daughter? friend? christian?). Because I am a lot of things, but if the version of me that you know - or want - is meek or submissive

the deconstruction of my life and other not-so-fun moments : reckless love

    About ten years ago, I caught on to this revolutionary (to me) idea of radical love. I wanted more than anything to be   Love, the mouthpiece, the hands, the feet of Jesus, the very embodiment of all that love is. I spoke about love and forgiveness, acceptance and grace. I was the voice. I helped feed the hungry and clothe the poor. I was the hands. I went about my life, in my own town, in another country, spreading this newfound love. I was the feet. The more I swam in the deep of this reckless sea of unadulterated love, the freer I was. It was liberating like no other point of my christian walk had been. I knew authenticity and openness and joy in limitless ways. This love was overflowing and I gave it away freely. but The church is not in the free business. It became quite clear that I was being too   free with my approach. Yes, god gives grace, BUT... Yes, god forgives, BUT... Yes, god accepts all, BUT... Of course god loves all, BUT... So, I tempered my love, and pieces of me

the deconstruction of my life and other not-so-fun moments : love others

  Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." Matthew 22:37-40 Love has always been a big deal for me. If I have nothing left at the end of this journey, I sincerely hope that Love is still standing strong. Throughout my christian walk, the one constant that I have believed about Love is this: it is unwavering, unconditional, extravagant and indiscriminately lavished upon all. And that sounds perfect and good and exactly how a creator would feel about their creation, right? So, you can imagine how one begins to question this sweeping love of god that is deep and wide, encompassing all in its vast path, with the love being preached over pulpits every week. Love all ... but tell those of the

the deconstruction of my life and other not-so-fun moments : forgiveness

Forgiveness. It isn't always simple. It definitely should never be expected. And, there are times that it is given without ever having been asked for. But, for me, for the instances that I shall detail in this Deconstruction series, I am actively applying it as a monthly meditation. I found this beautiful forgiveness intention written by Michael B. Beckwith: "I forgive you and set you free. Your actions no longer have power over me. I acknowledge that you are doing the best that you can, and I honor you in your process of unfoldment. You are free and I am free. All is well between us. Peace is the order of the day." I wrote about two very specific people in my last post (you can read that  here ). Part of my process of deconstructing my life is to take these experiences and flip the narrative. I am taking apart the whole, laying it out for introspection, and reassembling it my   way, for my   benefit. I am healing in the places I have been wounded. And so, I quieted my s

the deconstruction of my life and other not-so-fun moments : racism

Deconstruct - to take apart or examine something in order to reveal the basis or composition often with the intention of exposing biases, flaws, or inconsistencies. This will be my most raw and real series yet. I do not plan to "work" these posts as I usually do, spending energy writing and rewriting over time until they seem acceptable for publication. That feels too much like how I became firmly ensconced in this miry pit to begin with. It is my truth, laid bare, as I see and feel and recall it. It is my story to tell, in my words, in my way.  This is my deconstruction out of religion. (told in snippets of memories, without adhering to a linear timeline) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Shock kept the words from truly registering. They were heard. They were understood. They felt like birds trapped in a too small space, desperately flapping to escape the confinement of their truth. They were seeking freedom to leave, now , but were rooted t

where the church gets it is the only answer

    For years, I was convinced that love was the answer. What was the question? It didn't matter. Love was always the correct response.  The church teaches that if someone wrongs us, love them. Whether the slap to the cheek is literal or metaphoric, just love them. We are reminded of the verse in Luke to "love your enemies, do good to them...then your reward will be great." We have heard many times what the ideal love, the perfect love, looks like (1 Corinthians 13). In short, the message relayed to every church goer is this: the more we love, the better a person we are. And, as Jesus followers, we want that. We want to be love, in the flesh. We want to obtain this perfection. We want to be more like Jesus. And so, we sit under teachings that are setting us up to be used, to be victimized, to be forgivers in light of the worst atrocities, and forgetters of the sins committed against us, because That. Is. Love. But, is it? Is that really what Jesus meant by loving uncondit