This is a great question. There were lots of humbling experiences and spiritual lessons in 2012, not the least of which were “getting married,” and “turning 40.” May I rephrase: The combination of turning 40 and then getting married, made it so clear to me that this life I have now, while, not necessarily the life I'd imagined for myself, is also real, and so beautiful.
I thought, when I was a child, that I wanted to be some kind of celebrity: famous, red carpet, fabulous clothes, adoration from all present! And I wanted to be a mom with three kids. Those were my two choices: celebrity actress/mom with three kids. It makes me a little sad that I thought that those were my two options. My mom was a university professor, after all, and I loved listening to “Free To Be You And Me,” which advocated a widening career field for women.
Lots of therapy later, I realized I wanted to be seen and known, and even loved. I wanted the image of beauty, not necessarily the substance. I wanted to be fabulous. I lived in fantasy, because the life I had was in a boring, not-safe, Midwestern household with two bratty older brothers who didn't dote on me near enough. With two parents who did the best they could — one while managing an undiagnosed bi-polar disorder and and the other while hiding being gay. With a mean nun principal of the Catholic School I went to (apologies to nice nuns everywhere), and the guilt and shame of being sexually abused by a non-relative babysitter.
I lived in fantasy because it was the safest place. In that fantasy, everyone treated me with respect and kindness, and wild adoration. Somewhere in therapy, I learned that wasn't real. I also learned, somewhere else in therapy, that I could have a good life, albeit not the life of fairy tales.
This year, I learned that I am loved by friends and family alike, and valued for who I am (metaphorical warts and all). This lesson I met with some surprise, lots of laughter, and with absolute gratitude. I love my family, my husband and my kid. I love my little Spokatown, I love my friends, I love my relatives. I'm grateful for it all.
I'm pretty sure this year's lesson will be How To Rely On God: A Primer. It starts with the mantra, “panicking doesn't help!” or “don't panic.” I'm looking forward to telling you about it next January.
- Probably no prayer at public meetings - April 28, 2014
- The idea of a personal God is troubling - March 10, 2014
- Ethical spending: Eat your vegetables! - October 3, 2013
- Keep food prayers short! - September 3, 2013
- How would atheist chaplains be ordained? - August 26, 2013
- Evil exists because we allow it - August 19, 2013
- The Second Coming induces too much fear - August 5, 2013
- Government is meant to get in man’s way - June 24, 2013
- If we cared about where our “stuff” came from, the world be profoundly different - June 10, 2013
- Stewardship is maintaining what you’ve been given - May 14, 2013