Something is starting to hit me. Hard. Not bad, sad or difficult kind of hard. Just weak-kneed, brain-fried, and overwhelming kind of hard. Integrating my past with the present and with hope and grief and growth and—if I am really lucky—grace kind of hard.
I had no presumed conclusion in mind when I began writing this blog. All I knew was that something had been coalescing in my life these past ten or so years and that this something is blessedly covalent with that mysterious something I had always wondered about and wished for but only ever had at most a contingent acquaintance with, happiness. Happiness not as a completion, as an arrival and a spot upon which to now simply plop down and pontificate from, but as an ongoing process and an unfolding ability to nurture happiness rather than seek it.
My hope in writing about this process has been, for myself, to make sense of how I got here so that I can more easily hold onto this something and, for anyone else, to offer all the encouragement I can.
However, writing about my own spiritual path quickly began bringing up for me the issue of the spiritual path of my daughters. Or, to put it bluntly, the lack of any traditional spiritual path I have provided for them as their mother. I will forego justifying what I have imparted to them for fifteen years and get to the point. Even as I am convinced that I have served them well by not indoctrinating them into any one religious tradition—and their own blossoming characters are amply bearing this conviction out—I have also spent these years grappling with a growing concern that I have not offered them enough context for their own spiritual unfolding.
So, beginning this past January, these two super duper trooper daughters actually agreed to spend an entire year studying all of the world’s religions with me AND to allow me to write about the experience in monthly columns for the Austin American-Statesman. Greater love hath no children…
All of the things that have been unfolding as we have hung out with rabbis and crashed Sunday School parties at Greek Orthodox churches and tried Tai Chi in public parks and laughed like crazy at the Simpsons episode when Bart becomes Catholic is what is hitting me hard. Good hard. So many beautiful expansions of the heart hard. But, hard nonetheless. And, sometimes, hard to write about.
My throat physically ached as I tried to explain to my beloved last night these new somethings coalescing in my head. I have been having breathing problems for the past three weeks. I’m not the least bit unhappy, but I’d be a doofus not to admit the obvious. Something big is coming up.
So, I’m taking what I think is a two week sabbatical, but may be a bit more. Then, my next post will be a long one about the moment when all of these somethings first crashed together. Fifteen years ago, when my first daughter was born, I refused to have her christened. Instead, I created a small blessing ceremony in the back yard of a rented house in a new town where we knew hardly a soul. My father nearly turned his back on us. I walked away from everything I had known even as I had no new ground to stand upon but for the tiny bit under my own very isolated two feet. I stood there anyway, for a long time. Holding my kids as best I possibly could the entire time.
We have all come a long way in that long time. It was very hard sometimes. Speaking about these things through the strange interactive soliloquy that is the internet should feel odd, I think. Instead, I feel so interconnected. Whoever might be reading this, thank you. Your presence is such a comfort. I truly hope that what I do offers you comfort as well.
Interconnectedness is all we are really on this earth for anyway. It’s the Big Something, the real “Is”. The reason to “Be”. We are human “Beings,” after all.
Be back soon!