Friday, March 27, 2009

Just a wink (I mean link) for now

Well...you are actually in your interview right now. I can hardly contain the surrealness of this experience. I don't know what will happen in the coming months, but the fact that we are closer to the possibility of living in the same state again has my stomach all twisted up with excitement and the fear that always accompanies any level of hopefulness in my life. Even if for some reason all of the puzzle pieces don't come together exactly how we want them to, when all is said and done we will have had, at least on some level, a shared experience here. Shared experiences are often at the heart of deep bonding and intimacy.

Considering I am supposed to be utilizing this time to get some school work done, I am going to abruptly end this post by offering a little link to yet another MHGS student's blog. She is one of the many people at my school that I admire from afar and often think about how if I were in another stage of life currently (basically if I wasn't married with children and totally lacking even a trace of spare time) we could be great friends! She recently wrote a post about your beloved Twilight that I thought was worth a gander. So feast your eyes on this when you get a chance (presumably after this Experience Mars Hill Graduate School Weekend).

~S.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

b-12 deficiency

for a long time i thought i was anemic because i could never shake constant exhaustion. from the moment i woke up in the morning i was counting the hours until i could sleep again. at one point i was so tired i could drink sleep. i investigated the normal causes for why i would be so tired. i took some blood tests, had my thyroid checked out - everything came back normal. i eventually went to a naturopath doctor to look into vitamin supplements. on this journey i came across pernicious anemia which is not a lack of iron so much, like regular anemia, but more of a lack of b-12 absorbency. which is to say, it's not that i wasn't taking in enough of the vitamin, but that my body wasn't absorbing it. so, i immediately started a supplement. i was worried about overdosing because i was so eager to feel not so much like a walking sleepy-head. turns out you can't overdose on vitamin b-12 because it is a water soluble vitamin that, when taken in excess, is easily excreted.

enough of the glamorous details, my point is not to blog to the world about my vitamin deficiencies, but rather to draw a parallel. i think i'm also deficient in something else entirely, love. not because there isn't enough love around me, but because i'm not absorbing it. i'm a poor receiver. what does it matter if my husband always tells me how great i am if i don't receive his praise? what does it matter if i'm surrounded by people who think i'm special, if i don't receive their admiration? what does it matter if friends stand up for me, protect me, rescue me, if i don't accept their help? what does it matter if i know Christ died for me because he loves me, if i don't receive his gift of love.

i'm not quite sure why i don't receive or absorb the love that surrounds me. just like my vitamin deficiency, i can't pinpoint my problem - all i know is that there is one. just like my tiredness was a symptom of malabsorption, likewise, symptoms such as an insatiable desire for praise and a constant yearning to feel special, great disappointment when i am not chosen or picked for someone or something, and deep despair when i'm overlooked or brushed over are symptoms that i'm not receiving the love that is amply given. because if i were like a sponge, absorbing the love surrounding me, would i be so desperate for more?

so. i don't have a love deficiency, but i do have an absorption problem. throwing more love in any way it is given won't help my reception of it. it ends up going down the toilet. therefore, the answer is not more love, but a way to absorb and receive love that bypasses the way i've been trying to receive it up until now.

there are lots of ways people can bypass the problem of absorbing b-12. the vitamin gets lost in the stomach since some people don't have the enzymes there to receive and send it into the blood stream. so, there are shots, there are under-the-tongue pills, and there are patches that send the vitamin directly to the source, bypassing the stomach.

i'm looking for a patch. where can i find healing and wholeness in order to receive the love that is so lavishly given to me? how can i be a receptor for love in all the ways that it is given? how can i first receive, so i can subsequently, be grateful?

k.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

invitation

this is my formal attempt at inviting you to share more on your thoughts from our conversation today about developing a spirit of gratitude through grief. i'd like to hear more...

k.

merrit malloy - a poem

wrong reason

it is not always the absence of love
that makes me seem alone.
often it's been too much love
given to me by the wrong people
for the wrong reasons
that keeps me here,
gladly alone,
rather than have the life sucked
out of me by the violent needs
of other minds and bodies.

that does not mean
that i'm not grateful.
but i am sad.
not to be able to put my arms
around those who truly loved me
and give them something more
than polite indifference.
oh, how i tried.
i think they should know
i tried.
and i choose to be alone
rather than wrapped in arms
i could never need.

tight rope walker

from Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster:

"Picture a long, narrow ridge with a sheer drop-off on either side. The chasm to the right is the way of moral bankruptcy through human strivings for righteousness. Historically this has been called the heresy of moralism. The chasm to the left is moral bankruptcy through the absence of human strivings. This has been called the heresy of antinomianism. On the ridge there is a path, the Disciplines of the spiritual life. This path leads to the inner transformation and healing for which we seek. We must never veer off to the right or to the left, but stay on the path. The path is fraught with severe difficulties, but also with incredible joys. As we travel on this path, the blessing of God will come upon us and reconstruct us into the image of Jesus Christ. We must always remember that the path does not produce the change; it only places us where the change can occur. This is the path of disciplined grace."

i've been wrestling much, wondering what it is God wants from me. does he want me to try to transform myself? or does he want me to wait for him to do all the transforming? i've used many biblical examples to convince others that we must first step into the red sea before he parts the waters, or take our isaacs to the altar before he provides the ram. so, i know there is a step of action involved. and there is a step of faith in the waiting. i get mixed up when i'm out of balance, when i'm either trying too hard or waiting too lazily. in either case, i'm frustrated.

i go back to this passage from foster's book because it is a visual, and i'm a visual person. it gives me this image of walking down a narrow ridge and balancing - not wanting to fall off to the left in not doing anything, but not wanting to fall off to the right, either, in doing it all on my own.

but like a tight rope walker, i need tools. what are my balancing tools? what is my long stick that i hold onto to keep balanced? do i have special shoes that grip to the rope? tools! i need tools!!! i don't know how to keep the balance of surrender and effort, of doing and resting, of hoping and trusting, of waiting and moving. and i'm so close to jumping off the rope entirely, giving up, not trying, not hoping, not waiting...just falling. and at this point i don't even notice or care if there's a safety net...i just want off the rope.

and i think the tools Foster is describing are the spiritual disciplines of the faith: meditation, prayer, fasting, study, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, worship, guidance, celebration. but for whatever reason, i don't feel like i can do these disciplines without inevitably falling off to the right, and doing everything on my own. these disciplines have gotten me this far in my faith, and yet i feel like i want to, need to get further, and these tools aren't enough? could that be?

i know i'll be on this rope always this side of heaven. so, i'm convinced i need some tools to help me balance, because every day i'm missing the equation that yields doing just the right thing to feel like i'm changing, transforming, somehow being better than yesterday.

to try, or not to try, that is my question.

k.

Monday, March 16, 2009

In need of some tunes

Everything I'm reading right now is about sex - as a metaphor, of course. But that metaphor has seeped into all apsects of my life...so I'll have more to post about that subject later (is there any other subject really worth discussing?).

I have 15 weeks left until my half marathon. Our mileage is about to start climbing, which means I'll be running for longer stretches of time and I'm in desperate need of some new running tunes. I'm open to any and all suggestions from anyone who happens to come across this blog! So people...please...help a sister out.

~S.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Debunking the myths

I'm finishing up a paper on Domestic Violence today and I came across this article on newsweek.com about the myths that have been perpetuated in the media about domestic violence in the case of Chris Brown and Rhianna. The DV class I was fortunate enough to take this term has opened my eyes up to the many ways in which collectively, as a society, we often contribute to the systemic oppression of women (and many other people - but that's another blog-worthy topic I'll have to address at a later point in time). So please click here to read about a few of the myths pertaining to domestic violence.

~S.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Passageways

I only have a few minutes to check in before I tend to a mound of school work. I just dropped Annika off at the airport and we said our goodbyes. It was so great to have her out here for a few days! Having the opportunity to share a bit of my experience out here with those who have been a significant part of my life is a true gift. Here are a few photos of our time together!




These days I'm wrestling with higher levels of anxiety in association with being more fully exposed to others. It's so clear to me now that this anxiety is associated with my deep fear that I am too much for others to handle. I have such a hard time letting go of all inhibition. I'm usually fairly tame in these blog posts...I notice how much I hold back...how much I attempt to abstractly describe what I'm feeling rather than bare all. I think that this trepidation is understandable considering the public nature of this sort of discourse. But for some reason, I'm feeling urged to plow through the passageway of my own discomfort. Sexual metaphors are always within the innerworkings of my mind, so as an attempt to press on through the passageway I often dance around, I'll let go...at least this once.

"Let go" - that's often what I find to be the most difficult task of all. As a woman, surrender is the necessary prerequisite to experiencing orgasm. In order to reach a point of indescribable pleasure, union, intimacy in it's physical manifestation, a woman must surrender her anxieties, preoccupations, and self-containment. She must let go...completely. Orgasm is the moment when she truly shows up.

But letting go with someone who is not in awe of your willingness to surrender can be an incredibly painful experience. The fear of such pain may rob us of true glory...unless we learn to walk through the passageway into the land of surrender. May I learn to walk this journey with greater determination, passion and desire, while never losing sight or sound of the merciful warnings indicated by the initial anxiety. The anxiety serves a purpose. It reminds us that the ground beyond this passageway is truly sacred. We must take our shoes off and so must those in whom we wish to greet on the other side.