Tag Archives: being authentic

SUNDAY IS THE MOST SPECIAL OF DAYS

It is Sunday July 20, 2014. Another Sunday ticking away just like any other day. They are all Sundays to me. I carry my church inside of me and it goes wherever I go every day of the week. I did all the building-type churches for most of my years. I loved it for the most part and certainly got a lot out of those experiences. Those experiences are part of who and what I am today. I still step into one of those buildings now and then and reach for evidence of the Spirit there; but, all I really have to do is reach inside of me and stroke the connection I have to all that is and I can be satisfied fully there or here or anywhere.  The photo that accompanies today’s blog is one I took of the church built into the rock in Sedona, AZ.  If you don’t take Spirit with you, it’s just another structure built on rock.  If you are aware of Spirit within you then everything is a spiritual experience.

When I am giving love to and petting my dog Ollie it is a spiritual experience.  When everything is Spiritual, that is, of  Spirit,  then everything becomes Spirit/God/The All That Is.  and I am then always “in Church”. I am always aware. God/Good/Love/Allah/Jesus or whatever name you give to THAT which is, is everywhere at all times present. This is not to say that going to church, belonging to a spiritual group of any kind is not something a person needs or should experience. Until you have done your spiritual quest and have run out of reasons to regularly attend a church or religious assembly, then you are doing exactly what is right for you. For anyone in this stage or place, I say please keep going because that is where you need to be. God knows where you need to be. I certainly do not know where you need to be.

Your very Spiritual Essence is who and what you are and can be expressed in so many different ways, I cannot begin to wrap my mind around the different stages, expressions, and ways that Spirit can be expressed in, as and through each person and event. These expressions come from the ONE, the wellspring from which all comes.  It takes forms, transforms, and recycles inside and outside of the bounds of time.

Be that unique expression of God, of Spirit, no matter whatever form that is.  Know that Sunday is a special day that one can have every single day whether or not you go to the place you call church.  Sunday is the most special of days. — Brenda A Elliott, MSW

THE PATH OF AUTHENTIC FREEDOM

I have come to the point in life where differences (race, color, cred, sexual orientation, religion or no religion, beliefs and what is “proper” or not) are superficial to me. What is uppermost is what lies deeper than that. Can you just enjoy laughs, tears, joys, sorrows and celebrate the ways in which you and others are alike? Can you stop, at least now and then, from being offended by someone else and realize that it is not they who offend you but rather your beliefs and inability to see beyond your own boundaries that cause the offense? 

Perhaps the question is, do you want to look beyond, walk out on that limb, suspend your own beliefs or feelings for even a moment or two, to try to see things differently? If the answer is that you would rather keep things just as they are and you feel no need to see deeper than your present ability, then, please don’t pretend you do. Be true to yourself, be authentic. That does not mean that this should give you free license to be be cruel, harm someone physically, or want to make them conform to your own standards. You will, perhaps, miss out on a more expanded and enriched life but that is your choice and certainly you have that right.

If you do wish that you could be more open and accepting, I can tell you from my own experience that this has been one of the best gifts I could have given myself. I can walk through freak shows and find the freak in myself. I’ve been an insider during my lifetime and an outsider as well but when I choose to allow myself to just be with different people expressing different things, I can enjoy the party even if I am not an exclusive member. What does that mean? I can be free to jump in and frolic all I want, then go to a different party and frolic there even if the former was worlds apart from the latter. I can be dead serious, solemn , thoughtful, or off-the-wall funny, playful, light or sassy. Without my erecting or keeping so many boundaries, I am free to fly however I want, whenever I want, wherever I want instead of being constricted and becoming a prisoner of my own making. Does this mean anything goes? Of course not. You don’t throw common sense to the winds. You don’t put yourself into harm’s way. You don’t stay where you are not welcomed. You don’t have to play any games that make you feel uncomfortable or stay in situations where you are being taken advantage of. You don’t have to join in for the sake of appearances, of looking good. It has taken me a lifetime to begin to figure this out. I don’t know about you but I have often felt out of place. It wasn’t because I was so different (though I often feel that way) but rather because I was not allowing myself to be the authentic expression of Brenda that I always was deep down inside. I was brain-washed and trained to conform to my family, my society, my church, my groups. I tried to make myself into whatever I thought would make me fit in with the norm. I find that I can fit in with the norm or the exception thereof not so much because of the need to be accepted but more for the sake of just expanding myself and setting myself free.

No one could tell me this. I just had to figure out where the discomfort came from all these years, look back at my experiences, and find the real me. I invite you to do the same. You may not find that your path is like mine in any way. I believe that this Energy or Power or Spirit or God that creates all things wants to express in, through and as me, as you, as all things created. I find that having that belief brings me joy, helps me make sense of what I can’t explain, and gives me the the awesome job and responsibility to allow Spirit to shape me and shift me as He/She is declined to do. Following a path of authentic freedom is, to me, the most loving, common-sense, and creative path one can take, It is the gift that keeps on giving through storms or calm, through light and dark, through joy and sorrow and for this I am truly thankful.