On a completely random related / unrelated note. I have been thinking about the triad I was in on Monday during prayertime. We joked about Jesus’ harem and Jesus as polyamorous in relation to brides of Christ and religious life. Upon further reflection, I would hope if Jesus did have multiple partners, it would not be a harem as that is often one person with multiple spouses and unequal power dynamics. I see Jesus more as polyamorous in which there is equality and open, mutual communication. Imagine that … Jesus in a polyamorous relationship with all the sisters, nuns, brothers, priests, consecrated folks…it takes OMG to a whole other level. Got to love Catholicism (and my warped mind).
As we’ve journeyed together, quandaries over vocational discernment percolate and percolate (and sometimes agitate). In reflecting over creating / laying out a plan, spirals keep coming to mind and heart. I also hear on repeat, if you want to make Goddess laugh, tell Her your plans. Though I don’t have a plan in the traditional sense, thinking and creating and recreating a plan has been both helpful and eekful. As I worked on this week’s reflection questions, I realize that the journey, the plan, the SMART goals—its all one big spiral, reflecting the cosmic dance that is discernment. A lot of movement in many different directions, a lot of sweat, a lot of switching back and forth who leads (with these dynamics shifting with each new dance partner).
In terms of trying to give structure but also not limit / narrow possibilities, I share my sparking off point and other goals along the spiral (some are interconnected, some practical, some just part of adulting). More and more, I am discerning what is both attainable and bold.
- “I am significant!” – for some time I had Calvin from “Calvin and Hobbes” as my profile image on Facebook; he was shouting these words. My first goal is value myself and to demand respect. When it comes to public speaking or facilitating a workshop or other gigs, I often don’t ask for an honorarium or undersell myself with a low honorarium. Part of me wants to make sure education is accessible and not wanting money and compensation to be a barrier. At the same time, this diva needs to put food on the table. Over this last year, I am realizing that I need to demand respect for my work, expertise, and personhood. Catholic guilt is real and I wrestle with this; Jesus wouldn’t charge, why should I? It’s the tension of kindness and professional oomphness and survival and claiming for myself that I am significant.
- Get a JOB!!! I resonated with some of the mini-reflections in this week’s prompts. I have been actively seeking employment for a year and half now, experiencing over 250 rejections. I know that the “one” is coming but have wrestled with questions about my worth (see first point) and self-doubt (there’s obviously something wrong me, I am not good enough). Its taken a while to reconstruct my professional pizzazz (it’s a work in progress) but I am committed to keep applying, to keep learning with each application and interview, and to keep adapting.
- Exploring different opportunities..
- Trans Theology book project in Spanish – need to call the troops and start outlining by the end of the month.
- Joined the Call To Action Vision Council (one check on the list of to do’s) and now move on to the next project of helping to recreate CTA’s Anti-Racism Team.
- Priesthood … what do I do with you? I have been discerning the call to the priesthood since I was 13. I “dated” many religious communities from various flavors of Franciscans to the Legionnaires of Christ to the Jesuits. A couple of months ago, I started looking at both Catholic and Episcopal / Anglican religious communities dabbling with the question of “what if I went back?” Then coming to the question, what about my beloved? I’ve tinkered with the possibility of jumping onto another ship…Episcopal Church, Unitarian Universalist Association, Roman Catholic Women Priests, United Church of Christ, Metropolitan Community Churches, even thought about becoming a Rabbi. I need to let this simmer a little more (to be determined)
- I recently watched a comedy show by actress, writer, and comedienne, Fortune Feimster. In her show she talks about being forced to join the swim team however “people were asking for the butterfly stroke when I have a caterpillar’s body.” It was a “oh damn” moment—why am I trying to adapt to others and not own my life on my terms? I believe we are called to be co-creators with Goddess in the scheming and we live into this as us, not as anyone else.
- As Audre Lorde reminds us, self-care is part of the revolution. In the next two weeks, carving out time to delve into the readings for this group as well as a non-violence course that I am in. If I burn out, how can I help others shine? Self-care is more than just spa days and massages, its taking time to be with myself and to be with others in ways that fill and lift spirits. Online and virtual gatherings have actually opened up the possibilities of connecting with individuals and groups; it has allowed reconnecting with both old and new friends—different ways of being community and holding each other in and through the now. Upon further reflecting, this should be goal numero uno!
- This is not a goal with a timeframe or specific end-date; it is ongoing and organic and evolving. My goal is to continue to be and learn new ways of being transgressive. In Debra Harkness’ fictional world of witches, vampires, demons, and other supernatural beings, she categorizes witches into specific categories. A rare and unique category is that of a weaver, one is able to create new spells. I am mindful that it is work of fiction and mindful that Goddess speaks through many different microphones. I realize that in my calling of transgressiveness, of asking queeries, of finding Letty Russell’s third way, I continue to deconstruct and construct ideas outside of binaries. My life is a form of resistance because I am told I should not exist. In being transgressive I am learning of living with the harmonious tension of balancing patience with urgency; of challenging and being challenged; of ongoing learning and unlearning harmful rhetoric. Stretching oneself is uncomfortable but stretching is one way of relieving tension in our bodies and through this discomfort we learn and grow.
This is not the traditional outline for a plan but tradition and I have a complicated relationship. Being able to put words on paper through doodling and typing things into a document has been helpful and has sparked thoughts on how to create a more structurely unstructured outline. This specific reflection has nudged me into learning to be present when there is no set plan. I used to quote Jack from Titanic a lot in high school in essays about my priestly future … “I try to live each day on God’s good humor.” I know that our discernment must be active and participatory as we are co-creators in the scheming; but I am also okay with actively figuring things out as we go.