I tend to run away when I feel scared. I realized this week that I am afraid of my call. I feel a call to move back into the Catholic church, but I am worried that it will not allow me to live out my call to serve. It is like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I lose something no matter what I do.
I realized in my last meeting I cannot fully commit to returning is because of the hurt the church has caused me. I have internalized the patriarchal view of the church, that women are inferior to men and that I’m somehow lacking something essential and will never be able to measure up. It has taken me years of therapy to try and combat the negative view I have of myself. If I’m honest, I still hold a negative view of myself. When I am in Catholic Spaces, I still feel this way. Instead of dealing with this reality, I have avoided it altogether. Standing on the line of being involved in the church but from an arm’s length.
I have several goals for myself in the upcoming year.
Goal 1: Creating space to hear God.
- I want to create an intentional space to listen to the spirit’s call on my life. I have a prayer time each day, I read scripture, but I have a difficult time sitting in silence. I want to incorporate meditation into my life. Specifically, I want to be able to sit in meditation for 20 minutes each week by Christmas this year.
- A practical daily step for me is to start with a few minutes of meditation each day.
Goal 2: Healing
- My other goal is to be able to sit in Catholic spaces (such as mass or other spaces) and maintain a positive view of myself. I want to come to terms with the pain that I have felt in those spaces in the past and learn how to use my voice in those spaces. If I feel like God is calling me to stay, I will need my voice to be heard. If God is leading me to another setting, I want my voice to be heard as I go.
- If I could come to terms with this, it would help me with a better self-image. It would allow me to heal the deep wounds that I feel and continue to ignore.
- The obstacles are numerous. The internalized patriarchal voice that exists inside me is one of the most significant obstacles. Also, my family. I love them dearly, but they are a strict Roman Catholic Family. The patriarchal voice in myself has been re-enforced by them my entire life. Another obstacle that I face is the lack of community. The community that I have currently are mostly Protestant, they do not understand why I would subject myself to this kind of pain.
- Some of the Gaps that I like to address is my lack of knowledge of the theological arguments against the patriarchal church. I would like to learn how to articulate my call to serve against the arguments of complementarianism.
- One of the practical steps I can take with this is to start that reconstruction of my self-image with the help of a counselor or other mental health worker.