For a long period of my life I believed I knew and understood what I needed to know and understand. I was the proverbial child longing to grow up, rushing the process, clumsily breaking rules, clearly trying to establish for myself and those around me who I was. Fierce independence holds a price; to maintain it you must never see things differently for an alternate view either subtlely and gently loosens your attachments to your beliefs or shakes them loose with force.
A struggle developed early each Sunday morning when I was a child; there were clothes one wore to church and clothes one didn't wear to church. To be a believer, one must conform. I didn't like dresses then, and now nearly fifty years old, I still don't really care for them. Shoes with a heel? Forget it. It's interesting that the struggle was seldom about whether or not I wanted to go to church, it was about what I could or couldn't wear to church. My beliefs about attending church became so negative; in my young mind it was nearly impossible to reconcile the absurdity of clothing being a requirement of Christian status. I still wrestle with theology that clearly places people either inside of the circle of acceptance or outside of the circle of acceptance; my belief is better than your belief. My clothes are better than your clothes. The attachment to my beliefs in this regard held me hostage to their power for such a long time; I wasn't a good enough believer, therefore I couldn't be a believer publicly at least.
The subtle, soothing all-loving power of The One has consoled me through the years inspite of my road blocking attachments. I know with unshakeable faith that I am a child of God. I've accepted the idea that I may have the wrong clothes on upon entering the pearly gates. I'll handle it then.
The whole church-Christian status created a somewhat one dimensional viewpoint for me as far as whether or not I was an accepted part of the extended family clan. Clearly I lived my life differently and I felt the barriers that I created for myself. With my dad's recent health status he has taken to writing a daily email that is sent to our immediate family and grown children as well as his brothers and sister. As I read replies to him from an aunt and uncles I hardly know my heart softens in love and acceptance and I feel years of attachments to some of my beliefs slipping away. What a joy it is to let attachments go when they no longer serve a belief!
This post could go on for quite some time this morning as I reflect on other attachments to beliefs that may be more of an invisible fence for the safety of my "being right" than beliefs that serve me well presently. I'm going to continue my reflections in private for now. God bless everyone, no exceptions.