Only if the revolution is in me

Only if the revolution is in me

I recently wrote about all the ways I am coming out , because coming out for me is about more than my sexuality. Although sexuality certainly was the thing that 'unseated' the rest of me and caused the deep exploration and excavation of a spiritual awakening. That post was a celebration of all the things unearthed in the process of coming out , the beauty and depth of my heart, spirit & body that have been uncovered... the Jesus part of my story.

Most of my process of coming out, which is a known process much like grief, was really about allowing the questions my heart was asking to rise to the surface and whisper, speak, write, or be screamed... or as Rilke said... to live them. 

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
— Rainer Maria Rilke

The questions of how to fit the 'me' that 'was' into the 'me' that 'is' was & still is, the work. How can the me who ran a children's program in a church be a lesbian? How could the me who was in a heterosexual marriage with mostly heterosexual mom friends get a divorce and then even maybe pursue a gay relationship? How can the me who is a revolutionary be a mother? These questions felt impossible to even whisper at first, incredibly overwhelming & unsettling in the beginning & too much in deep, heavy moments. As integration of my sexuality into the rest of my identity is underway, I am starting to see that I get to be all of the things I was created to be. I get to be mother, lesbian, woman, spiritual person, creative, revolutionary & maybe even still do work for a church while being all of these things (what?!). I get to be a whole person, a human being and even more beautifully, I get to understand that I am loved. 

There were also parts of me that were used to protect , cover and hide, the mask & roles that I wore to cope, pass & survive. Understanding what was a role, what was false & there to self protect & what I need to let go of to let love in.  My hiding was mostly around being a 'good person' & really a person who was too good to be sexual. I hid my entire sexual identity and played the good girl. When I first was coming out to a few people I told a friend jokingly "For me to admit that I am a lesbian means that I have to admit that I think about sex. What, who me?". It was a joke, but really... it isn't funny. I think being raised as a Christian girl mislead me into a deeply held belief that I needed to hide my sexual identity, not just because my attractions were not always heterosexual but because sex was off topic.  I pushed any sexual thoughts aside, and was uncomfortable with expressing my sexuality in any way.  I had coping techniques and strategies for being 'not threatening' sexually in my relationships & to be kind of sexually invisible in a room of people.  I had a belief that either you love God, or you think about sex. Of course this is a ridiculous thing for a girl to think, and really it is a very dangerously destructive notion for a girl to believe. But it is messaging that girls, like me, receive in the modern church & in our modern dominant culture.  Given all of this, I can give grace to the me that got mixed up, I can understand what was so confusing for me & forgive the parts of myself that hurt, suppressed and repressed the others. This is what healing looks like in me. 

Then, there is this... Healing for me means sharing with you. Revolution in me and in my story means revolution in the listening and telling. It means that embracing my humanity has created spiritual change in me and it is the thing that creates spiritual and cultural change in us. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying my story is so unusual or unique. I am saying this is what exploring our stories and living the questions that we are afraid to ask makes available to us in the areas of change and how that change can affect change in all of us. 

 

If these are the questions, here is only one answer. The revolution of internal work. The revolution that Jesus was a model of the way into. The revolution that he came to be & the revolution that is in me. 

 

How can a mother be a revolutionary? 

Only if the revolution is in me

 

How can a girl be a revolutionary?

Only if the revolution is in me

 

How can a woman be a revolutionary? 

Only if the revolution is in me

 

How can a church worker be a revolutionary? 

Only if the revolution is in me

 

How can a teacher be a revolutionary? 

Only if the revolution is in me

 

 

How can a maker of stuff be a revolutionary? 

Only if the revolution is in me

 

How can a writer of words be a revolutionary? 

Only if the revolution is in me

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
— Jim Morrison (revolutionary)