There’s this blog contest going on over at the site Circle of Moms. I was a bit fascinated to see the main players polarizing into two camps: Christian and Pagan, with maybe one or two Jewish blogs when I first looked. Why is that? There are quite a few world religions out there, but apparently Christians and Pagans are the ones most likely to blog. After all these centuries, these two still go head-to-head. And I gather Pagans were winning and this was causing a bit of a blog-o’scandal. At the heart of which is a woman named Julie.
I got pretty fired up and inspired reading Julie’s post – a Christian, and my new heroine – wherein she stood up and owned being a lover of Jesus with her amazing capacity to live by what I understand the heart of his teachings to be (hint: compassion). In her post here, she embodies his Truth and his message. Even though she had “hate and fear in her heart.” ‘Cause Julie rolls like that. (You go, woman!) In terms of speaking one’s truth, Julie puts me to shame; I felt embarrassed & called out for all the times that I let my fear get the best of me and held my tongue.
This is powerful stuff, people – Love. Honor. Compassion. No matter the odds. No matter what someone else dictates to you (and in truth, ALL religions dictate codes to various degrees), standing up and loving thy neighbor. Or what I call the other.
There’s a serious need for loving the other in today’s crazy-pants world– and that’s what happens when we refuse to respect other religions or spiritual paths. We create others that we can elevate ourselves above. It looks dangerous up there on those self-made pedestals. But then I’m scared of heights — too easy to lose your balance. And there’s been many times I was so afraid I might find myself stuck on a pedestal with others I didn’t respect, that I just shut up (note to self: which is really just another form of othering, yes?). And there’s been many times now, with hindsight, that I was wrong. When a fear of heights kept me from possibly, maybe, being an agent of change, of compassion; and it sure looks like we need that more than ever these days. Which brings me back to this crazy-pants world, and everybody saying we just need to tolerate one another.
I think tolerance is the coward’s way out. (Yeah, I said it.) To grit your teeth and just tolerate what others believe is one step short of the courage to actually engage with and understand them. At it’s core, tolerance lacks compassion, which is why it doesn’t work. And there’s a reason that all religions have an ethic of compassion at their core. Author Karen Armstrong nails it in her recent article at Shambala Sun magazine: there’s something wrong with your spirituality if it doesn’t manifest in practical compassion. (While I’m lecturing you, go read that article. It’s a masterpiece).
I wanted to quote something pithy from Julie’s post, but it’s just too good to parse out (say that five times fast after a 3 AM feeding ;>). As someone that deeply loves the human divine, each and every one of us stumbling towards ecstasy here on Earth, I’m darn proud of this fellow mama. With all of my passionate, Jesus-loving, Hinduish-Buddhist-Witchy-Shaman–Medicine–Mystic-Mama-Goddess-Yogini, Soul.
I’m not picky about how you surrender to the Great Love, just want to bear witness and cheer you on.
Oh, and if you’re feeling feisty vote for me at Circle of Moms. I figured I’d enter the fray and take a stand for all us mystic mama’s out there, traveling by so many seemingly different roads but all heading for home. Better yet, leave a comment here or sign up and let’s get to know one another.
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