I admit that at first it was a lame attempt at yet another diet, in my mind I was spelling it LITE, yeah I know, LAME. Light has come to mean so many things to me, the light of Christ, my light, light as a source of warmth and peace; but, mostly it has come to mean, the illumination of myths that I have falsely based my life on. Myths that have caused me to blunder along in the dark stubbing my toes and soul on obstacles that I created and placed in my path.
Monday Octamom and her fellow bloggers choose an animal that symbolized to them their word. After some thought about what the word, light, has come to mean to me I choose an animal too.
Wikipedia defines my animal of choice this way.
"A phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again."
Here are some of the myths I have believed creating giant stumbling blocks which cast a dark shadow over all I do.
1- Skinny people are happier, than heavy people.
What I am learning: All body types feel awkward, sad, ugly, or beautiful, attractive and happy at any given time. Those that focus on THIN as the magical feel good pill will generally spend life heavy. There is a weight that is perfect for me but I will never get there until I let go of happiness and attractiveness as a weight destination. I will have just as many sad, awkward, ugly days at my perfect weight as I have now.
2-Attractiveness, some people are born with it some aren't.
What I am learning: Being attractive is all about loving yourself, completely utterly and fully, seeing, accepting and loving all your strengths and all your weakness equally. We attract by being open to others as they really are with all their strengths and weaknesses. Openness to others starts with our inner dialog to us about us. Love you and others will love you.
3- Weaknesses I know what they are and I must overcome them
What I am learning: I repeatedly run to God with what I perceive as horrible weaknesses and demand that he wrench them out of my life so that I'll be better. There is a scripture that says, " if men come unto me I will show unto them their weaknesses." I struggle to have the faith to come humbly before God without a laundry list of weakness that a prideful, comparing me, has compiled in the dark. As I have sought light in this area of my life I've come to realize that most of what I consider weakness in myself is just a comparison of how I believe others live, based on my perceptions not their reality. Only a loving, eternal seeing Father in heaven can shine a pure light on what my weaknesses truly are and light the path of change.
What I have learned: Wow! This is a big one for me. Somehow from a very early age I accepted the myth that wanting things was bad. If I wanted candy or treats, BAD. If I wanted new clothes, BAD. If I wanted to be touched and loved, BAD. If I wanted people to think I was funny or cute or sexy or wild, sweet or naughty, BAD. If I wanted to find out for myself whether a concept or lifestyle was for me or not, BAD. In short anything I wanted in life I considered bad because, duh, wanting equaled BAD. I got really good at pretending I didn't want, and the better I got at pretending that I didn't want things the more I wanted and the BADDER I thought I was. Wanting is a vital part of life, if we didn't want say, oxygen for example... Wanting is simply a state of being, we want therefore we are, or something like that. As long as we recognize that attainment of a want is not a positive and that lack of what we want is not a negative; but, that we choose our emotional response in any given situation, wanting will not govern our lives. Our wants, carefully examined, light applied, will guide us to the truest sense of who we are as a child of God and what we are becoming.
5- Perfection, I must find the perfect person and copy them perfectly.
What I'm learning: I am perfect just the way I am in each moment. Even when I'm dorky or lame, rude or stupid, mean, weak, undisciplined, sarcastic, crude, bratty, gluttonous(cause that's a cool word) silly, annoying. I've always been horrified that I'm those things. Guess what? Those qualities and the resulting embarrassment or pain bring more light into my life than most of my, so called, good qualities. No one is perfect, I get that on others behalf and love them for it, it's time for me to give myself the same space for growth I give others.
6-Sexuality, tee hee, giggle, snort.
Yes I'm going here: Light cast on sex reveals it for what it is. The beautiful, life bringing, joyful, kinky, crazy thing that got us here and keeps us going when times are tough. Light teaches that a women or man who represses or carries shame about this gift of God will shrivel and rot on the vine. Sexuality is a plump, ripe, juicy, fruit which gives life, nourishes a relationship, and sweetens everything it touches. Because it matters so much, it is also one of the toughest things we get to figure out, and it's useful to have a partner as dedicated to bringing light to this topic as you are;) I am blessed to have that in my Adorable Hubby.
7-Experience, carefull...woah, better not...stoppp, waait!
What I'm learning: I am here to experience life and love, joy and sorrow, and every little thing in between. I have spent most of my life avoiding experiences until I reached some nebulous level of personal achievement that would make the experience better or at least safe from pain or failure. Light teaches me that in my life there is no failure in experience there has been lots of failure to experience though. I once heard someone say, if you have a goal, live your life as if you have achieved it, teach someone else how to live as you do and viola, you'll be there. It all starts with an embrace of experiences, experiences free from judgments, experiences that bring to light who I am and who I am not.
What I am learning: "Judge not that ye be not judged, for with that same judgment which ye judge so shall ye be judged" Was a truer principal ever taught? All judgment of others is a reflection of the things we judge in ourselves. That's why the child most like me makes me cRaZiest. That's why peoples most annoying traits turn out to be the traits I can't stand in myself. When we are at our most judgmental we are the most self-absorbed and end up bringing judgment upon ourselves. Not the judgment of a loving Savior, he is our "ADVOCATE, with the Father", the way I read it that means they are both on the side of my precious soul. It's self judgment that condemns me to Hell. The light of Christ teaches me that I am Gods child, he loves me and my experiences, my faults, my weakness, my strengths and beauty more deeply, more purely then I love my own children, he is non-judging perfect love.
I have spent this year beginning the process of building a nest of twigs where I am laying down the mythical plumage of false traditions and googly eye crazy beliefs that have worn out their usefulness. I am LIGHTING the the whole thing on fire, I'm sure I'll whine and twist a little as the flames heat up; but, from the ashes is rising the real me, shining, glorious, renewed. A Phoenix, with tears that heal, a symbol of hope, if I can do this anyone can, and love for God, self and others unbound.