• on not-fitting

    by  • May 9, 2018 • intensity

    There was a side gig for which I had four interviews.
    I didn’t get it.
    I’m not sure how to feel about it.  On the one hand, it would have been good work.  On the other?
    On the other I keep getting nudges from the universe to re-expand my work back toward the body of pleasure material, to somehow integrate it.
    I keep seeing people who are doing witchy things in corporate spaces. I keep getting told my work is much bigger than the intensives/expansives world. An executive coaching mentorship program I’ve joined has me noticing how some of the conventions of the fb coaching world are contributing to the very problems they want to solve.
    Last night I had dinner with two other women clergy friends, (one I’ve known since seminary, and her wife) and my sweetheart.  I again felt that work rising up. I’m seeing how being in spaces where I’m not supposed to talk about or do or be part of myself, including my work, feeds subtle shame about it. It’s making me question the wisdom of conventions and agreements I’ve taken for granted.
    In some UU spaces we have tried not to use too much god-language in case it makes non-theists feel alienated. In some clergy spaces it’s not ok to talk about your entrepreneurial ministry, only parish ministry is really allowable, because what if you’re selling to someone?
    News flash: sharing the good you have is always selling. It’s always marketing. Those lines get really blurry really fast.  If we don’t get over our aversion to marketing we’re going to miss some important opportunities to share gifts and spaces that are sorely needed.
    Which drives me to consider the ways in which hiding is considered virtue.
    Why not pray on street corners?
    The issue is, are you praying from your own heart? I don’t care if you want to pray in the street. I care that you are praying to live into your prayer.
    All this leads me to believe that this is more a problem with our relationship to “no”.
    I don’t care if someone offers me {a candy bar, a cup of coffee, a kiss, a belief system} if I know that I can say no or yes freely.
    I get anxious when I believe that I am at risk when I say no.
    There’s so much involved in that.
    There is shame at not being accommodating, which is gender-linked conditioning. There is fear of repercussions: violence or anger or more pressure. There is wanting to be a “good person” and our own stories about what that means, and others’ stories about what it means. There’s how at-risk do I feel generally? Slightly? Very? How do I make myself more safe? How much discomfort can I tolerate?
    And of course the other side: how to recieve no. How much grace? How much groundedness? Was this a space where I felt like I could come for validation or evaluation and critique?
    Is this a place where I feel my whole self welcomed? Did I expect it to be? How whole is that? Are tears ok? Anger? Pleasure? Joy? What’s the determiner?
    What’s the obligation of public and semi-public spaces? Private ones? Paid? Free?
    And ultimately, what brings me pleasure? Does it work for me to be in a space where these or those are the bounds? Is what worked for me five years ago going to work now? Or do I need to shed yet another cloak of shame and leave spaces that, in their protection leave me bleeding on the path?
    There’s no shame in not fitting in the glass slipper. The shame is cutting off your heel* to make it fit.
    *there are many versions of the Cinderella story.  When I was a kid, I had a hobby of learning and telling folktales, so I kind of collected them.  In some of the older versions, when the glass slipper doesn’t fit on the stepsisters, they cut off a part of their foot (toe for one, heel for the other) to force it to work.  Needless to say they get found out and taken back home, their painful sacrifice for naught.

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