The art of setting FULL STOP
Most probably because of my religious childhood filled with rules, morals and principles I could not understand- I grew up with a slowly increasing aversion towards all kinds of systems. It took a long time for me to openly rebel, though, as the trooper in me (as I have shared here previously) kept going at it and feeling I should CONQUER and EXCEL in being the model of fulfilling every doctrine, convention and divine whim.
I mean - if I hated the rules so much, that must mean that I was a particularly bad person, right? And I didn't want to be that. I wanted to better myself. Be good. Be a joy to my parents, family, congregation and of course; God himself.
But that deep itch
That profound askewness of trying to fit myself into that tiny, square shape? Didn't go over that well. As a matter of fact, I think this constant struggle was one of the main reasons for my psychological problems during the first half of my life. Feeling I was fundamentally wrong - feeling I needed to become someone completely different to be OK - to be accepted and loved.
You know - that unconditional love they preached about?
Yeah, I felt I needed to work so much harder to be able to deserve that.
Hah. Go figure.
This is what I truly felt, this is what I truly and deeply, honestly feel religion still is preaching and doing out there.
Saying one thing - doing quite another.
Giving with one hand - taking with the other.
Saying bless you - pleading forgiveness before God for you.
It takes self-love
....self-empowerment, self-acceptance and self-worth to be able to stand up against any system. In addition to new knowledge, I mean. Especially a system you were raised in and one you believed whole-heartedly in half of your life. New knowledge won't do it.
You need that inner strength and self-love to be able to say to yourself; You know what? I actually love myself more than trying to put myself through the pain of trying to fit a system I don't even fully believe in anymore. Even though I will break many hearts quitting. I love myself the most. Put myself first.
I actually love myself more than trying to please my family / spouse / congregation / ______ (fill in the blank with any person / authority you feel you need to live up to or please)
I actually love myself more than them.
And I can do it!
I have this strength inside - I have this urge inside to take my sad and repressed ass out of wherever they don't see me as whole, perfect and love-able just the way I am. FULL STOP! You know; WITHOUT the need of any program of improvement, sanctification or beautification. Without any salvation, repression, depression or submission needed.
And you know what? That is pretty hard to find! That kind of milieu where there is space, openness and love enough for ME to be just as I am! But the good news is that you can create that kind of environment for yourself.
You actually don't need anyone else's approval, love or acceptance if you give it to yourself first.
But the fun thing is, that if you DO that - give it to yourself? You usually draw to you like-minded people and groups too!
So. It all starts and ends with LOVE
Loving yourself first and enough.
And *boom* that system is busted.
You're out of there.
His love for himself and fellow men was so great that he just could not live in that system anymore. He systematically busted every single principle, system and rule the patriarchy had created to hold people in place and under control. And have you noticed?
This is what happens every time the Divine comes into someones life:
The rules, principles, walls, and fences fall away!
Love is like a river.
It tears down everything that comes in its way.
Everything that is put up to divide and isolate us.
Separate and control us.
When love comes into your life you can see. The scales fall off your eyes. Freedom opens before your eyes like a mighty sea, and you realize those boxes they try to hold you in are not for your own happiness and protection, they are just illusions created to disallow and manipulate you.
And the best part?
You leave a person-shaped whole in the fence just where you broke though.
In fact, that opening is also kind of spreading like the rings on water. A system-busting ripple of freedom spreading around you. People see you and know that they can do it too. Choose love before those little boxes of manipulation and control. Love themselves enough to choose freedom.
And that is one pretty hefty thing to be giving to the world!
Those person-shaped openings in all those boxes, walls and fences.
And it takes some very special kinds of people to be making them.
Be one of them
You just need to access that love inside you. Give it to yourself.
And watch the miracles happen.