Sunday, May 15, 2016

Lost and Found

I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t not filled with the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t standing in judgment of these people who worshipped very differently than did I. I was just not feeling this particular expression of praise for God’s love and glory. I stood stock-still in the middle of a packed auditorium while others raised hands heavenward, swung hips, clapped and sang along to the concert-like band production on the giant stage in front of them. It was beautiful. It was warming. It just wasn’t me.

This was part of a women’s conference a friend had invited me to attend at her church. I’m a sucker for a lecture. And the lectures were great. I appreciate a speaker who can motivate, who can move a crowd, who can invoke action and personal reflection in a single individual among a number of hundreds. That’s an impressive skill. I walked away from the conference with knowledge in my head and love in my heart. I also walked away popping a couple Advil I had stuck in the bottom of my purse.

I followed this two-day experience with a couple hours spent advancing in my Reiki journey. For those who aren’t aware, Reiki is a form of energy work. It is an ancient healing technique that has basis in metaphysical thought. It is, for lack of a better explanation, a sort of laying on of hands. Now before you Christian readers go and get your knickers in a bunch, relax. I am not calling myself Jesus. I am not saying I perform miracles or that I don’t believe in God. I am simply of the belief that everything is energy and that sometimes our energy gets stuck and needs help moving the way it should. So if anything, I consider myself a spiritual enema and believe that others also, if they choose, can be spiritual enemas as well.

I know what you’re thinking. How can someone who says she believes in God do what some would consider very un-Christian-like stuff and where is this story going, what did she do next? Well, first she enjoyed a lovely dinner among friends, some masaman curry at her favorite Thai spot, and conversation and laughs that were as delicious as the meal. Then, she went for drinks with her cousin and her sis.

They dragged her. But she went.

I’m not really a bar kind of gal. I have nothing against a bottle of wine shared between friends or a couple of beers on the back deck, but I was never much into the bar thing even when I was of the age where that was what one did. How can I explain? I’ll reference the church concert, the blaring guitars, the drums, that whole music scene. I feel most at peace, most myself, when I am in a quiet spot. Those who know me may be confused. I love a crowd. I enjoy being among people. I’m crazy for music and joy and swinging the hips. But my music is calm. It’s wily. It creeps itself inside my ear and winds its way to my heart. Before I know it, my head is bobbing and my mouth is singing along. My music doesn’t shout at me. It doesn’t demand to be known. I feel the same with bars. My favorite moment of a drink shared among friends happened not in a loud, crowded, smoke infested establishment but on a beach in front of a campfire with fireworks lighting up the sky. As the evening’s festivities drew to a close, the sky revealed itself to us, a blanket of stars on an ebony ground. That is my drinking scene.

I have spent nearly fifty-three years searching for who I am. I have judged, questioned, wandered, and explored. I have allowed myself to be dragged along to things I’ve known I would not enjoy. I have tried to do that which others thought I should do, tried to be things others felt I should be. Did I have a good weekend this weekend? Yes. Did I enjoy my time? Very much. But I know that some of it was not mine. Yet as I looked around that crowded auditorium and that smoke-filled bar, I saw people with smiles on their faces. I saw laughs and hugs and sharing of love. That made me happy. It filled my heart. I do love a crowd. I do. But I don’t especially want to be in it. I am an observer. I am a leader. I am a mover, a point guy. Even among a group, I will find a way to stand away from it. I will separate myself, stand apart. I will watch, look, study, learn. It’s who I am. It’s who I have always been.

I’ve always thought this made me weird. I am coming to see it makes me me.

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