Recently a friend suggested I listen to a song by Ani DiFranco called Up up up up up. I found the lyrics interesting as in several respects it seemed to echo my personal and spiritual evolution and journey.
“and half of learning to play is learning what not to play
and she's learning the spaces she leaves have their own things to say
and she's trying to sing just enough so that the air around her moves
and make music like mercy that gives what it is and has nothing to prove
she crawls out on a limb and begins to build her home
and it's enough just to look around and to know that she's not alone
up up up up up up up points the spire of the steeple
but god's work isn't done by god
it's done by people”
As with the woman in the song, I had gone through a period in my life when I was trying to be what others wanted me to be, playing the roles society expected of me and living in the spaces others had created for me. I had lost my vision, my voice, and was losing my sense of self.
I am not sure there was A single epiphany which gave me the courage to begin to crawl out of the hole I had allowed others to bury me in, but I did. I learned that if I wanted to be the me I had been created to be by the Infinite Presence who created me that I had to stop playing by the rules others had given me, but begin to learn to play by the rules that came to me through the Infinite. I had to learn to leave the spaces and people in my life who offered nothing but negative energy and messages about who I was and how I was to be. As I walked by new spaces, I learned to listen to what they had to say before I decided if this was a space saying things to me, which would affirm me and fill me with positive energy.
Life began to become like a stroll down Main Street USA where I would skeptically look in the windows to assess if this was a space I needed to stop or not. Ultimately, I came to the space where I realized that I just needed to be me. I needed to sing my own song, speak my own truth, and create a space where love, mercy, and compassion was just present. As I have fine tuned my life and my ministry, I have come to realize that what I was really fine tuning was me. I had finally come to a space where I realized that I was who I was and the ministry was becoming what it was. I no longer felt as if I had to prove myself to anyone because finally I was who I was at any moment in time.
I had crawled out on my limb and begun to build myself a home. What I love about this new home and identity I have created for myself is that it gives me everything I need, a sense of connection to others, an ever evolving and growing relationship with the Infinite, and a view of the endless possibilities that lie before me.
And then I am reminded, as in the song, that this is a partnership between the Infinite and I. I cannot sit and wait on the Infinite to do all the work needed in my own life and the life of others; I am responsible for doing my part of the transformation.