This page is an attempt to share the experience of sanctification as opposed to the human perspective: To testify of God’s grace and love. It is not an attempt to bridge the gap between the human experience and the realm of sanctification: It defies the meaning of the word. The collective called Humanity is at war: The fabric has been torn with the diverse ways of thinking and experiencing the world. It is not diversity that is “bad;” in my opinion, it is diversity without God that creates animosity and hatred. Accepting Grace and Love leads to “diversity in harmony,” which leads to a greater outflow of love.
Chapter 1: Faith Through Trusting… Why have faith? How do you trust Him?
I was asked to sum up the reasons behind my faith in a short paragraph in case I were asked in conversation. At first, I stated that modeling faith would have a huge impact on others, but was then questioned further, “What if you didn’t have the length of time needed to model a faith-based lifestyle?” In that conversation, I was able to clarify what I would say to someone asking about faith and trust in God.
The first verse that sticks out is Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” How do we grasp that faith? My favorite psychologist Erik Erikson theorized that there are eight stages of psychosocial development from infancy to adulthood that lead to imperative virtues. He posits that from birth to one year of age, we develop “Trust or Mistrust” for the world. Our primary caregivers (i.e., parents, grandparents, etc.) demonstrate qualities that form the building blocks of a trusting relationship: consistency, predictability, reliability, and positive affections. If Trust is the direction a child is blessed with, then Hope manifests in one’s life. For further insights into this developmental theory, please click on the links below:
Thankfully, if Mistrust was developed in one’s early years, it can be remedied later in life. That is the beauty of his theory- it is not the end all. There is room for positive change! Word on the street is that he also studied Taoism! 🙂
Now that we have identified the origin of Hope (i.e., Trust), we read Romans 8: 24-25. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it?” Hope and faith are biblically defined as a belief in things unseen. This is not to say their isn’t solid proof- follow me on this one… Romans 5: 1-5 can be summed up by the following statements: Christ’s death for us on the cross “justified” the price or paid for the debt of sin and therefore, we are “golden/ good-to-go” with the Man Upstairs. Thanks, Brother! This is the most important part- so listen up: All we have to do is say “Yes!” Now we stand alongside our righteous brother with confidence that we will be with him and Dad in heaven someday. We have been adopted (i.e., grafted in- questions about this? Just ask me)! We have been given the ability to have faith into his grace, the power to change what we don’t like and heal the pain of the world. We have the infinite capacity to love one another! We don’t worry or see our struggles as problems… Instead, we view tribulations as opportunities to further develop our faith and build our relationship with our new family. Verses 3-4 state that tribulations foster patience, patience increases our experiences, and the more we experience in this realm, the greater our hope becomes. The spirit of God and Christ dwell within us.
Now one might question, “How can we trust this?” It leads back to Erikson’s theory. How do you build trust? Simply put, we know the object/person that we are trusting. Most of us trust our parents because they are consistent, reliable, and show us healthy affections. The same is true with our Heavenly Father and Brother.
“Well, how do you get to know them?” There are two sources of knowing them: The Word and Mother Nature. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. The Bible is filled with examples of how consistent and unchanging God has been throughout history. Mother Nature might surprise many Christians because it hints at blasphemy. They created this gift for us as a tangible display of their trustworthy character: From the miraculous birth of a child to the awe-inspiring treasures like Yosemite Valley. From the intricacies of the human mind to the consistent path of a cow across his field. We must find respite and a reconnect in the natural world so that we can know our Creators.
In a paragraph summation…. We build Trust by getting to know God and Christ via reading the Bible and spending time in gracious observance of the natural world. That trust in knowing leads to Hope. Our acceptance as adopted children into the Holy Family gives us peace and access to many limitless gifts. Our mindset changes to see trouble as opportunities versus pain and therefore it fosters further Hope. We are saved by Grace through hope and faith.
“Why do we want to be saved?” Well, why not? Stay tuned for a look into that question.
Chapter 2: Giving Alms in Secret
Holy Bible, King James Version
Matthew 6: 1-4
1: Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2: Therefore when you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you: They have their reward.
3: But when you do alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand does.
4: That your alms may be in secret: and thy Father which sees in secret himself shall reward you openly.
We lose sight of the True Giver once recognition has been given to man. Let no man know, because when he does, he will praise you and the surge of warmth in his heart will be directed toward you. “Oh how wonderful you are to have given so generously.” These words that must sadden my Father are like nails on a chalkboard to me. I want to yell and point to the heavens, “No! Not me! Don’t you get it? Nothing is of me! It is all Him.”
Sometimes the secret must be told for the gift to be delivered to the person in need. Perhaps you must choose between telling the secret- to uphold the shaky ground of a bond built on honesty- or telling a blatant lie, which would disintegrate the foundation of that friendship. It was obvious to a friend who knows me well; therefore, I couldn’t lie about the gift. But I did explain that it is not me and shared the verses in Matthew 6. Yet still he looked at me as though I did something miraculous. A wave of shame washed over me for even though I tried to explain the source of love until I was blue in the face, he only saw what he wanted. He was stuck in his way of thinking… the human experience.
How does an act of giving affect this “human experience”? There are multiple perspectives to consider: mine- “the vessel,” hers- “the receiving child of God,” and his- “the young grasshopper eager to learn.” Everyone experiences change, but the extent as well as the ripple effect that this change of perspective has on the world will vary.
Before giving, I was filled with the light of love. The words sounded as a prayer, “Thank you! I am so blessed to have an opportunity to share Your love.” I was completely walking in faith, not of myself, but knowing that He was leading me to the exact spot I needed to be. My change happened when I wasn’t able to lie to my friend. Granted, I lied via text to another person who suspected me, but I am compelled toward complete honesty with my young grasshopper. I took this opportunity to teach him The Way and share the wonderful unyielding character of God: His love shall not waiver. He and I suffer from the condition of “mistrust” toward others and so this was a perfect chance to demonstrate a trust in the source of all that can be trusted. My faith increased because although I was compelled to give a specific amount, it tightened my own budget enough to increase my awareness that I live in faith and that there are no things of which I am in want. There is no lack in my life when I am trusting and bonding with my Father through his son- my brother, Christ.
Many hours later….
I am disappointed in my friend’s continual response that awards me the credit. Even after reading the above post, he still says how “awesome” and “amazing” it was that I did that. Giving me credit robs me of the joy of carrying out God’s directive. I think he expects me to be happy that he says those “wonderful” things about me, but it only increases the shame- as though I am stealing credit from God. Yet, instead of wishing I could’ve lied to him, I want to use this to deepen my understanding of the human experience and how to utilize it to share the sanctification experience.
What am I missing to convey the true message? A bystander who has not experienced God’s grace firsthand may not be able to comprehend it. They are not able to escape the human perspective because they haven’t been in the trenches of despair and prayer and been lifted out by His glorious hand. Taoist principles state that relativity aids in truly knowing about a concept or thing. Must we know pain to appreciate ease and comfort? Must we give to appreciate and have pure receptivity to a gift? Must we know what it is to receive to appreciate giving? Possibly. Therefore, I have a beautiful opportunity to give more because I know what it is like to receive… to acknowledge and accept the gift of grace and the accompanying and limitless inheritance as a sister to Christ. There is not a way for me to open the eyes of others so they too will accept their gifts, but I can pray for lasting impressions in their lives that they might someday soon be open to it.
Here are further questions I want to ask my friend: How did the bystander experience affect your thinking about the world? Did it change your perspective on God? Do you have a better understanding on the idea of oneness, love, and /or being of service to others?
According to my friend, the receiver was extremely surprised and grateful. She didn’t think it was possible that a gift like that would be made. He reassured her that “the big man is looking out for her” and that she is blessed. The act gave her back a glimmer of hope- for what specifically I cannot say. For research and teaching purposes, it would be nice to know. However, it is imperative that she remain oblivious to the vessel that delivered the gift and only give thanks to the Father that loves her. Therefore, my questions will remain unanswered.
How can we change what we have been conditioned to think over millennia with what our birthright allows us to believe? First, give thanks: always in All Ways… Then, take a leap of faith and practice a new way of thinking: You are never in lack! You can give freely (and secretly) and be of service to your fellow human because “There’s more where that came from.”
** I get that this blog “exposes” my act of giving and quite possibly makes me a zealot; however, it is also important to share the message of why it should be secret so that others may learn. I hope I was able to convey that in this post. Comment
Chapter 3: Whole Being
Tonight’s new moon begets transformation: Out with the old way of thinking and in with the life you dream. It has been equated to being “a blank canvas on which to paint your wildest dreams.” My horoscope read, “All of the joy, wonder, and excitement is happening and can only happen in the perpetual moment that is called ‘now.'” This morning I opened the Tao te Ching to a random page. Perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence that I turned to #71.
My thoughts on the subject:
By living in the moment, the mind is freed from clutter and useless worrying. When the mind wanders to the future or muddles in the past, it descends to a lesser power. Many question whether they should listen to their heart or head. Only with a bonded decision among the heart, mind, and soul will the being of man ascend to his highest power where he can live a happy and balanced life.
Chapter 4.1: Wisdom vs. Knowledge. Intuition vs. Emotions.
A good friend posed the question, “Do women know what they want… compared to men?” He thought that men often don’t know what they want. Possibly because they just don’t take the time to consider it. Yet, women always seem to know what they want. At first, my thoughts were a swirling mess of circumstances and characteristics of each woman. I muddled over it for a few days before sitting down to place the pen to paper… solidifying my response to his question. Here it goes…
The adage that women are more emotionally charged holds its ground despite our desperate attempts to over-analyze our counterparts’ intentions*. Maybe I’m old fashioned, even call me sexist, but I do believe that we were created to be different: Not inequitably diverse, but complimentary. Men are generally thinkers; whereas, women have a myriad of feelings that bombard them before their brains are even sparked into action to analyze the situation. How often has a woman walked into a room and just felt like something was askew? How often has a woman felt compassion for a stranger instead of stepping back to justify the stranger’s predicament?
Women know what they want- in the moment- based on feelings and emotions. However, the bigger question is, “Should women and their SO (significant other) trust ‘What the woman wants’?” When these desires are paired with superficial feelings about the situation, then tread cautiously. Basic feelings like joy, sadness, anger, or playful giddiness may change, often on-a-dime. A woman might even initially feel one thing then once she sorts it out, she realizes it was a different emotion. For example, when a man arrives home late from work, his wife might be angry. However, if she takes the time to sort out what was really going on inside, she might admit that she was hurt. She was pained by the thought that her husband cared so little about her that he did not call to let her know that he was going to be late. This “hurt” escalated to anger due to her interrupted plans. All would be well on the home-front, had he made a two second text to let her know he would be late. Granted, if this happens frequently and he is showing unusual characteristics upon return (e.g., overly affectionate or apathy), she may have a “gut feeling” that something else is happening. A woman who listens to her intuition or that inner voice saying something is not right will find that she is usually justified to feel that way. We cannot ignore that side of it; however, if it is rare and she becomes upset, then it may simply be a common example of the misunderstood or changing emotions. Read more about it in my post under the My Seasoned Love tab: Top 4 Ways Women Sabotage New Relationships and The Way They Justify It.
This is not to say that women have an “immature” understanding of what they want. Often women can feel strongly- intuitively- for months or years. Perhaps that is the key- Women must trust their gut- their intuition, not their feelings when deciding what they want. A teenage dreamer fantasizing that her and her boyfriend are trapped in some alternate universe where their love is as star-crossed as Romeo and Juliet is different than an older- nay- more experienced woman making decisions. Both have strong feelings for something, yet experience enables the more mature woman to make decisions that can be trusted. She has spent years developing an intimate relationship with her gut. The young girl “knows what she wants” and will cry, kick, and scream to get what she wants, but her feelings may very well change before prom… hell, even before the Friday night football game. Before she knows it, she’ll be on to the next devastatingly imperative conquest!! “I’ll die if I don’t have [it/ him]!”
I’m 37. I’m only just now beginning to trust that inner-energy guiding me toward what I want. When something “feels right” and it isn’t just a passing surface feeling, then I will maintain that deep longing to keep trying to reach the goal. There will be ups-and-downs, triumphs and setbacks, but I will know in my gut that the goal is right for me. Time will not be a barrier, but a catalyst to develop a deeper love and appreciation for the goal.
In the Bible, we see many women who exemplify Intuition vs. Emotions….
Eve: The separation from her beloved created a sudden emotion of loneliness; therefore, she was open to the deception of the serpent. We are all aware of those consequences!
Sara: The years of “waiting on God,” broke her down to feel resentment and anger; therefore, instead remaining in touch with her intuition that said “trust in God,” she took matters into her own hands and convinced her husband to have a child with Hagar. Although, she may have had a “high ranking” in her time, her emotional decision wrecked havoc on the future of our world- as we experience it today!
Hagar, on the other hand, was cast out once Isaac was born. She could’ve been driven by anger; however, she trusted God… who- through her intuition- led her to a place where she and Ishmael could live a prosperous and content life.
Rahab: Although a prostitute, she used her intuition to “manipulate” or make gain from a situation. She could’ve been feeling afraid like everyone else. If so, she would’ve turned the spies over to the authorities of Jericho. However, something deep inside said “trust this calling from God.” She was rewarded with being able to keep her life! Some even claim that she is the mother of Boaz- who married Ruth (i.e., genealogy of Jesus).
Ruth: She must have been devastated that her husband was dead. Intense emotions would be normal! Yet, she still felt a calm sense of understanding (i.e., intuition) that she must follow her mother-in-law Naomi. She was led by her gut, not by feelings. She was blessed with the title of Great Grandmother to King David.
In the New Testament, we follow the lead of great women such as Mary, who trusted God’s angel and accepted her role as mother to Jesus. Perhaps she was terrified; however, she did not make the decision based on that feeling. Martha, whose innate sense of cleanliness and hospitality earned her the regular honor of housing and feeding Jesus. He sought her care when needing rest and rejuvenation. She may have had great joy in serving him, but her decision to do so was because it was already a part of her character- her sense of self. She did not change who she was due to feelings about “being left out of the discussion” or jealousy that her sister sat longer at his feet. She was rewarded for her authenticity. Mary of Bethany followed her intuition to cleanse Jesus’s tired feet with her hair and to listen intently to his teaching. Mary of Magdalene also washed his feet and was an early follower, named several times as being among the disciples when Jesus taught the masses. All of these women must have been filled with emotions! Yet, those who based their decisions on sound gut instincts or grounded intuitive understandings rather than the emotion at hand, were greatly rewarded.
Women do know what they want. But trust the woman who follows her intuition instead of her emotions.
* Our need to over-think stems from having so many emotions bursting from the event. We want to know the “why” so that we can accurately place an emotion to the event. We want to know how he’s feeling about a situation, so we don’t openly “feel too much.” We try to read him and match our feelings to his so that we don’t scare him off. At least some women go to these great lengths to feel the “most appropriate” emotion… yet we don’t just ask him about his intentions lest we publicly post our “craziness” or seem needy. Instead we place intentions and feelings upon him then feel what we think is best based on what we deem his intentions to be. We get into trouble when these become “false” intentions and are completely off-base as to what he was really feeling. Have I lost you down the rabbit hole yet? Needless to say… Although woman have great capacity to think and use their mental cognition in magnificent ways… We must be cautious not to lose our selves in our thinking (and feeling- for that matter). Women were meant to use their intuition and not worry about the mental side of things nor to be thrown here and there on waves of emotion. Over-thinking and over-feeling are useless and unnecessary for a woman who indeed uses her gut instincts and intuitions to live her authentic life!
Chapter 4.2: Wisdom vs. Knowledge. Intuition vs. Emotions.
MORE TO COME>>>> Here are some thoughts based on Part 1.
“Do men know what they want?”
Women have become dominant in the world! Men have allowed women to take the lead, make the decisions, make the moves, do the work in the relationships. The more men became relaxed, the more women felt the need to “do it all” and dominate the relationship. I believe it when my friend says men don’t know what they want. Women have taken the reigns and have run with them! I believe women should hand back the masculine behaviors back to the men. Yes, I am a traditionalist and a romantic. Men must be confident and assertive in that they can be trusted to lead, to make decisions, and do the work in the relationship. Men are meant to be- were created to be- the head of the relationship. Take it back! Lead with confidence!
Chapter 5: Death As an Experience of Absence.
Today I began cleaning items from my dad’s closet and cupboards. I am not sad that he died; rather, I am relieved that he no longer has to live with his life’s pain. He is free from the demons that have haunted his past and the deterioration caused by the ghouls tearing at his soul. I knew the moment he left: There was peace in his absence from this realm.
At times I miss my chances to pick his brain: As my mom said, “All that magnificent wisdom has just ‘poof,’ ascended from this earth.” I looked at his iconic oil, blood, and stain spattered jeans and hoped to see him in his recliner to ask him…. What was it like to die? Did it hurt? Were you aware of every moment or did beauty and light come to meet you? You knew death was inching closer, you sought fulfillment in the live’s of your children, were you comforted by that or were you still scared? Were you looking forward to that time to sleep? Most importantly, did you know you were loved?
We are connected to each other in life. We feel each other’s presence despite distance and circumstance. But death severs those bonds… Now I feel the absence. His stuff’s all here, but he’s…. He’s just…. Gone.
Chapter 6: Jumping in and allowing the flow to take you down the river.
The possibilities of what our lives could be are limitless. Therefore, I believe our defining human characteristic of choice was given so that when we dream, we can do! We shape our lives: We choose which river to jump into and whether or not we want to flow there.
My dream to fulfill my gifts of healer and teacher are beginning to feel palpable. Years ago I jumped in to the Lazy River of my life… Taking the easy route as an instructional assistant because it was “the family business.” I openly confessed that it wasn’t what I wanted to do… I rebelled. I saw an opportunity to jump into the River of the Heart and followed my calling as a healer. It seemed like a long journey to the end goal, but I jumped anyway. I was lost in depression and self-loathing and I somehow knew this was exactly what I needed. Three years later, I emerged a new woman who had been cured of depression, who had empowered the three goddesses within, and who could contain my own energy while harnising the energy of my surroundings. Yet I was still humble. I had the knowledge and skill for success but not the ego needed to “sell myself.” So I kicked and pulled myself onto the banks of the river and climbed out. Back to the Lazy River where I could float around and breeze through my days. I was ready to jump back in because I had found a partner and started a family. It seemed in-line with our common plans. I do not see myself as loving other people’s children and longing to teach these little morsels all about algebra and how to write an essay. What I enjoy about teaching are the psychological challenges of program development, problem-solving, telling other adults what to do… Hahaha… I mean collaborating on how to better their practice as instructional assistants or teachers, and even overcoming my relationship barriers (i.e., biggest pet-peeve)… that others should be perfectionists too!
I am excited about the opportunities of leadership given to me and feel my feminine brilliance and power returning to me in my current field. But the dream as healer still waits… Deep in my core. Helping a friend through his relationship concerns recently has sparked the fire once again.
I’m at a point in my life where I envision myself as The Old Crone: Wise and Wonderous Woman! I see myself having property with a small bungalow surrounded by herbs, vegetables, and flowers… Pieces of art speckled around the garden. A sauna, fire pit, and swing. A place of healing. I want to invite people for rest and counsel. I want to teach people to pray and let go…to use the Bible as a tool when troubled… To understand that Christ is real and living in our hearts when we invite him in… And to embrace their inheritance as heirs to a great power and kingdom. I want to use positive and healthy energetic touch to mend and rejuvenate the soul. This is my vision… Am I in the right river to live the life I want?
My dream had seemed so distant, but opportunity and following the signs had brought the two rivers into view of each other. I could see the point ahead where they meet and merge into one. And now I am here. My focus areas of therapy and healing are prominent in the schools. Anxiety, isolation, failure to bond, and depression are on the rise. To my amazement, Mindfulness is finally at the forefront of responses! I know I have arrived and am exactly where I need to be. I know that the next step is to return to school to specialize in the healing therapy part of the dream. I have searched and searched for the right program that fits my spiritual and family needs. I found it at my first choice school!
I don’t even need to jump. I just have to keep floating along with the natural current as the rivers merge. My metacognition becomes amused by the dialogue between the goddess and the devil’s advocate…
Devil’s Advocate: “Can you do this?” Goddess: Yes! I had two very dependent toddlers during my Master’s program and student teaching. I did that!
DA: “Yeah but you had a partner at that time who paid the bills and gave you time to study.” G: My job is a cake-walk… I can do this and pay the bills! God gives me what I need in abundance!! I am not worried about the bills. He has already blessed me in the area of finances. As far as time goes…. I have too much down-time. I have room to add the time needed for this.
DA: “You are a single mother of three young school-aged children… Shouldn’t you think of them?” G: Exactly, I am thinking of them. I give them all I have and more as it is. What better way to continue doing that than by empowering them with my journey. Talking with them and showing them that when you have a dream, you have the choice to make it happen!!
Goddess- 4… Devil’s Advocate – 0.
The journey is a delight when we practice mindfulness and stay connected to the source of love! I choose not to be the person who fights against the current….Who never has the time to look up toward the beauty of this life! I choose to breathe in all the fragrances and spoils. I choose to look up to the sky through the branches of the trees. I choose to float on the life-raft of love rather than be tied to the sinking cinder block of pain. I choose to flow in the Easy River of the Heart.
I hope you choose that river that leads to your dreams too. Peace and love be with you!
Chapter 7: Make Space for the Spirit
Tao te Ching- Verse 11- The Importance of What is Not
“We join thirty spokes to the hub of a wheel, yet it’s the center hole that drives the chariot.
We shape clay to birth a vessel, yet it’s the hollow within that makes it useful.
We chisel doors and windows to construct a room, yet it’s the inner space that makes it livable.
Thus do we create what is to use what is not.”
I must consider… With what do I fill my space? I am the vessel of the Lord, yet I fill my space with worry, anger, jealousy, resentment, and useless worldly knowledge. I must act… To fill my space with emptiness. So that the Spirit may flow through me bringing love and wisdom to the world.
Chapter 8: Coming Out: Beyond Monogamy
“I feel as though we have reached the pinnacle of what we can be with and for each other. I feel a fullness about our relationship yet know that it is time for us to move on from ‘this.’ I want the freedom to meet diverse people and explore where life takes me when I do meet them.” These were the words I spoke to my ex-husband when I first suggested that we split. It wasn’t received with the positive and warm feelings that had been predicted in my mind as I rehearsed it for the year prior to that conversation.
Three years later and I’m still “getting to that place of free love.” The time alone has not been in vain. There has been an immense amount of personal reflection and growth (i.e., especially since meeting the incredible man whom I call my Twin Flame; no… not all roses and laughter… more like fire and torment). I have always been keen on metacognition and spent several years harnessing my expansive energy field, but these last three years have been in the realm of “relational growth.” For example, my ex and I used to joke, “oh boy, if we ever split, I don’t think I could take it if you introduced another woman to the kids.” It was my greatest fear that I thought would evoke rage! However, due to the circumstances of my divorce, the new woman- who is extremely thoughtful and loving to my kids- has brought a sense of comfort and security for me when the kids visit their dad. I had a choice to hate her from the get-go or face that fear… I chose love and it has been a positive experience! It takes a strong person to embrace pain rather than run from it. When we understand and overcome the pain, we have a deeper connection with humanity (Embracing Your Brokenness, 2018).
I haven’t forgotten about my reason (i.e., one of many) for leaving the marriage. Granted, I have not had the opportunity to explore others because my kid-free time is few and far between: I am not complaining… just stating the facts. This time off from relationships has also given me the chance to understand and clarify what it is I was saying when I first spoke those words. Consider this my official “coming out” as an individual ISO committed polyamorous relationships.
“The first step to learning and growing is self-awareness, the willingness to tackle your own issues and limitations… Self-awareness is a prerequisite for positive relationships” (Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, 2008). For several years, I have been researching what it means to be in a polyamorous relationship. Many assume it is simply kinky sex all the time; however, it is far more than that- if even that at all. Some individuals don’t engage in a sexual relationship with one of their partners. It all depends on the guidelines and boundaries set at the onset of the relationships. Polyamorous relationships include a spiritual, emotional, and yes, often sexual relationship- just like most monogamous partnerships. The difference is that you are open to share that aspect of yourself with more than one person. Couples who practice this type of commitment (yes… commitment!) denounce the stance that “one person can and should fulfil every single need and desire.”
I look to the Bible for guidance in my life. I have prayed about the meaning of polyamory and allowed God to guide me. I don’t believe he would guide every person to the same answers and interpretation. Nonmonogamy may not work for another person and therefore, God would guide them toward a truth that enabled them to live an authentic life.
There are several examples supporting polyamorous (but not necessarily sexual) relationships. However, I have not been able to find in the Bible, any indication that women could have multiple partners. It only discussed the relationships of men; therefore, I am left to consider if it is Biblical for me to be polyamorous or only that I be monogamous to a polyamorous male partner. The inspiration I have gained from that notion is that the relationships of men and women are mirrored to the relationship of God and His people. Therefore, God (the man) as the head of the relationship has many people (wives), not just the Israelites, but inclusive of Gentiles. As such, man modeled this by showing dedication and love to many women, whether wives or concubines. If a woman were to have many husbands, that would be like saying she has many gods. Other Biblical verses warn against many gods and declare that their is only one true God, hence only one true husband to represent that idea.
So what does that say about our “modern” world where non-traditional relationship dynamics exist? There has been no reference that I can find to support nor discredit women intimately loving other women beyond “marriage is between a man and a woman.” Yet, this could be due to the patriarchal nature of the time and text. Therefore, in the name of equality, I take the stance of “innocent until proven guilty” while I continue searching and praying for answers regarding women having multiple partners. Love is the overarching message: If I am remaining connected with God and Christ (first and foremost) and am brought to the opportunity to intimately love another in a committed relationship, then I will openly and honestly give my love to that person. I believe I am supported by the model within the Bible that it was more about the relationship of God to His people than about the gender of the couple.
As was stated, men were often married to several women who satisfied diverse needs. Jacob loved Rachel. He worked seven years for her but was deceived to wed Leah. Leah was hated so God enabled her to meet Jacob’s needs in a way that Rachel could not- by bearing children. He began to favor Leah for the mere fact that she bore him sons. Rachel became distraught that she couldn’t meet that need for him, so she made him wed her handmaid Bilhah. The limelight was taken off Leah and so she became jealous of that son, so she gave Jacob her handmaid Zilpah (Genesis , 1994). In the end, Jacob had a committed sexual relationship or “marriages” to at least four women! God did not condemn him; he condoned the act by “opening up” the wombs of his women. Abraham was another example of a man blessed with many wives and concubines.
What greater love stories do we have in the Bible aside from Jesus and His love with Martha and Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and John? Before jumping down my throat because you think I’m calling our Savior a “homosexual,” please understand that polyamory is not necessarily a sexual relationship! Above all else is love. John was called “The one He loved.” He was His best friend- an old timey Bromance. He filled the need of being able to discuss theology and philosophy in great depth and truly embody and understand the messages of love of which Jesus spoke. They did not have a sexual relationship, but they did have a deep love for each other. Martha played the role of companion and caregiver who held the space of security and consistency. When faced with crisis, she stepped up to do what needed to be done (i.e., took action); whereas, her sister was more of a “sit by the bedside and weep for the dead” kind-of-gal (i.e., passive). We often hear of His relationship with Mary, yet He loved Martha just as much as Mary- only differently. Mary was the doting love fulfilling His moment-to-moment needs. She played a more social and affectionate role. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 1994). The point made is that love plays a different role with different people. It is important for the couples to understand what their role is and how they fulfill a desire or need for the other persons in the relationship. Martha did not have the personality to be the adoring fan and Mary preferred physical proximity rather than a dutiful love behind the scenes. John was committed “until death do us part” and beyond. I choose to follow His example and deeply love others.
Many articles against polyamory that use the Bible as a reference state that marriage should be sanctified between a man and woman. However, as we can see, there are several examples where a man had several women! Even Solomon was “gifted by God” with thousands of concubines, which to my understanding were not considered “wives.” Other articles have stated, “Well God is a jealous God and therefore, polyamory is unacceptable because according to free-love, you’re not supposed to ever be jealous!” This is ignorant and inaccurate information: Most couples identify feelings of envy, jealousy, resentment, and general uneasiness. They face them, openly talk about them with their partners, and create an action plan to overcome those negative feelings. They do not deny them; on the contrary, they learn to be okay with negative emotions as the initial step in changing old patterns that no longer serve them.
It is imperative that individuals considering this type of non-monogamous relationship take a serious look at their relational paradigm. First, you must know yourself: Identify your triggers and clarify what it is you really want and need from another person. Next, relationships will be successful if you have a growth mindset and good communication skills: Allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to express your deepest fears and desires, face old wounds instead of running from them, willing to dialogue about the goals and expectations about the open relationship at the onset and throughout. Finally, you must have a certain maturity, seriousness, and commitment to see the potential for love instead of an opportunity to “cheat” or get your rocks off from multiple partners. You must be willing to put in the work! (Taormino, 2008).
Why I have chosen polyamory… My life’s purpose is the exploration and amplification of love. From a young age, I was the one who would selflessly and secretly spread love to other people (e.g., anonymous poems, bouquets of flowers, money for those in need, dinner and companionship to individuals without a home). My connection to my family and children is balanced and overflowing with love. I connect deeply with friends. My relationship with Christ and God has been fruitful and magnificent! There is an abundance of love flowing into my body through my connection to the Spirit, grounded by the earth and balanced by the sky. This love circulates into my core and disperses into the connection with humanity through my arms and hands. Yet, there has been an emptiness in my heart because there is one part of that mission that I am not allowed to have any control over: Romantic love. I know that I am destined for an extraordinary love affair! One that will be a model for love because it is glorified and blessed by God. But I’ve come to learn that this sort of love cannot be stifled by restrictions. That sort of love has no bounds- not even by one person. Coupled with one- as a primary partner- may bring the amplification needed to fulfill the mission of unconditional and unadulterated love with others (i.e., secondary partners), but I do not want to limit the potential of love.
You may ask… Then why not just be friends with people? I want a deep level of intimacy with individuals with whom I am committed- some may be considered just friendships- but… some will include sex! Sex is a form of art and communication! After a great fuck, a couple can cuddle and express their most authentic selves! I want to be at liberty to express my love in a committed relationship and reach heightened levels of communion. I don’t think it is fair to my own growth nor my partners to declare that “we can only have sex with each other… for the rest of our lives!” Love is free from constraints. “…Sex and sexual love are fundamental forces for good, activities with the potential to strengthen intimate bonds, enhance lives, open spiritual awareness, and even change the world” (The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Adventures, 2009). This is the next step in my mission to connect humanity to a love that has the potential to be free from negative emotions and limited communications.
Chapter 9: To Each His Own Measure
I came across the verse, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ,” (Ephesians 4:7) and was perplexed: To the measure? What does that mean? I continued to read, hoping to find the answer to my question. A few verses later, it was revealed: “Till we all come in the unity of faith, and of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ… But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ… maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4: 13-16). See, we spiritually “grow up” unto the full stature of Christ when we accept Him into our hearts and lives and continue in developing that relationship with God through Christ. There is a different measure for different people because each has a unique journey and timeline for extinguishing worldly thoughts and ego-driven emotions. We must realize the Way of acknowledging an emptiness and subsequently working through issues to, not fill that void, but to make even more space for the Spirit to flow through you. If we are cluttered with resentment, jealousy, greed, or concerned with our finances, work stress, or filling our lives with endless activities, then the space is taken up by those energies, not love. So we practice making space and embracing the emptiness that enables Christ to “move in.” He fills our bodies with His love from head to toe until we are able to walk in His shoes (or should I say, sandals). Then we can truly say we walk with Christ. The more space we have for Him, the greater the measure we are gifted of His love that then can be spent on all of humanity and in being stewards of the Earth.
Paul goes on to direct us to put away anger, bitterness, wrath, speaking badly about others, clamoring, but instead to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. I don’t intend to sound like I am on a soap box pointing fingers at others, so I will share with you the areas that I must put away so that I can create space:
I’ve always envied other women who are just so dang sweet! “Everybody loves her!” I’ve never viewed myself as sweet- “giving,” yes, “kind,” yes- but I’m a bit more salty than sweet. My honesty stings and so people are often repelled by the uncertainty of how I might react: I am the loner, the wild card. I also tend to be boisterous and perverted. I’m continually comparing myself to other woman even though I know I have been gifted with many talents and positive attributes. These are not qualities of a Godly woman, nor qualities that a Godly man would be attracted to. So besides the fact that I hold onto envy and jealousy, which can lead to rage and bitterness, I struggle with remaining grounded when life gets heated (i.e., either with controversy or passion). Yet, as I work through these character flaws and see the truth in spite of the lies I tell myself, I create more space, I am freed to be filled with God’s love and that point becomes the new baseline. Each time, I am growing toward and into the full stature of Christ. What is your baseline? What measure are you gifted in Christ?
Walk in Love! Be the Light! Give Thanks!
One thought on “The Human Experience”
Pingback: Ch 9: To Each His Own Measure | thesaltstone