Shifting …

There is so much to process, so please forgive if I say a whole lot about very little or very little about a whole lot. That which I would love to write about in great depth, I probably won’t write about at all–a conflict with the leadership and vision of the church I love and have been cradled in. I won’t say much about that because, I’m finding, that I’m afraid I am stuck in my own certainty, a place I rarely dwell. I am still working through this, am still sure that in sticking with my certainty, I will be the loser in ways much wider than I would were I to do what I usually do: mete out appropriate portions of blame, responsibility, and forgiveness to all involved (including myself), as that is the way of conflict (rare that only one person is injured or injuring). But I’m unable to move in any direction other than retreat right now, which has me struggling with feeling like a quitter and a complainer rather than as I like to picture myself, as a leader. Enough said. I struggle. You struggle. A decision will be made. I will live and be stronger for having made whatever decision is made.

I am stronger, having said that much. I am stronger, I find, for reasons I had no idea would impact me so greatly when I first started writing this blog nearly 5 years ago. I had no idea of an online community when I started writing. I had been lurking on the blogs noted on UUpdates for several months before I dipped my toe in. Some of the bloggers caught my eye and heart almost immediately. I eventually started leaving comments on blog posts leading those same bloggers back to my little posts.

I came to know exactly how important the wider web of electronic support could be when my father became ill and then died. But I also found supportive the comments on the struggles of parenting, of remaining in community in church, of being human in a faith full of said humans that often don’t appreciate their own (or other’s) humanity. Even when I stopped writing somewhat regularly, I have continued to dip into the UU blogging community on a regular, if not daily, basis. It is, in many instances, what has sustained me in some very low tides.

More than the personal, though, the blog world–especially that of the UU blog world–has allowed me to learn about and experience my chosen faith tradition, to both challenge and affirm my thoughts, feelings and actions about who we are, how we are, and what we can (as in “Yes We Can,” not as in “May We?”) do. I found myself wondering big wonders about possibilities, probabilites, and even desires because of them.

I’ve come to rely on your thoughts, your connections, your hopes and your visions. I’ve come to rely on a community that is far beyond my physical realm–a community that does not let me shout into the wilderness without appropriate response, a community in which I feel held and loved. And I find it a brave new existence to know that many of those people holding me in accountability and love are people I have never met and may never meet.

What’s prompting these thoughts also comes from the experience I’ve had lately with FaceBook. The connections we get to make in this digital age can be significant and meaningful and I would hope can help us all to connect more vibrantly. I see this in the experience of the students I interact wtih daily–who live all over the country, but stay involved in each others lives through the interwebz. I see it, too, as I (and my children) find ways to be a part of the lives of my nieces and nephews, all of whom live in other time zones. They share photos of kids and pets and each other and we who get to see them rarely feel connected in new ways. We banter back and forth across the country in real time and so when we get the opportunity to see each other again, it is not as if years have gone by, but as if days or minutes.

This is significant and important and as I look toward what is next in our family’s spiritual life, it may be done through internet connections moreso than through physical ones. And what I’m trying to say is that I’m fairly certain that won’t be an exact exchange of experience, but it will be/can be meaningful. This is good to know right now. I would like to have a reason to stay connected with my home congregation other than that there is nowhere else to go. Knowing and experiencing online spiritual sustenance allows me to say there is somewhere else to go–making the decision, then, one that I can ponder from many angles and avenues.

Thanks to all of you who have been keen and connected. And thanks for the opportunity to work through this tangle.

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About TinaLBPorter

I write poetry and blog at www.tinalbporter.com. And I'm thrilled to be writing with you.
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6 Responses to Shifting …

  1. Hey, Momma –
    I hope to see you soon for an in-person hug, but ’til then know that I’m holding you in my thoughts. Having been through my own struggles with a faith community in which I’ve invested a lot of time, energy, money and hope, I wish you clarity and peace. Look for the way to open, but pay attention also to the ways that close – and the ways you decide to close.
    Blessings, friend.

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  2. mskitty says:

    Dear Momma, you are in my heart and my prayers. There will be a way, it will open up. And you’ll know what to do, even if it takes a longer time than you expect it will.

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  3. Lizard Eater says:

    Hugs. And best of luck with your struggle and discernment.

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    • uuMomma says:

      Thanks, LE. Your approach to missional church and electronic community have been very helpful for me at this time. Thanks for the hugs!

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