A dream I have held since arriving in Corvallis was birthed on March 31 2016.
It has been eight and a half years. For the first three or four of those I placed colored post-its at eye level in various parts of my apartment. Cultivate physical community.
It felt like it would never happen.
For all of my life, I have held myself apart from physical community. Even when I lived in the dorm from my middle school years on, I held myself apart. I was the one who was just enough off center to keep the “normal” ones guessing (if they even bothered to be aware of my existence). So I kept it at arms length. You can come this close and no further.
Let me be as clear as I can about to what “off center” means to me here. It means not fitting in with whatever cultural norm I am in. That’s pretty broad.
Let me also be perfectly clear as to what the “normal ones” means in this context (mine).It simply means the ones who appeared to have a place in the class, the dorm, the job, in the general scheme of things without having to work at it. Typically, that would would be the sports group (male and female) and the brainiacs (they had the teachers’ respect) the cheeleaders. It means the “popular” ones… the ones people wanted to be around.
I was not in that group. I was in the ugly duckling group and my internal claim to a right to even exist was that I was not the ugliest of the ugly ducklings. So much distortion here!! It elicits compassionate laughter with my tender young self these days.
I’m sharing this because for all of my life deep deep community has felt elusive.
Out of my control. Controlled by anybody but me but usually the ones in charge who had the in with God and therefore created the rules of engagement.
I grew up the daughter of a missionary. We moved around. A lot. It was in the era of five years “on the field”, one year furlough in the home country which turned into two when my parents switched mission boards. The year (or two) was occupied with the generation of support for the missionary work. My parents, thankfully, kept us out of that part of it as much as possible.
I learned very early on not to become too attached to anything or anyone.
Love leaves. Period. Love is not dependable.
I felt like I was always on the outside looking in. Never on the inside … even in my family. The big kids (my brother and I ) went to boarding school. The three little kids were home schooled. They lived there. I visited on long weekends and vacation.
We were always in the future waiting for the next coming event whatever it was. Ultimately of course, the future event was “the second coming of Jesus” when all the Christians went to heaven and everyone else went to hell. The whole reason we were in Japan. To tell them about Jesus so they wouldn’t go to hell. (Can you hear the voice of the young little kid here?!?)
I lived my life with one foot in, one foot out.
Never fully committed to a place, to a group of people, and perhaps at a deeper level never fully committed to myself. My initial motto was float through, make it til you die or Jesus comes whichever comes first. Do I even matter?
And, always looking for something outside of myself (a purpose) to save me from myself. A lover, a job, a friend, a group of people, but never feeling truly able to fully commit.
Feels like I’ve been in training for my “real life”, my now life, for 60 years.
And now, now that I’m in tune with, attuned to, the Inner Authority, I can commit because the commitment to the lead of the Inner Authority is strong. No one outside of me gets to tell me what that voice, the voice of the Inner Knower is saying to me.
A few weeks ago four people gave wings to the desire to build deep heart centered physical community, a place of belonging for anyone that wants it, and put it out there with a name, a date, time and a meeting place a name. The date was March 31st. They held the dream for those of us who also held the dream, sent out the invitation on Facebook.. Salem Body and Soul Circle was born March 31, 2016.
This was one of those “I can’t not go” things –
Good thing because it is 30 something miles from my home which means a bit of a drive … in the dark on the way home. Driving in the dark has lately been a deterrent and the passion for being a part of sustainable community, for belonging, and the anticipation of meeting new people, some of whom I have met on Facebook, propelled me out the door.
I fell in love with this group of people that I had never met before March 31st. The number (8 years coming) is not lost on me, nor is the timing. This is ultimately being seeded into the Aries new moon at the end of a potent eclipse tunnel.
There is both great joy and great terror in being in love here, I am choosing to embrace all of it. To push nothing out as if it does not belong. It all belongs. It all wants to be metabolized. Thank you Matt Licata for that one. It continues to resonate with me.
Metabolized. That is not a metaphoric term btw. That is exactly what goes on in our bodies as emotions arise and the associated chemicals that elicit the sensation of the emotion course through our bloodstreams. They enter the cell walls via receptor sites specific to the neurochemical.
When I constrict, the chemicals get stuck and create chaos in the body. When I relax into the emotions, whatever they are, they can move through the physical system and either nourish it or be released once their job is done.
I fell in love with this group of people. The time is Now.
If you are in the area, (or visiting the area) feel free to join us on Thursday evenings, 7:00pm in the Franklin Building, 101 High Street, Salem on the 6th floor. For more information, please check out our Facebook page here.