Author Archive | Liz

Wounds

My friend observed this morning that perhaps I had a problem with God as Father because of my difficulties with my own father. My gut reaction is “NO” – but for argument’s sake, I’ll say “Maybe – in part.” Having gone that far, it doesn’t seem to change anything. For whatever reason I internalized the idea that the female side of myself is less than any “masculine” parts, it’s still a wound that has to be opened and healed.

After years of counselling, I’m seeing that this road I must travel either with companionship or alone. It must be walked. No companion, or guide required. Greatly appreciated, but not required.

If there is anger (and I’m not feeling anger at this time) then I must step back from it and see what it tells me. Same with sorrow. Same with shame. And – at times, with joy. I was smiling down to my toes this morning after hearing the belly-dancer story. What does that tell me?

A Gift for the Journey

This morning, on my way to work from my Cursillo small group meeting, there was a wonderful story about a woman who has sold her house, given up her job as an accountant and is moving to Paris to pursue her life as a professional belly-dancer. That was wonderful in and of itself, but the crown jewel was when she talked about how when she dances, when she moves and lives in the the dance it’s a way of communing with the Divine. How glorious and image!

It seems that my 3 different small groups (all women of course) have been a part of my salvation. My focus is generally fairly masculine: I work with priests in my second job; I am a programmer, webmaster, computer geek by profession (and choice) – I love working with men, even though they often frustrate me to no end and sometimes seem so clueless. My sisters have given me a chance to come to terms with my feminine, female side. That’s not so easy at times. It seems that I have absorbed some of the cultural bias of women as second class – or womanhood as something to overcome instread of something to embrace. My sisters don’t always see eye to eye – with me or each other, but we share fearlessly at times and we are not afraid to hug each other and say “I love you!”

Br. David Stendl-Rast (gratefulness.org) has a book, Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer that opened a door for me by suggesting that one go to the place where you felt like you belonged – a time or event, and start from there. I’m finding those places more these days on this journey to myself.

Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer – I recommend it, but you will find that if you aren’t ready, it will be impossible, and when you are ready, you can’t put it down!

Gratefulness: The Heart of Prayer

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter

The other day, my friend Leigh recommended The Dance of the Dissident Daughter for my new year’s reading. She had decided to tackle one spiritual work per month this year, and this was the first one she came across. Having read and enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees, and listening to Leigh’s brief bio of Sue Monk Kidd, it seemed like it was worth a shot.

Of course, as friends do, I gave her my suggestions for her reading list. The 2 that I put on her list were Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork and She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse by Elizabeth A. Johnson. Her response – “oh, I think that both of those were referenced in The Dance of the Dissident Daughter.” So, then it really seemed like her recommendation would be good one.

I’ve been plowing my way through this one for the past few days… a few years ago, at the suggestion of a Vincentian priest (he’s now left the priesthood), I read a couple of very powerful books. The first was Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork; the other was She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse by Elizabeth A. Johnson. (Now you know where my recommendations came from.) and lo and behold, Sue Monk Kidd refers to both of these books. We’re on the same wavelength now!

More as I progress through the book.

Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork
She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse

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