This week I wrote the letter resigning my Ordination in the Ministry of the United Church of Christ. It was a closure for me of the past five and a half years of releasing the old definitions. I am not walking around giddy or happy dancing; I am standing a bit taller and witnessing the baby steps of discovery. My goal and intention since my 55th birthday has been to become the healthiest person I can become and to be prepared for turning 65 and the Peak of Creativity. I am on task.
Releasing the bonds of the old definitions has been a life long journey. I have not done it alone and have asked for help along the way, and yet have wallowed in my own shadows deeply and sometimes distressed others. I have read and read and searched and questioned; at times I have driven myself to push for relief and answers.
Depression is anger against the self, it can bleed out in subtle ways. Ruminating on anger without release is like grinding one’s teeth down to despair – chewing the cud called self. I developed systems to spew it out, analyze and understand, and I repeated until I could truly forgive. Release. Now I have even more emotional skills/tools to draw upon.
I knew the day that Nixon signed and abolished the draft and all the U Haul trailers began arriving on the campus of my Seminary so many of the interesting students would depart, that maybe I should be packing my things also, but I thought it was only a short sprint to the end and I was told to finish my work; I did.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” Rather it is words that I celebrate. Oh yes if the words sting, rip and tear at the soul, I cry and bleed like all others, then I let them reveal to me the fear and pain of the speaker. I have obviously assaulted a boundary that they like the edge of and have marked it darker for definition. Then I question, what does their fear or pain reflect back to me? What can I learn about people from hearing these words? How can I pull forth these ideas and change them to my use and knowledge? I return to the self and diffuse the reflection.
It all takes time.
I never earned any money, retirement, insurance from my work as an ordained minister. I did fund raise tremendous amounts of money for projects in my community and for education. I did work a number of jobs to give me enough quarters for some Social Security and Medicare (Maybe? – remember I was born with cancer and have always been a pre-existing condition)
What did I gain by being Ordained? I was acknowledged for being smart enough to attend and graduate from a prestigious institution. I survived! which was an amazing feat in itself. I learned to trust myself. I learned how to think, study and contemplate activating those skills into useful information and action. In the awesome category, I am a skilled counselor and one of the best Adult Educators on the planet. I taught and understood Ethics and I became my own best friend.
I am sure that I will still get all the newsletters and announcements that I can possibly handle and I will still work on Justice, Peace and Women’s issues! I will always have a community where I belong and which supports the issues that are vital to me.
I am enjoying reading as much as I want and what I choose to read. I am truly happy to be able to say NO to requests. I no longer want to go to required meetings and pay for the privilege and the gas. I am figuring out what I want to do in this third of my life to celebrate the peaks of creativity. I have planted seeds and gotten some insights. I am no longer that 10 year old girl striving to do something that everyone said could not be done or accomplished. Been there done that, on to something new.
How about you? What are your plans for change? Made any big or dramatic changes this year?
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