Why We Buried Our Awesomeness, and How We Can Get It Back – Dara Hoffman-Fox

Why We Buried Our Awesomeness, and How We Can Get It Back – Dara Hoffman-Fox.

Constance…I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled I am to have made a new friend in Dara…I have admired them from afar for just about a year, and somehow knew that we would connect and work together?  Well, that connection has sparked and birthed…now we feed and let it grow.

In the meantime, I want to draw your attn to their blog and their fab writing.  It really applies to all who would read it and dare to press in…I think that is what faith is, right?Pressing into what we know to be true instead of hanging back in what we fear is true.

Anyway, go check out Dara’s article…they’re a Champeen!!

Love, Charissa

On This Shore I Break,We Break

Listen…
you can hear
my words in waves
breaking on your beach
and celebrating…

lament at long last left limp
in clammy depths
‘neath the surface of seas
of blessed forgetfulness
and chuckling…

midst the shells and sand swirling,
rejoicing surf returning resurrected,
remembered, sanctified by sorrows
faced and sorted…yielding
wholeness certain, sure…

on this shore I break,
we break,
on this shore gently
and joyfully too
we break…

on that shore
that someday shore
we will unbroken break
on that shore and in that circle
by and by…in that circle

by and by…

1409093025210548

Intentional Unknowing

Constance, one more quick post, and then we are off on the bikes!  Yippeeee!!!

So…I am learning to not call my body/soul/mind/emotion clash a prison, or sentence, or monster, or any of those other things…Mama has been quite active and specific in calling me into account and showing me that far from being the result of the conditions of the fall, and something that went haywire as I was formed, my being was very intentionally and soberly purposed by Them!  Ever single last aspect!

oh, I was well acquainted with the Psalms which tell us of Their involvement and intricate knowledge of us…but I had pushed these things to a comfortable place theologically…as in there are many things that the Fall mars and wrecks…things that They have not intentioned, but have indeed accounted for with Their Grace.  And I had classified my transgender being as one of those things:  a result of the Fall and something to be redeemed and eventually cured when all things are made right. In the meantime, I despised myself.  My body and its awful clumsy and large power covered in blechy hair and muscle…and that.  And my heart…”weak and overly emotional and on my sleeve at all times side by side with streaks of snot”…and my soul…unwilling to hammer down on someone who needs correction but instead draw close and win them over, much to the ire of all the males in my life…I despised my swings from knowing I could do all things thru Jesus to thinking that They literally despised me for longing to have the body I felt I was denied…

…and worst of all?  I thought, in my most secret thoughts, that They had done this to me, to punish me for being so bad…They had made this as scourging.

I am so thankful that They are overcoming all my evil with Their good!  Truly…

…but this latest round of talks…She has been very specific, and letting me see some of the backstory of what things I have said, or done, or written which have been helpful and life-giving and of service to others…and She has shown irrefutably to my heart of shame and self-loathing that not one of those things would have been possible were it not for the unique balancing of all the various aspects of my being which are seemingly in conflict but are in truth the warp and weft of the very tapestry of life and grace They are making me into!

My experiences in male roles, and the accompanying policing and disciplines (used in a putative sense), the intense efforts made by men when I was young in efforts to “make me tough” or “teach me to be a man”…and later being in male spaces in our culture hearing the naked expression of men to one another, witnessing the truly unconscious taking of privilege and the aggrieved hearts when denied…and hearing men talk, when one on one with me and thinking me male…just different or weird and yet strangely comforting to talk to…

…and my experiences on the outside, excluded by minds and bodies and actions…female roles and spaces and bodies…which heightened my observational skills, and sharpened my inductive and deductive abilities…and gave me an ear to hear…

…and the null…the razor place of horror and emptiness where everyone else had a place and a person, and I had nothing, like literally nothing…and my lil mind heard about the God shaped vacuum?  and assumed that was this (it isn’t, by the way, that space is where our spirits are still born and in need of resurrection)…and so pursued God and was pursued by Them,…hey, it was either that or kill myself.  Those were my options…

and now…to see…to feel the wisdom and the divine risk They took in intentionally availing themselves of the developmental processes in human biology to make me…and then make me…Charissa Grace…so see that They gambled on Their love and grace and mercy being enough, and They gambled on me to be so slayed by one glance that I would be hopelessly in thrall forever??

No…never again will I call it a prison…and thanks to my bff who asked me once if I could choose one or the other, would I choose that?  Giggle…most of the time the Q is which would I choose…but wise wise DDH asked more would I choose, if I could.

I choose Them.  I choose Their glory and Their Plan.  I choose Their Indescribable Comfort and Joy.

And now to my topic:  I believe that God intentionally has chosen Unknowing in regards to relationship with us!

Yes!  I KNOW, right????  That sounds heretical, and sounds insane!  I mean, God knows all, sees, all, etc etc…They are freaking GOD!  And when the One God in 3 Persons and the 3 in One God decide to manifest in Their Oneness, Their THEM-NESS…why then we see that fantastical and indescribable Entity referred to by those who have been in Its Presence as “Lord God Almighty”…and it is too too TOO to the extent that the people who see this fall down as if dead, and their eyes perceive “monsters” with multiple wings and legs and eyes and mouths that fly around the Entity Lord God Almighty and scream at It louder than all loud “HOLY! HOLY!” (and other things…shiver).

So where do I get off saying that God chooses to not know vast portions of relationship with us?

Well, Ima tell ya a story…years ago, I was out and about on a rainy dark clammy morning, soaked to my bones and chilled, and miserable beyond words.  It was Oregon rain, and my baby who grew up in Wyoming swears to this day that 38 degrees and rainy in Oregon is a million times worse than 20 below in Wyoming…and I was out in a loud, smelly, noisy truck!  Driving it, using it to work with my body so I could provide for my darlings 5.  I hate trucks.  I hate machines, and they hate me too.  They bite me almost everyday and leave me bloody and wounded…and they hurt my heart too with their bellowing and caterwauling.

And my mouth and mind were with God…hey, I had nowhere else to go, it certainly wasn’t because I was any paragon of virtue or spiritual giant!  Lol!  No…I was more like the bum at the off ramp of God’s freeway with my sign and tale of woe to elicit a few coins…

but I was trying to talk to the Father that morning…and getting no where, because I was so despairing and so frustrated…and Ima be blunt honest with you, kay?  This is how I talk to Them, cus I figure They know my heart already, so if I fake it and talk all pretty then not only will I have the regular failures and sins to deal with but the additional sin of lying to Them!!  (Cantcha just hear it?  “Don Pardo, tell Charissa what she just won!!” <Pardo’s unctuous voice>”Charissa…you just won LYING TO GOD!!!!!!!!  No new car for you, girl!  Nope…you get the nannygoat prize!”  lol)

So, being bluntly honest with Father that day (and you here)… I finally had the following conversation:

Papa, why the fuck do I even bother praying!!  It is just a litany of the same fucking complaints, the same awful feelings, the usual puking Pity Party! And the most frustrating things about it is You already fucking KNOW EVERYTHING!”

(yes, I f bombed to Papa…not proud of it…but you all know yo have done this, whether you have said it outloud or not…cus our hearts ARE F bombs, in their deceit and wickedness apart from Their Redeeming love)

Now, this is the distillation?  Perhaps this rant went on just a bit longer?  Long enough that I was hoarse and in a wrack of sobbing tears pulled over in a wide area beside the road because I couldn’t see?

And then as my sobs subsided (as they always did), as the tides receded and there was still the beach walk with Them to continue, I heard Papa sort of clear His throat and make a very gentle sound…so I listened.

“What makes you think I already know everything?”

“PAPA!  Please!! Don’t fuck around with me today…I am not up to Your jokes and tricks and double-back hidey-behind pranks which result in your Wisdom being spoken to this fool!  Everyone knows You know everything!  It’s in Your bible, even people who don’t like You or believe in You know that You know everything (and by the way, I get super pissed at those idjuts who say they don’t believe in You, and yet ignore that You must be in order to not believe in…but that is a different rant!)!

“Does it?  Does My Word say that?”

Constance, I have learned that when They ask you a Q like that it is best to shut up…and re-listen!!  For the Bible is living, and so are we…and as we live and grow, so too the Word unfolds to us heights and depths and breadths that are there always, but visible only when we are in just this place…at just that time!

Papa said “What if I made a deal with Myself, with Jesus and Mama (Whom back then I referred to very impersonally as “the” holy spirit, and objectified Her)…and in that deal I decided that I would agree to “not know” vast territories of you and your life and existence…so we can have the Pleasure of joint discovery?  After all…We have “unknown” all of your sins and iniquities in Our gifts of Mercy and Grace and Redeeming Metamorphosis…

“Think about your own self, with your own children…which is better…when you drag something out of them, or when you spy from a distance and figure things out…or when they come to you, unexpectedly and all on their own…in just that moment when you are feeling lonely and unnecessary to them or their life…and they begin to tell you their insides!

“The way that feels…the joy and gladness…the sense of miracle and wonder…and the way those things are your treasures and in your forever treasure box?”

and as soon as He said this I was PIERCED!!  Whole volumes of reality clicked in for me…experiences lined up, and a whole new way of looking at Them was before me…so I laid down my f bomb boxing gloves, and instead asked in my open-faced and heart showing way…

“..Papa, is this true?  How can You not know…but it FEELS true to me!!”  And essentially He spoke to me about something I have called since then “Intentional Unknowing”.  They chose to limit Themselves in many ways in regards to us….They have given us Free Will, and given us many other things that They have the ability to take back, but because of who They are, They never will, and thus “cannot” take back!

When it comes to our lives…our fears, our hurts, our joys and hopes?  They can only know the depth of our specificity if we tell Them!!

Well, the rest is very funny, cus as soon as I grasped all this, I told Papa that I was gonna chirp and chirp forever and He was gonna regret ever telling me He wanted to know me! LOLOL (Hey DDH, can you relate??? giggles…or my baby out there??  or my own Daddy long dead…he is nodding in heaven and knuckle-bumping with the Father in solidarity, having endured the never ending Charissa chatter-flow!  lol)

And I leave you with this:  God has filled His word with countless exhortations to pray…and we in our foolishness and religious dumbassery have turned these pleas to talk to Them into duties to be performed in order to merit Their activity on our behalf giving us what we think we want!

Well, see it a bit differently…see Them, as you would your own children, pleading with us to talk to Them!!  Let Them into our lives, into our thoughts and heart!  They are hungry to know us!!  They long to be given something that They cannot have in any other way, than that we give it to Them!!  And then when you go to pray, do not think of Them as big know-it-alls who are checking things off Their list and tallying our score and computing our “answer to prayer effectiveness quotient!”

No…They are moms, hearts bleeding joy that Their babies are speaking to Them! They are dads, who so deeply yearn for the sharing of Their children and that dialogue which makes every sacrifice an honor and every blow a privilege!

And you wanna know something more?  You yourself will come to know yourself better…and Them better too, cus They actually like to conversate!! They will talk back, you know…you did know that right?  Right??

“Pray without ceasing” can be read as “Whaddya do t’day ‘Rissa???  Huh?  Huh? TellMeTellmeTellMe!!)

Okay…I’m outta here for now…so how bout this?  Shut off the computer…go for a walk…and chatter like Charissa!!

All my love and heart to you, and I can’t wait to hear your stories!!

Charissa

140934460676634

You Need Malcus In Your Life

Good morning Constance!

I’m back!  I think I have shaken the funk and bad taste of my experience I have referred to recently.  Thanks to you all, for your encouraging words…

It’s interesting to me…as I have written about before (Words Echo For Eternity)…the power of words.  They are alive, words, and the power of life and death is in them.

Well, actually in us, as we are the author and originator of our words, especially those spoken impulsively or without censor as they just speak out of the overflow of the heart…we are the ones who have the power of life and death.

I went thru a few hours of feeling something die inside me…respect, admiration, and a lil hope…and sorrow began to run ragged and rough into my veins and seek to squeeze my heart…and worst of all, I felt those words trying hard to rape me and conceive themselves into my own inner womb of words, and thrust themselves out misshapen and multiplied…I felt within the desire to get out my own sword…and strike…

I have allus been so intrigued that in the garden of Gethsemane, when they came to provide Jesus with the opportunity to yield to their summons…Peter was there with a sword…and he got so incensed that he attacked one of the mob!

In fact, he attacked Malcus, a servant of the high priest {one of the villains of the crucifiction}.  Jesus was  horrified by Peter’s actions, and made a point to heal Malcus before He was taken, and then speak the famous words that if you take the sword you will perish by it as well.  Jesus wanted us to know that when we take our words (swords) and try to bring about justice or righteousness by force, we end up rendering the very ones we seek to influence deaf to our efforts by cutting off their ears!

(I recognize that the commonly held understanding of this passage is that Jesus was making a comment about the morality of war, and I think that misses the deepest most salient point…far greater is the number of humans slaughtered and murdered in the death camps of the Dictator Tongue than every war in history combined…except that these casualties become zombies, shambling and staggering thru life biting and infecting anything that looks like life to them.

I suspect that is why Zombie themed “entertainment” is so popular…cus it tells us these truths in ways we can receive it and not do anything about it.)

And, we sow the seeds of our own destruction as well…we spread our evil heart’s “wild oats” into the hearts of others, and those stricken and misshapen bastards return with hatred to us…their progenitor…and demand the birthright of blood, and hurt…and death.  Certainly I have experienced this over years…and I know you each have as well.

One last point about Malcus:  his name in Hebrew means “my king, kingdom, or counselor”.  Contemplate the possible significance there…you divide yourself from counsel when you attack with words…you separate yourself from your sovereign and all the power behind the throne when you use your words in battle…you lose your very place of authority and fruitfulness (your kingdom).

See, Malcus was a servant of a villain, a bad one.  And he quite likely was acting upon the authority of the high priest, and thus appeared to Peter to be one who needed to be corrected, stopped, and perhaps even punished for his heinous acts.  But God’s economy is upside down to us…usually we find those whom They have designated as our help and source of counsel in quite unexpected places.

Take a look into your life right now.  Just for a moment, lay down your sword (words, convictions, passions)…and look around.  See any Malcuses around? (and remember, Malcus was likely a slave, so he may have had no choice in his actions on the high priest’s behalf).

Back to me…I confess I had my sword in hand, and had waved it a few times…savoring its whistly threat and silvery shimmer and wooopy cry.  I imagined the great war, me as Joan of Arc at the fore attacking the injustice and the blindness and the fat bloated privileged attitudes…and saw nothing but ears laying around me, and Jesus and Mama hustling around trying to match up ears and wounds, looking at me in consternation and disappointment!

So…I sighed and laid it down…and the comments started, the lil notes…from you all!  Encouraging notes…kind words…exhortations to stick to the high road…reminders that we fight not against flesh and blood but against things invisible and implacable most of all our own self-centered heart!

My heart is happy this morning, and overflowing with a good theme…and my tongue is the pen of a ready writer…

and my mind?  A lil wriggly puppy of joy happy that you love me, and likkin all yer cheeks!!

So how ’bout it, Constance…do ya want a sword outta yer mouth, which makes you a pretender to Jesus’ throne…or do you want the pen of a ready writer, recording good themes overflowing from a heart content and joyful?

Join me in the Pen Brigade!!

Love, Charissa Grace

tumblr_n9mskd8iJS1soc97qo1_1280