Sunday, August 14, 2011

Living the Life Unexpected

*** This post has been mentioned in the Brisbane paper today, Sunday 21st August, claiming that I am full of complaint. :)

Sadly it is clear that journalists feel the need to sensationalize facts in order to sell papers. This is why they create dramatic and misleading headlines which include words such as 'Doomsday' (we don't believe there is a doomsday) 'Cult' (dodgy overused word that I don't identify with and could be applied to any number of religious movements on the planet.. but a word used because it also brings to the mind of most readers horrible mass suicides, inquisitions, and people acting mindless zombies and/ or having group sex... and we do not endorse, support or participate in any of these things, or anything remotely resembling such things.)

I doubt whether anyone would read an alternative headline such as "Mary Luck Tells The Truth About Some Stuff That's Happened In Her Life". That's not too catchy, and does not create very much drama, anger, resentment or other emotions in potential readers.

I wrote the post that follows in a spirit of reflection, at times in wry humour, and in completing it I was left with a deep level of gratitude for the gifts that I have received by simply living fully through what have been some trying events and emotions.

It amazes me that many people feel that one is voicing complaint (or as the headline states 'claiming harrassment') when in fact one may be merely recounting the truth about events and the emotions that accompanied them. I do believe that I am allowed to recount the truth of what has happened and how I have felt over the past 3 years. (As a side note many of these events did occur prior to our recent media coverage. Therefore not all were not as a result of the coverage, as implied in the newspaper piece). Obviously others are also allowed their reactions to what I write :). Just thought I'd pop in and point out (for those not sensitive to the nuances in what I have written) that I in no way feel upset, 'crucified' or am crying out for sympathy!

It also does occur to me as I sit and write these words tonight that these new comments are very likely redundant as I believe if one were to read this post without prejudice one would probably feel all that I have just stated. On the other hand those who wish to judge my words through their own anger will likely skip over what I have just said!  

Anyway folks, wishing you abundant living and critical awareness of the world that surrounds you!

Love Mary                                                                                                                              

 *****


The following started out as a sort of zany thought process in my head one afternoon, reflecting on all of the crazy stuff that happens in my life. I began to think how cool it would have been if God or an angel could have given me a downloadable list before this all began… sort of a “What to Expect in the Life You Never Expected preparation list. I started writing it down in my journal to amuse myself. As I wrote (as often happens for me) the list became a process in itself. I began to reflect a lot more deeply on my past few years and it actually turned into some really good therapy.

Things to Expect When You Change Your Spiritual Beliefs, Reveal You Are a Re-incarnated Biblical Figure & Your Boyfriend is Jesus

  • Many people (including people you have known all of your life e.g. Mum or Dad) will now see your new partner as license to dismiss anything that comes out of your mouth as irrational and under the control of said new partner. It won’t matter how rational, well regarded or educated you were before; you will now very often be regarded as a bimbo with no mind of her own.
  • Some people, who claim to be Christians, and quote the Bible to you, will also feel it’s OK to threaten you with death.
  • In fact you had probably better get used to the fact that your belief system will pretty much challenge everyone e.g. people with ‘new age’ spiritual beliefs, Christians, Muslims, mediums, healers, historians, even atheists will be looking for your ‘angle’ to manipulate the ‘believers’. News and media industry of all kinds will be under extreme pressure to present you as loonies (even if they find you not to be) because popular societal belief will be so strongly against you. Just give up on being well received (at least for a while)!
  • Behaviour which would generally be viewed as harsh and attacking (e.g. verbally abusing your partner, slandering your partner, irrational defence of false beliefs about your partner, imputing evil motives to innocent thoughts or actions, threatening you with dis-ownership, having you uninvited from family events for no other reason than your loyalty to your partner, stating that you deserve rage and anger because you no longer tow the family line, expecting you to not only maintain a relationship and visits without your partner, but also while your partner is openly regarded as an evil, narcissist i.e.“we hate the partner you love, its not up for discussion, we know better than you, but you are still letting us down by not coming here without him and putting up with us projecting that, we want to know you but just not anything about the life you are leading with the evil demon” or sentiments to that effect.. and yes, even though you will be shocked that such things could ever happen, they will and in many cases these exact words will be used), when enacted by your immediate family, will be viewed, not only as reasonable behaviour, but proof of love, by same said family and also a great number of personal and family friends. Some strangers will even see fit to tell you that the outright attack of you, your partner, and your partner’s family, by your brother on an internet forum, is in fact evidence of his love for you.
This will be difficult. You will wonder where the family you knew has gone. After a while you will begin to wonder if you ever really knew them. You will feel sad for a long, long time about this.

Later on, you will begin to wonder at the larger connotations revealed by such events. Like, how injured is a world that believes that harsh words, violent emotions, raised voices and attempts to pressure people away from their own free will are all permissible when explained away as acts of love? You will see that this very same damage, carried in the psyche of humanity, is what begins wars and genocide. You will know then, with stark clarity that the healing of your own injured soul is the only hope to truly forgive, and to effectively act as a force of positive, loving change in the world.

  • Store assistants who were on a first name basis with one week, will run from the showroom in fright as they see you coming and have their manager to serve you, the week after you appear in a national newspaper.
  • People are going to feel it’s OK to laugh, point, and/or sneer at you while you are minding your own business doing your grocery shopping. In fact by now you are probably getting the picture that lots of things that people wouldn’t dream of doing to many others, they are going to feel justified in doing to you both merely on the basis of who you say you are. 
  • In the midst of really difficult times, when the media is slandering you and your very core trembles in terror at the violence and sexual threats that immediately fill your inbox, there may also arrive a treasure or two. Like the gorgeous email that managed to include genuine enquiry about homosexuality, Jesus, love, God and Lady Gaga in one paragraph. And you will laugh and cry at the same time because you realise that somewhere in Brazil or Montreal there is a really cool person that can see through the sensationalism and stupid lies. More than that, you know regardless of if that person ends up believing you or not, that you’d still like to know them and they you. If they didn’t live in some far flung place you’d have them over for dinner sometime and hang out.
  • Even when people have known you for years, and watched you close-hand for days and months at a time, the hardest thing for them will still be to believe what you say about your identity. And while you will understand what a big deal it is for them, (reflecting on how much the implications of it still boggle your own mind), this will place a sort of invisible barrier between you and them. Because there will always be the unspoken doubt in the air between you. And more than that, you will not feel entirely comfortable sharing of yourself and your own experience while you know that the other person does not really accept as truth that which is deeply personal, real and raw to you. You won’t blame anyone for this. You will only feel this as a sort of quiet, constant, loneliness until you open your heart to your Soulmate and find friendship, love and companionship there.
  • Prepare to be inspired and overwhelmed to finally meet a small group of new people who want God and growth as much as you do. This will feel like finally coming home.
The biggest homecomings – to your Soulmate and to God will be the most challenging. Truly, sister, this will challenge you in ways you didn’t think possible and most of the time it will feel like you are bending out of shape and growing at a pace so rapid it leaves you reeling – and yet this will be where you find your true joy. The unnamed longing inside of you will finally be acknowledged. You will come to know and understand yourself in a way that you have yearned for as long as you can remember. You will see yourself and your future in the eyes of another. You will feel complete.

Receiving your soulmate’s love will change you, and indeed it will be this gift of his that teaches you so much about the kindness, the long suffering-ness, forgiveness and gentle nature of real love. His tolerance and patience will simultaneously inspire and humble you. His passion and fidelity will be the most intense and beautiful offering ever presented to you. For some time you will struggle to be open to the grief of remembrance and loss that his offering of love triggers within you .

  • Don’t ever underestimate the power of your open heart to reach people. Yes, it will be tough for others to truly believe who you are, but when you share your authentic self, when you express your journey and your feelings from your open, un-edited heart, people will be moved. It will be hard for you to trust this. But every time you remember it, you will kick yourself for ever forgetting it.
  • In three years from your big ‘announcement’ you may find that not many (and I mean really, nearly NONE) of the people you knew ‘before’ want to know you anymore… Just be prepared for the landscape of your life to utterly change. In fact, forget it, you can’t really prepare for it, because before you begin it, you can’t quite conceive it.
But in amongst this there will be people who surprise you. And sometimes they surprise you because they weren’t front and centre in your life before, they are people you have known and loved but not necessarily the ‘BFF’ kind who you call every week and think you’ll be each others bridesmaids (you get the picture..) Sometimes they are those ones, but sometimes they are the people you least expect. And they shock you because, instead of ditching you when you break the ‘big news’, they say things like:

‘Hey, this is unexpected from you, but I really like you. I respect you as a person. I know you’re not an idiot or a liar. I know that you only do things that you really believe in… so can you tell more about what’s going on for you? What’s happening for you?’

These people may turn out to be rare but you will look at them with fresh eyes, because you know that out of everyone ‘before’ they must be the ones who saw you the most. You will be grateful, truly grateful for them. And partly because of them, and partly because of the others who can’t accept you anymore, you will come to reassess your life as it was ‘before’. You will see that there were measures you had in place, methods you used to quantify the quality of your life, that included how much you accomplished, the way you were viewed, how much socialising you did and so on. You will begin to see how flawed these measures were. You will start to review your life with altered eyes, ones that search out the threads of love. You will weep for the places that you hadn’t realised it was missing, in yourself, and in your relationships. But you will also treasure with a new attentiveness the people who practice acceptance, openness, and understanding with you, regardless of what they personally believe.

You will begin to see that sometimes it was ones you overlooked who demanded the least of you and who loved you most. And somewhere amidst all of this heart-breaking, heart-opening process you will realise your heart has expanded. You will find that, amongst all of the grief and undoing of the life you thought you had, you have been delivered an enduring gift. That gift is the greater knowledge of what love truly is, and how love acts, and that this currency, this love current flowing through your life, is the thing you will value the most forever more. 

You will have been given new eyes to see and value this thing, love. You will know that it is worth more than anything. Now, instead of common beliefs, emotional addictions, or shared interests, this love expression will be the thing to guide all future relationships. Love will be the new bedrock on which you want to base your life.

You will want to find and foster new strength within yourself: to seek out love, to give love, to forgive, to let-go, to finally believe that love just may be something you deserve and that never again will you live in relationships where others belittle you or dismiss your unique gifts and passions. 

  • Over time you may find that even those treasured ones, from ‘before’, that stood by you in friendship may yet begin to be challenged. Because, this living for God and 'just being true’, is radical in a world accustomed to fa├žade and full of cynicism. Your words about your journey may start to stir new questions in these old friends about their own lives and relationships. They may shrink back a little in fear because they do not want change in this intense, all-encompassing way that you now do. You will see this and understand.
Others may withdraw because their husband or partner is frightened and judgemental of the man who says he is Jesus (even though they have never met him). And you won’t chase them because you know too well the pain of people pushing you to break the bond with the man you love. You know how people believing they have rights on your affections above all others feels like a bridle on your soul that smarts as you pull against it. You will let her go because you want her to be free to follow her dreams with her man, to be happy and to foster their love.

It might be that when you see a ‘before’ friend you talk about what’s happening with them (which is great – you ask and want to know their life), about the weather, about your dress or old memories but you never again seem to get to the part in the conversation where the talk turns to what you are doing now and what you live for. And if you try to bring that up sometimes they will accuse you of expecting them to believe as you do. And you will feel winded and stung and your eyes will fill salty, because you know that nothing is further from the truth.

Your heart will speak the silent question ‘But don’t you remember? This is what we always used to discuss, the things that mattered to us; the things that gave us meaning.’ But you won’t say it out loud because inside you will suddenly start to question if that really did happen? Or was it just the clatter and noise of agreeing voices that went on and not a true meeting of hearts in conversation?

Still another friend may try to convince you, each time that you speak, to just understand your parents who ridicule and reject your life, and just go see them. Because - this is what they would do. Time and again they will bring it up and it won’t matter how much you try to explain. You will try to tell this person, who you have known over three quarters of your life, but they just won’t see that you are learning to love yourself too much to endure rage and ridicule from anyone, and that you can no longer sacrifice the love and loyalty to your mate in order to placate the ire of the ones who are tied to you through blood.

You will get better at letting go because you are learning that grieving gives gifts of its own. You will know that your tears will help you give up expectations and instead of expecting friendship from these people you will just love them more (even if you see them less). You will feel that you will always be there with a hug and a heart listening should they pass your way again but that you will no longer desperately seek them out for words or comfort that they do not give. Because also, you are remembering (ever so slowly) to seek Love from One who provides it perfectly. This Love fills you up and starts to take away the gaping holes in your soul that before you so desperately sought to fill with friendship or a career or sex or travel. 

Where-as once you would have found it unbearable, now you will not feel so frightened to simply feel those empty places inside and let them be. You will begin to honour your sorrows and your losses. You learn that they are important because they are a part of your story, a part of who you are right now. And you will start to want to know her more, this you who you are right now.

And through all this realising and letting go and opening up and just allowing you will suddenly notice how much you are changed. Some days you will loose sight of this and then on others you will be halted in your tracks, stock still in the moment as you are struck at the quiet wonder of this newfound freedom you have discovered - to feel and be and know yourself.

You will know that in most ways the journey is still just beginning but you will be overcome by how exquisitely beautiful the road which you take, this Way to God, is and what a treasure it is to have Him find a place in your heart once again. Then there will be tears of joy, just as intense as those you have cried in loss, and you will wonder how you ever became worthy of such a Love; that there could be One Who, even knowing your failings and desperate error, would want Cherish and Nurture you in such an intimate and personal way again.

  • Some days you might feel just plain weary that every move you make, every gift you give, every time you express yourself publically, your motives are questioned, or you are analysed for proof that you really are either ‘the dark cult leader’, or ‘the bimbo manipulated by the dark cult leader’. You might feel tired of people thinking they know how you tick; that they know how you feel and what drives you.
And then, from time to time, you might just repent the fact that once you were also quite cynical about the motives of people who spoke of God. You will sit in your chair and smile and wonder at how sweet and strange this life is.

Again and again you will thank God for teaching you humility. A chorus of gratitude will rise to your lips, manifesting as half a smile, half a sigh, half a sob… and yes, it will feel like a ‘one and a half’ amount of thanks. You will feel that God has filled you to over capacity for thankfulness. 

You will feel blessed.
All photos are of winter 2011 in Wilkesdale,QLD