“Not my monkey, not my circus”
I think that every spiritual journey comes with a moment where someone fell off the face of the earth. The lawyer who owned a Ferrari sold it off and went to become a monk. Elizabeth Gilbert went off to Bali. Jesus didn’t have these luxuries so he went to the wilderness. I also feel nuns disappear of ages before resurfacing- you’d think they all enter into service in their mid to late 30s.
I have a friend who drops off the grid months at a time. She’s taken Lent seriously, and on the Ash Wednesday I wished her a Happy Easter. She might want to prologue her leave from the world.
And then there are people like me and you. We have things we are tied to and we don’t have the time to go off for large chucks of time to be by ourselves. So we find ourselves praying for plans to get cancelled and snob calls because we need silence. It worked for Oprah. Woman was on air every day for what, 25 years?
The reason I don’t like other Christians aka my fellow brethren and sister-ren is because we are a huge pile of mess. You’d think the sinner’s prayer was a cotton swap that wipes your foolishness, crazy making, fornicating, cheating, murdering, adultery-ing, lying, and corrupt, hating and gossiping self. Like you’d think that, no? The reason I don’t like them is because I am trained not to like them, because I have been trained not to like myself.
Be like Jesus, they say. If I was to remove the fact that we are called into a son ship with God and Jesus is my brother, I am nothing like Jesus. NOTHING. The older I get and more frustrated I become with my reality, the more I want to crawl into the hole these enlightened people crawled into. And it’s not even because the world is crazy. Unless you are self-harming and have problematic thought patterns, sinning without involving other parties is HARD! Like what will you do? Rob yourself?
That brings me to this realization. When you are transforming and going hard on the inner or spiritual journey, you are SENSITIVE on levels that you can’t even believe. I have become like my grandmother.
When I was young we’d go to the village over holidays for a few days to weeks. Now my Nairobi body needed lotion-ing, not Aremis, after a bath if we were going somewhere. I can’t remember what I was getting from the outside kitchen that was so smoke-filled that I could barely see my grandma. But before I was two steps in, I heard her say in my mother tongue, “HM! Get out! I cannot stand that perfume!”
It took shooing by an aunt to realize she was referring to the lotion I had on.
That’s me right now, but with bull-dung.
Spiritual journey do not come from a place of feeling high and mighty and better than the rest. It is distorted to mean such when the reality is people take these journeys to deal with things within themselves and to elevate to a higher experience of living. It is becoming so acquitted with the bull-dung within yourself that you spot it in a heartbeat within others.
There is a tricky balance I am yet to get to. I often tell people “not everyone thinks like you” and “if I was born in their shoes I would probably be the same” to quell their rant, especially if I feel they are being utterly self-righteous. And dah, I don’t always take my advice.
I want to see people as they are, bull-dung and all, and still feeling compassion toward them.
Right now I am not there. Don’t even pray to ask God, I am telling you. And I think it is time we started having honest conversations about what happens on the journey to being more like Jesus. If someone had told me about this mess I wouldn’t be ignoring calls and messages. I would have just taken myself to the wilderness and come back when I had some sense of balance.
I should write a book one day about things I wish I knew before I made the conscious decision to be a Christian. Sigh.
Point is, if your spiritual journey, Christian or not, is looking some type of way, that’s normal. Levitating cross-legged is for the movies.