Who knows how often I'll write. I'm also doing The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. It's a 12 week 'creative recovery' program that helps jumpstart my creative outlets, with a spiritual bent that coincides nicely with what I'm getting from the East Bay Church of Religious Science. I'm enjoying it so far, thought it shoves my face in a lot of things that I like to use as excuses for not being more creative and authentic, or as interesting as I actually am.
Today, in one of the exercises, I came across this idea that I've sort of held onto without realizing it. One of the exercises had me list 5 reasons I can't really believe in a supportive God (ie the God or force in the universe that created me uniquely, loves me, wants me to succeed, exults in my creativity, and is the source of abundance and joy). One of the things I wrote was "The God of my childhood keeps beating up this loving, gender-less movement that is a loving God. The loving God just seems like a weakling."
Ahem, can I get an amen about the monotheistic religious roots of violence? Remember Prof. Kuan's lessons about the ancient vision of God in Genesis and Exodus?
This relates also to those relatives' negative reactions I wrote about earlier. Their disapproval, their refusal to acknowledge (even if not agreeing with) that my relationship with my partner is a source of joy (not to mention a multiplication of love and a fertile soil for the good work we both do in the world) - that refusal is a slap in the face of that ever-loving, joyful God I believe in. There's a stubborn, brutish insistence that there is One Right Way, and that Way is vengeful, jealous, manipulative - the distant father-figure God, whose approval you always seek and never actually achieve.
But honestly, are fear and hatred, condemnation and joy-killing actually stronger than love, joy, creativity, passion, and the diversity of creation? I weighed it out in my mind. After all (as the film A Single Man pointed out) fear is a strong motivator. It causes us to buy toothpaste and breath spray, to assent to policies that hurt us or our neighbors. Fear breeds a certain kind of allegiance - if not loyalty. Hatred and condemnation, along with determined joy-squelching, do work well in psychological manipulation. It reduces people to mute livestock - who don't show their true colors, their authenticity, and who don't really live real lives. That's powerful.
But isn't love powerful, too? Love multiplies, builds goodwill, and feeds joy. Then again, so does fear. Fear infects. It builds acquiescence, and feeds uniformity. Like fascism.
I guess in the end, I'm not sure if love is more powerful. It is for me. Whatever feeds joy must be more powerful than whatever feeds acquiescence and conformity. Love spreads out like a growing plant. Fear pulls in toward itself like the sea building a tsnuami. So I guess that's why I'm getting married, or how I want to orient my life. I need to remind myself how to choose love and joy, and how to resist fear by acts of creativity, using the unique gifts that equip me to do the job.