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Divergences, yet Belonging

What’s a woman to do when her inner wisdom begins to differentiate from a significant influence and teacher whom she loves dearly? Trust your own inner wisdom, this teacher would say, and live freely into the Life before you. I hope she would add, with a sad smile, even when it’s not the wisdom I see, know, offer… [image from Ekar Farm, outside of Denver, CO]

I am finding my way a bit more quickly in my learning/unlearning patterns, now beginning to recognize with a little less drama when my sacred work is calling me beyond a treasured space of deep connection. The connections do not disappear, but they do change. I know I belong and love deeply. I know I am living in right connection with these cherished companions, receiving feedback or criticism, always to listen, learn, unlearn. Yet I’m also seeing and hearing whispers that differentiate my own knowings, that do not align with the “wisdom-sayings of the elders” happening in this community.

Words from elders-in-pain have been witnessed, blessedly. The circle will hold; and strangely, my own divergences too. For example, honesty. A searingly beautiful-painful discussion, with real presence(s) last night, allowed a tension to emerge. If you can’t be honest with yourself, then you can’t be honest with others. If-then statements of logic are seductive, especially when we are drenched in emotion, but they often hide binary thinking, dualisms we grasp in attachment or wound. If you’re not honest with yourself, you are being dishonest.

Maybe I’m cynical, but I don’t think anyone is ever as honest with themselves as could be, or with perseverance and blessing, will be… Many of us are certainly not as honest as those (who want something we do not know how to give) want us to be. So those of us who stay present all sit in the pain of that. The unseeing, the enraging unhearing-ness of not living in the same stories, together.

But is that DIS-honesty? I don’t think so, nor do I find the either/or useful for nuancing connection amidst wounds/woundings. If she weren’t in the thick of it all, I think this teacher-friend would actually agree with me. Both/and thinking is a favorite catch-phrase. It's our wound-stories that keep us from seeing how multiple stories co-exist, sometimes necessarily without resolution, in the mysteries of our world.

So how do we stay, rebuilding community with one another long enough to see, hear, the heart-felt stories of another we love, irreconcilable with our own? I suppose it’s different for each of us…

It’s been said to me twice now, that white women foster half-truths, much to the pain of authentic community. I don’t dispute that in the least. But that is not the only story unfolding here. It may be a necessary story to refute a dissonant wisdom refused, but it’s not the only story.

One cannot remain present, surrendered, in diverse community without learning how to hold irreconcilable and irresolvable differences, loving first anyway. Letting love lead. Staying present.

Unless one cannot, in which case trust Spirit to companion you as you breathe through it all...doing your best.

So we stay, with ourselves first, then with those others willing, in circle.

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