Saying YES in the (Un)Staying
I have been immersed this week in unbelievably numerous pages of my own writing, listening for “energy points” and strands of topics about which I’ve felt deeply over these last ten years.* Serendipitously, providentially, a new-ish lens has given me a plumb-line of sorts by which to distill what has energy in me: “I Say YES.”
This is a particular kind of commitment soul-writing, modelled after the “I Say YES” poem of Quanita Roberson. [When my “I Say YES” feels more finished, perhaps I’ll share it here…]. For now, it’s provided a fascinating invitation to define my own YES’s, particularly amidst musings on staying, not-staying, finding freedom beyond any story of staying.
What does it mean to live into YES’s, in some contrast (but not opposition) to living defined by “a tradition,” or “a community” within which one seeks to be faithful?
Staying presupposes an abstraction within which “one stays,” assessed as faithful or faithless by the community of that tradition. Outwardly focused, flavored with duty and obligation defined by others.
In some complementarity, living into one’s YES’s is inwardly-defined, an intimate-listening in one’s own body. Not the mostly male (white?) bodies who have determined (my inheritance of) most wisdom traditions. Not even the bodies of others whose life experiences differ so greatly from my own. My own body. My own gifted and painful stories, such as they are. (Important: This doesn't necessarily oppose outwardly-nuanced concerns, but when inward comes first in discernment, it will more consciously--honestly--reframe all else.)
So I’m beginning to ask myself (as another friend has modelled): Is this a YES, or this is a HELL, YES? (It’s easy to say YES to too many things, after all, particularly when one loves deeply and yearns to bring more compassion into the world.)
What are the HELL YES’s that beg my heart's commitment? What do I find freeing and inviting, shaped beautifully to my own gifts and graces, such that offering is inevitable, irrepressible? How do these spiritual muscles need new blood, given they feel so counter-intuitive in my habits of looking outwardly (to insure safety, security) first?
I Say YES has become this plumb-line of sorts, helping me to organize the writing I agreed to for these months. These YES’s are deeply shaped by my Christianity, of course, but there’s also no litmus-test or necessary code-words to make sure I include. How have I encountered Spirit, and how has Spirit nudged-goaded-guided me to know what I know?
What beckons is witnessing to my own years of awakening and journeying with beloveds...trusting the tradition will speak clearly through Godde's actions in my own and others' lives.
The first HELL YES on my list, governing all to come? "I say YES to embodied knowing: my soul came into this world to walk the path of reunion, to show we all come from belonging in the cosmos."
Incarnational tradition (YES), needing such healing here in the body. (HELL YES)
* [I literally had no idea how much I write, divided over at least seven blogs, some I share, a couple completely private: over 400 pages, single-spaced, double-sided. Yowza am I process-writer!!! I had no physical representation of this fact…until now].