Is there a narrative you were told or taught about your own goodness? Were you raised to believe you were fundamentally good, healthy, worthy and complete? Or that you were incomplete, unworthy, unhealthy and bad?
“All my little life
I’ve been conditioned to believe
I’m a broken vessel
Riddled with disease.
I’m trying out a new song
I don’t know how to sing:
Maybe we are worthy —
Everyone and everything.
It goes like:
I believe that I am worthy.
I believe that I am good.
I believe that I was made
Exactly how Creator could.”
I’ve started season 4 of the Liturgists podcast; the first episode of the new season is “Am I impure?” It’s interviews and commentary on the impact of the purity movement that swept through the North American Christian church in the late nineties. It’s difficult to illuminate the stated and unstated scripts that are planted in one’s mind. I suspect there’s a few wedged deep in my head about impurity and unworthiness that are challenging to rewrite.
One thing I was wondering about today: comparing gravity and love.
With gravity, you don’t have to believe in it. It simply is. When you know about it, it enables a little more wisdom, creativity and participation. You can plan and invent and engineer and play and experience life with a little more intention when you consciously account for the force of gravity. Airplanes, swimming pools, skydiving, ball games; it’s all possible thanks to gravity, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re schooled in it.
But what if love, too, is more like gravity? You don’t actually have to believe it: it simply is blanketing us, a force that is present whether or not we’re acknowledging it. Love is here. You are loved. I am loved. There is nothing that can change that. If I choose to believe it, it might help me participate differently and creatively in the world around me, but even if I don’t, it’s still true.
Love and worth are a constant. I cannot achieve loved-ness, because it’s already here. I cannot achieve worthiness, because it’s the default state. Just as I need not work at all to be bound by gravity; it’s simply the reality around me — I need not work to be bound by love; it’s simply the reality around me. This is a natural metaphysical law.
There’s more I could explore here. Buttons I could push, traditions and orthodoxies and conventions I could challenge or champion, but I still can’t tell how comfortable I am publicly pushing against (or for) some of these ideas, and how much my own life and story needs to make its way into the mix. I remain, today, simply curious, somewhat troubled, a little tired, and yet ever-optimistic, that maybe even a thread or a sliver of these theories of love and peace and abundance might be true.
I’ll just go ahead and end with some mug-jumping videos: