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Faith and Feminism, a Holy Alliance

"A feminist is any woman who tells the truth about her life." - Virginia Woolf
As I near the end of Faith and Feminism, I have more questions than when I started. But I am learning that questions are better guides than answers. My first question is,
Where does my essential energy lie? And within that, all these uncomfortable barbs and doubts needle my mind. I no longer have the deep visionary desire to write as I once did. I am not wrought with ambition to see my name in print. I no longer care if it ever is. I see my lack of notice from the world as good because I am not influenced by what others see in me, or my imagined perception of this, before I am secure enough to deal with something like that as a writer with an audience who receives many comments.
My feelings about writing books have changed from the burning need to write, as an adolescent, to the driving need to be in print, whatever I wrote, as a college student, to a deep reluctance to submit anything, for fear it won't be what I truly wanted to say, and it will be in print and too late to change. What that speaks to me is that I am very undecided in what message I want to say, or that I need to become proficient in transferring an authentic message in the work I do output-because my message will change throughout my life.
At the same time, I spend very little time on what I once considered my "real life," my "life's work." My life's work seems to be the laboratory, where I pour out my passion. Where once I had no feelings in the laboratory and lived in a fantasy world (which I really, really miss doing, if you want to know), I now feel this deep compelling drive to work, work hard and excellently.
And what I feel self-conscious about is that as I work, I do not interact, I do not speak. It's like some part of me is always waiting, always holding back. Sometimes I have thought that I am holding back because of fear, so I have plunged into weird relationships that I have had to break off awkwardly, because apparently the only people that want to be friends with me are freaks.
So I work hard, I am starting to have influence and elicit notice. I can see where all this is going, and I feel slightly afraid. I just want to make sure all my little stuff is straight before I go on into the next great unknown, where this deep energy is driving me.
I do not talk in the workplace, because words are worthless. I do not need to communicate anything with words, because my actions do it all. If I do not wish to communicate with someone, you will never see me doing it. I do not have need or desire to express my dislike of anyone. I find it is better not to since opinions can flow and change like water. Even spoken words are written in stone for me, and because nothing is definite for me, I cannot speak.
What I see, is that some people that do speak, speak different things to different groups of people, are changeable, do not follow up with character or appropriate actions. So in my culture, the message I have, is that words are worthless, and I am silent.
I do not want to instruct or influence, because I am not definite. I guess you can see that I have been meditating on water spirits, mermaids and bodies of water as reflections of my identity. We will always be flowing and changing, and this is hard to accept, but it is this water power that I want to accept as my identity.
Spiritually, I consider myself a pagan. I do not practice religion in the nude. I am not even comfortable with my own nudity in places other than like the bathroom. If I am nude alone in the kitchen, which I have never been, I am like, hello, this is inappropriate, and just ew. To some bodies of thought this immediately disqualifies me as being a "real" pagan, but spirituality doesn't have anything to do with being naked or clothed. I am going on about this because there are so many parallels to the religion I practice, which is Christianity.
I am not troubled by Christian doctrines, but the people who practice (and interpret) them. The hypocrites. Some good people go right on through life without noticing them, but I notice them. I obsess on them. I don't know why. I don't know how they relate to myself. Am I a huge hypocrite? I don't think so. Sometimes I can be, but I recognize that my deepest desire is to be authentic, and it may be that I find its opposite my greatest stumbling block.
I have adopted a title of paganism and a defense of a "Goddess" to help me when I encounter these hypocrites, because I can't stomach the fact that I go to church on Sunday and sing the songs like they do, and pray like they do. I have known that this is a prime motivator in my pagan studies that I am struggling to resolve.
This morning at church I heard "Anthem" by Leonard Cohen for the first time,
"I can't run no more
with that lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud.
But they've summoned, they've summoned up a thundercloud
and they're gonna hear from me"
and my heart truly splintered and opened at those words. I realized I am not the first person who has felt that way, but I feel it truly, madly, deeply, in a way perhaps no one I know ever has. I recognize the deepest pain within it, pain that comes from my first cognizance all the way to now. Saying one thing, but doing a different thing-the deepest and most frightening hypocrisy that leads to chaos.
So that the villains that own themselves and their actions, seem not villains at all, but those who do not seem to know themselves, are my greatest fear and greatest stumbling block, because they fill me with so much anger.
Anyway, the idea is to explicate yourself in five parts: claiming your pain, integrating your shadow, finding your voice, taking action and living communion. I have touched on some of those ideas in this post, but I am not ready to "write my story" start to finish. Instead I want to think on all of those points in an unorganized way and think about the things that I don't understand.

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