It’s been a week since I posted about being in the midst of a dark night of the soul. Things have been very quiet, and I’m working not to read much into that. I posted late at night and I think many people missed the post. I directed a few people to it, people I thought would poke at things a little, help me work my way through. There were many others that I also hoped would do that, but as I said, it’s been quiet, and as per the “requirements” of a dark night of the soul, I’ve felt very alone and isolated.
It’s on me. I didn’t repost, and I didn’t especially point it out to everyone who might want to read it. I picked two people, one who I knew would be coming from the Christian point of view, and the other who I knew would stand outside all of it, pretty much neutral. And those conversations were really helpful. One took place in the comments of the blog, the other via text messages.
One thing that came up, that’s had me a little thoughtful, was in regard to my need for community. I can’t remember exactly how it was phrased, but basically, my need for community often has a strong influence on what I’m doing spiritually. And there’s truth to that. Conflict happens because it’s rare that I find a group that has many people who seem to be in the same place I am. I frequently find myself in a leadership role. I used to seek that out; I haven’t as much recently.
I have thought, in the past, about that leadership piece. Maybe if I embraced it more, maybe then I would find myself among people who seem to be in the same place. Thing is, I am beginning to think this is a rare place among the self-taught. I’ve investigated seminaries before, given serious thought to pursuing the clergy within the UU church. I’ve also given serious thought to Cherry Hill, but I don’t have the money readily available to pursue that path, and even if I did, it’s a distance program and I really seek to be in face-to-face contact with people who think deeply, feel deeply, see the naked places and name them, rather than pretending that they aren’t there.
I suppose that as in most areas that I care about, I seek challenge. And re-opening to working within Christian communities is definitely that, for me.
I really don’t think that who I am at my innermost point is going to change a great deal. I don’t see this as a conversion. I still don’t believe in sin and salvation and exclusive rights to the divine. I still believe in multiplicity and breadth of experience and an ecstatic experience of being human. I still believe that “life is the ceremony. how we live it is the sacred ritual.”
And, I want to recognize that I’m still in the dark night, still feeling alone. If you’re reading this, I’m asking for your comments, whatever they may be, as long as they are delivered with love. I would be so comforted to know that someone is holding my hand, even if it’s in the dark where I cannot see.
I’ve had two responses to my queries of last week. The first was from the UU church, which I’m planning to check out tomorrow. The other was from the Presbyterians. I’m looking forward to a coffee date with the pastor soon.