I remember being quite happy when my values about body, faith, and purpose lined up with those of my parents. With the support of my Protestant evangelistic community as well, I was “bold and fearless,” not caring who might judge me or disagree with me because I was not standing on my own. The anxiety of becoming embarrassed or having my world crashing down because of the ideas I expressed did not exist. My beliefs seemed special and right, and I had constant reaffirmation from family and community that they were.
But now I hold perspectives about spirituality and humanity that I can no longer discuss with ease in front of my family–not without my mother crying and feeling as if she did not know or like the person I had become. This may matter to me more than it might to other people since I have, for over a year now, returned to that home to write my dissertation. I am constantly challenged with the task of creating a space where I can honor my desires, needs, and truths. Like Judith Butler says, if I am a person who exists by doing, when I cannot express/speak/give an account of myself, I cannot fully exist. Family is important, but what gets sacrificed by pretending and silence? It is not only the self, but the chance for deeper, more authentic bonds. Continue reading “Luke 12:51-53: On the Verge of a Paradigm Shift by Elisabeth Schilling”