a little kinky…

Last night, my partner and I went downtown to Fair Park to see “Kinky Boots”. I had never heard much about the storyline, or the premise of the musical- so I went it hoping for the best 🙂

I found myself captivated, and overjoyed- it was simply amazing! Over the two hours of the show, I was moved- truly moved. At the risk of sounding cliché- I laughed, I cried. I have been reflecting on why the show moved me and stuck with me, and the truth of it is that my soul needed it. My soul has been hungry for a reminder of the good in the human condition. My soul needed to be reminded that there is acceptance in the world, that we are better together than we are apart.

In the effort to not spoil the show for anyone, I will simply say- go see it. But, without providing spoilers, the part that stuck with me is this. It is a motto for success- six steps. Easy and almost impossible all at the same time.

One: Pursue the truth
Two: Learn something new
Three: Accept yourself and you’ll accept others too!
Four: Let love shine
Five: Let pride be your guide
Six: Change the world when you change your mind!

I look at these and say “YES”…these steps urge us to see each other for the ways we are alike, instead of the ways we are in opposition. What would the world look like if we all pursued truth? If we took risk, and vulnerably tried something new. What would it be if we could accept ourselves, as perfectly imperfect, as beloved. And then, what if we extended that grace to others.

Let love shine. Amen and amen. Seriously- I am gonna need a t-shirt with those words. This may just be my new motto. Let it shine- it cost nothing- so spread it around. It is so much easier than casting darkness with hate.

Let pride be your guide…not hubris or arrogance. Pride- in who you are, in what you do. Pride in the purist sense of the word. Let it guide you to your passion, to the unmet need in the world that you have been created to fill.

And goodness my soul needed to be encouraged by the hope of changing the world by changing my mind- whatever it is in my that fosters division or fear- may my mind be changed. But it’s true, isn’t it? The world looks different when we change how we see it. When our perspective changes, things around us change- whether they have stayed the same or not- things are different. The challenge to myself is to change my perspective- to change my mind, and to then rejoice in the ways that the world looks different for the better.

I came away from this show deeply moved, and aware of how deeply my soul had missed connection, creativity, art, and some kickin’ music. My soul has been refreshed- and renewed- by acceptance, by the challenge to change what needs changing, and by the encouragement to be who I am meant to be. In the world today, this show felt like a breath of fresh air that I needed so desperately.

“Just be. Who you wanna be.
Never let them tell you who you oughta be.
Just be. With dignity.
Celebrate yourself triumphantly.”- Lola

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being connected

This weekend, we took a quick jaunt out of town to stay with friends of mine. these friends have known me for the better part of a decade. They have seen the highs of the highs and the low of the lows.

These are people that I would consider in my most inner circle, I trust them, I count on them, I have leaned on them, and I love them. After catching up and getting to be familiar with one another again, we began talking about life- and what has happened since the last time we saw each other. it was a great night, lots of laughter, a little bit too much truth juice, and lots of wonderful conversation.

what struck me though, is that while I have felt so connected to these folks- this was the first time in ages that they had felt connected to me.

my friend commented on how nice it was to not see me on my phone…and while she was slightly critical of my addiction to my phone’s screen- she was making a bigger commentary on the state of my life. she observed that in the last few years, I had been so discontent with my reality, that she has watched me become less and less connected- like my phone screen became a distraction from my life. from my friends, from my loved ones, from myself. my phone- social media, texting, reading articles, scanning photos of other peoples lives and unfairly comparing their posed reality to the state of my real, every day- my phone had become my minute by minute escape. the reality of my life resulted in me seeking solace and escape in my phone…and it had a huge cost.

it cost me time and presence with friends- dear friends. it cost me real connection.

I am so thankful that my friends recognize that it was a phase, and then forgive me and celebrate that I am back, and fully present.

sometimes “being connected” results in us losing connection with what really matters- our lives, our friends, our family, ourselves- the things that truly help us cope with the day to day of our reality, even when it is terribly hard.

Today  I am thankful that there are people who love me enough to welcome me back into connection, even when I was unaware that I had become so disconnected.

pjp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who runs the world…

Today is all about celebrating and lifting women up. While I am all in favor of that- what I am struck by is the tug in my heart to cultivate kindness and acceptance. 

You see, I think kindness and acceptance are the outward manifestations of love. Out of a place of love, we see past imperfection, difference, pain, a myriad of things….we see the connection that can exist between people. When we are kind and accepting, love becomes visible in the world. It doesn’t mean we won’t disagree, it doesn’t mean we will all be the same, it means that we practice life valuing people above issues, policies and fear. 

Today I am consumed with the thought of two little girls born to my longest friend. One is six, and the other is barely a week old. These two little girls hold all the promise and potential that the world has to offer. They will experience heartbreak, pain, joy, anger, all that life has to offer. But what I hope they learn and experience is kindness and acceptance, and in these things, I hope they know love. I am faithful that these girls will rise into love because their parents are rooted in it. 

I think of the son of my dear friend- who is a tender, brave, justice minded little boy. He is a feminist at heart and is the walking embodiment of resistance, acceptance and kindness. His parents are teaching him to celebrate all people, so he sees no difference, no color, no limitations, and no reason for inequality. 

I look at the boys and girls I have pastored or led, and I hope desperately that they learned the importance of kindness and acceptance in the things I taught them.

I look at the future of our world and i hope that there won’t be any need for women’s day, immigrants day, or any day other than humanity day- everyday. 

I didn’t march today, but I did something revolutionary- I gave myself permission to rest. I put my health first in hopes that tomorrow, I can go back to fighting every day to model acceptance and kindness in my corner of the world- even against the overwhelming current of day to day life. 

May we all know we are worthy of kindness, acceptance and love. Male, female, gay, straight, trans, rich, poor, whatever color, whatever language we speak, no matter what categorizes us- may all of us know that we are children of Love. From Love we have come, and to Love we shall return. 

pjp