Monday, June 27, 2016

Reclaiming Agency

Something I love about the internet is how it allows those who once felt isolated to connect with others who shared the same experience. Being seen is incredibly empowering!

One of the honors of being in the homeschool "survivor" community is getting to witness others on their healing journey. For many of us, a crucial part of recovery has been finding our own identity, accepting it and then asserting it. As we peel back the layers of trauma, manipulation, brainwashing, or abuse, we discover our true selves.

And the positive ways we find to reclaim agency over our bodies--our selves--are as varied as the negative experiences that etched our childhoods.

Exercise. Running. Bodybuilding. Sports. Yoga.  
Sex. Dancing. Tattoos. Surgery. Orthodontics.
Art. Music. Theater. Drawing. Painting. Building. Sculpting.
Photography. Fashion. Costumes. Comedy. 
Selfies. Name changes. Piercings. Hair styles. Facial hair.
Travel. Gastronomy. Dating. Reading for fun. Writing.
Education. Employment. Activism. Advocacy. 

Exploring hobbies, devoting energy to our passions, and trying new things are all exercises in personal autonomy. I may not share your enthusiasm for tattoos or understand what drives you to work out regularly, but on a deeper level, I do get it. I've made choices that would shock my younger self, but they were crucial to my growth and independence. What is highly symbolic to me may seem trivial to someone else.

Embrace the choices that are constructive to you. Not only will I celebrate their meaning with you, I will defend your right to make those choices... for your self.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Bramble Who Would Be King

Sometimes Donald Trump reminds me eerily of Bill Gothard, with his swirl of unnaturally colored hair, his narcissism, his similar gestures and cadence, his lust, and his repetitive vocabulary.

Mostly, though, Donald reminds me of this Old Testament parable.

The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’
But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?’

And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’

But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?’

And the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’
But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’

Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’

And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’
 Judges 9:8-15

May we all be spared the shade of bramble kings.