Punching the Voices of Stupidity in the face.

My mom died about six months ago. This will be my first holiday season without her. I feel sad. I think that’s a good thing. I think it’s an improvement.
I was thinking about first aid class. When the body goes through a trauma it begins to shut down. The interesting thing is the way we close ourselves off from the awareness of how injured we are. We get spacey and nonsensical and clueless about the fact that we are injured.
I think there is a soul-equivalent to shock. I think I am coming out on the other side of it.
Now that I am walking with that pain, working through it, though, there is another thing.
I am doing battle now, with the Voices of Stupidity. They whisper idiocies into my every day life. At the end of the day, perhaps they are nearly as distressing and distracting as the pain and loss and grief.
The thoughts that creep into my head:
“You knew she was dying.”
“Your are 43 years old with a wife and kids of your own.”
“Others have gone through worse things.”
“You have had half a year now. Snap out of it.”

The reason they get traction in my head is that they are all true. But I find solace in a realization. The realization is that if person A. went through my last year or so, and person B. vocalized all those thoughts I listed, I would want to punch person B in the face. And I would be justified in that feeling.
The Voice of Stupidity, unfortunately, don’t have a face. But if they did? I would most definitely punch it.


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

2 thoughts on “Punching the Voices of Stupidity in the face.”

  1. Of course it still hurts. I would be concerned if it didn’t. My mom died 6 years ago. Occassionally, but a lot less often than 5 1/2 years ago, it still hurts really bad because she was my mom. And I knew she was dying. And I know she is no longer in pain. And I am grateful that the pancreatic cancer ended her losing battle with dementia. And sometimes it still hurts.


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