View Full Version : I feel so sad and frightened....
02-07-2006, 01:31 PM
On this day, the day that Coretta Scott King is eulogized, even though it is in a church that is not my version of a church, I feel sadness at the loss of her. Then, I read that the young man that attacked the patrons at Puzzles bar in Massachusetts is now dead, after he killed two other innocent bystanders. Then, I read also that four more churches in Alabama have been burned. I feel confused, sad, scared. I just prayed to Coretta and Martin to please, give me the strength to carry on their commitments to nonviolence, peace, love and justice, and to be able to do so as free of fear as possible. Today, I am having so much trouble seeing the good on the horizon. I feel afraid because we have a young child in school, and I don't want to believe that she could ever come to any harm because of her parents. But the world as it is much of the time frightens me. Again, I am so grateful for being able to put the words down to a group that understands and also needs support at any given time. Nelson Mandela said in his 1994 inauguration speech, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." I do feel that power, but I don't want to possibly lose my life to fight for it, not today at least. Any help for me out there? :'( :pray:
02-07-2006, 01:53 PM
I can understand your feelings, I think. I also feel deeply concerned for our families, and, really, the whole world right now. It seems like hate is ravaging the planet.
Take comfort from Coretta's example as well as her husband's. They had immeasurable fear -- their house was bombed twice. The phone rang constantly with threats...but they kept on going on, doing the will of God.
If that is what we have to face, then God will give us faith and the strength of one another to support each other in community and we will get through.
Lift up your heart and know that Jesus gives us what we need to love mercy, do justice and walk humbly with our God. I will pray for you & your family, Vanessa.
02-07-2006, 04:18 PM
I simply have to respond to your post right away - even though I am still ill with a stomach bug and haven't slept in 3 nights so am totally emotionally out of sorts myself from lack of food and sleep - and anyway, it's often when we feel our most vulnerable that inspiration comes to us. Maybe I can type something that will resonate with you and help you get through.
I've mentioned also this week that I've cried at the news - doesn't it look like the planet is overwhelmed with a hateful energy right now?
The worst fear, I believe, is the fear of being unable to protect those you love. That's mine, anyway. As for the rest of it - fear of death - what a wonderful question. I remember being a very small child, 6 or 7, trembling with fear when I heard about homosexuals, because I instinctively understood what they were, and knew I would defend them (in a sense, because of my bisexuality, considering myself also to *be* one). I trembled with fear because I knew something terrible could happen to me by engaging in that fight, but I also felt that I had no choice. I was SO young, and had that simple clarity of sight on right versus wrong that sometimes a young child just *has*. You know. Also, so young, I wanted to be a hero, and I thought, oh yes, I am willing to die for this (gay) cause.
Now at 30 I look back on that moment, and while the emotion is the same, with a whole history of traumas and terrors behind me, I have to wonder if I would ever have the courage to take grave risks if they came my way. Honestly, I don't know. I don't think anyone knows if they have that courage or not unless a moment comes when it is called for. And we have to hope that no such moment comes. I don't want to die now, either! I want death to come much, much later! And I don't want it to hurt. No one does. I think on some level we are all afraid of that.
But it is inevitable that we will die. We definitely, certainly, unavoidably will die. When that really registers, I know for me there are moments when that understanding clicks inside, chemically, and when it registers that I will die, then it starts to matter less, all the fear of it. My teacher - God bless him - says to his yoga class, "When you're afraid to do something, go ahead and try it. See if you die." Is it making any sense?
For instance, I read about an activist in a distant part of the world, a woman who has been assaulted and beaten, received many death threats, yet continues to fight for truth and justice. In an interview she said something like this: Why should I be afraid of death? I know I will die. So I will do what I know is right with the time I have living.
Vanessa, you can live in fear of death because you live with integrity and fight for justice, and you fear how others will respond. Or you can learn to release the fear because you know you will live up to your standards of integrity no matter the risk, so you might as well not be afraid. They say, and it's true, there's nothing so dangerous as a fearless man/woman. And in yoga they say "fearlessness is the path to the Supreme". Because a person without fear is completely free. There is no power over him. Her.
I have no idea if, in my sleep-deprived state, Ive made sense to anyone but myself. Y'all will need to tell me.
Meanwhile, another thing that comes to mind to suggest is: simply take a break from all this heavy stuff. I 've spent the better part of a week reflecting on martyrdom (Carmelite nuns in teh French Revolution to be specific) and gay rights, and this whole Muslim outrage cartoon debacle thing. I'm emotionally exhaused as well as under the weather. 'Psycho Beach Party' just came on Logo, and I'm going to go watch it for a while.
You just can't beat the brain with this quality of heavy energy on a continual basis and keep up strength and courage. There needs to be levity and joy. Fun and sillyness. Go play with your kid. Stop following the news for a day or three, and have a romantic dinner with your partner. Valentine's Day is next week - order some flowers, give out little gift bags of chocolates to your colleagues at work, or your neighbors, and focus on the immediate, small things within your control.
And remember it's okay to feel scared and vulnerable. The Lord Himself is strongest in us when we are most vulnerable. Just look at the example of Christ. At both birth AND death, what vulnerability! You don't need to be scared of feeling scared. What will happen will happen, and you will deal with it when it does. You've dealt with everything else so far, and youre' still here. I promise that with the next scary thing that happens, you will still be here.
(No idea if I wasn't just speaking Martian the whole time, so putting tail between legs and slinking off to sofa to cuddle plush bunnies and watch stupid movie. . . .)
:love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love:
02-07-2006, 09:28 PM
Vanessa, you are in my prayers. Peace & Blessings to you.
While it is unfair of the difficulties we face, WE must not let us get us down.
To quote the old hymn, "We shall overcome." We may have to fight through the wilderness & some battles until we reach the Promised Land, but WE can get there as long as we keep fighting our way our through it.
We do not suffer alone & we are a community, a family. While the suffering here is difficult, it is even worse for LGBTs in the Middle East. I watched a documentary, Dangerous Living (After Stonewall Productions) last year, and wow...it was so sad. Some of our kindred in these countries are castrated, executed, arrested on false charges, and even stoned. Yes, things are sometimes bad, but they could also be worse. Have faith and continue to believe in our eventual Deliverance.
Be well & God Bless.
02-07-2006, 10:03 PM
Zerbie & Sol, your posts reminded me of a story Jesse Jackson told at the service at Ebenezer...I'd forgotten it, the night was so overwhelming.
He said that the day before King was shot he called all of them into his hotel room and told them he was feeling that it was time to give up. He said he could get a post at a university teaching somewhere and that they could continue the movement and maybe he would be in a better position to make it successful. He told them he felt like a complete failure and that he had done all he could. He even apologised to them.
That night he didn't go to the church because he didn't feel good and was sick & tired of everything. They came back to the hotel and got him because the crowd demanded to hear from him. So he went and preached the "I've been to the mountain top" sermon.
The next morning he was shot and they were all totally stunned. It was as if he had been telling them in code he wouldn't be in charge of the movement anymore but that they could go on without him.
Remembering this story made me resonate with what you guys were saying. Maybe we get enough faith to go as far as we can but we have no guarantee that we will not suffer. And if we do suffer we have no way of knowing whether we are strong enough to endure it. All we have is faith. Faith is enough but it never FEELS like enough when we contemplate the possibility of suffering. But faith somehow becomes more than enough to endure suffering if we must.
02-07-2006, 11:54 PM
Thank you TJ. Its just I've been through much (as we all have), and I have learned that "you only fail when you give up." If I gave up, I wouldn't have accomplised so much w/out faith, support, and God. Getting through isn't easy, but it is better than not going through at all...
02-08-2006, 01:31 PM
I feel so lucky, so lucky to be understood and listened to and comforted. It doesn't just sound like reassurance, but actual comfort, like a circle of friends embracing you when you really need it. And you know what? I feel less afraid, I feel re-energized, I feel ready to continue the fight again. I feel like I have some perspective now, in all that others experience. And, none of it compares with the pain and suffering that Jesus Christ did for me and others. I appreciate it all so much, the support of you all. I know myself deep down enough to know that I will never give up, NEVER give up, in going after or speaking out about something that I am PASSIONATE about believing in. Maybe my own willingness to be that vulnerable is what scares me about myself the most, and about others the most. But, it won't stop me from loving my fellow sister and brother, it won't stop me from speaking out against hatred and intolerance, it won't stop me from having great pride in who I am and who my family is. I feel whole and complete in all of my dimensions, and it is comforting to know we all feel afraid at times. Zerbie, your response made perfect sense to me, and thanks for all of the words of encouragement and perspective. In addition to Valentine's Day, it is mine and my partner's ten year anniversary next week, so I have many reasons to celebrate and be thankful, including for all of you. Peace and love be with all of you, my friends.:pray: :pray: :love: :pray: :love: :love:
02-08-2006, 05:37 PM
Vanessa: ((Big Hugs!)) Glad you are re-energized & well. Yes, we are all friends here. This place is a blessing :-)
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