Interdependent Web: Embracing authenticity

Interdependent Web: Embracing authenticity

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.

Heather Christensen


Embracing authenticity

The Rev. Jude Geiger explores the role that anger plays in helping us be true to ourselves—and in his case, helping him come out as a gay man.

I learned to make anger my friend. I stopped listening to shame, and began taking the advice of anger. It taught me to go and get help—to speak out—to be who I was, and not to let other people shame me into continuing to be their outlet for their own insecurity. So sometimes, anger is really, really important, maybe even life-saving. (Rev. Who, October 11)

Karen G. Johnston reminds us that “our children are watching” how we respond to gender fluidity.

They are noticing if we refuse to use the pronouns they ask of us, or whether we put in a good faith effort. Some of them—the ones who need us most—are paying close attention as to whether we will be a source of something even bigger than welcome: a source of hope, a lifeline, a connection to sanity and wholeness. (Awake and Witness, October 11)

For Alex Kapitan, “life is a constant journey of coming out.”

Every day that I live my truth, every day that I fully embody the self that I am today, every day that I embrace my authenticity, I come out. I am not the same self that I was yesterday—today I am a day older, I have had new and unique experiences that have impacted me, and millions of cells in my body have died, divided, or been born anew. (Roots Grow the Tree, October 11)

Living fully, here and now

For John Beckett, our beliefs about death matter most in how they affect the way we live.

Does your contemplation of death remind you to live fully here and now, to make the most of every day? Or does it push you to ignore this beautiful world and focus on earning a better place in an afterlife that may not even exist?

Does the reality of untimely deaths motivate you to build a better world for all? Or does it tell you not to bother, because everything will be OK for them on the other side? (Under the Ancient Oaks, October 15)

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Murphy Mason first encountered yoga in a free class, offered in a church basement; after years of practice and certification as an instructor, she is still fond of “church yoga.”

What I admire about bargain-basement church yoga is that it is clearly intended for the maimed and afflicted. It is the proud practice of all us infirm. There’s nothing to prove, no myth of perfectibility for us to promulgate, no vanity left us. Instead, we practice a rooted connection with incarnational living and its costs—its human costs and occasional comforts. I’ve known such comforts myself, found them among memorably restorative moments spent in some posture of surrender, soothed by the unmistakable stirrings of soul felt in those fumbling, bumbling, and gloriously humbling attempts at stillness. (The Reverend Dr., October 9)

The Rev. Dr. Meredith Garmon writes that finding a sense of place is a source of renewal.

We are made to be a part of our environs, our identity intertwined with our geography. Yet we can become unmoored, either through moving every few years – and in the US about 12 percent of the population relocates in any given year—or through spending most of our days in geographically neutral experiences. (The Liberal Pulpit, October 14)

Allison Leigh Lilly explores the link between autumn and the “thinning of the veil.”

Autumn beats like a pulse through the years, but the blood is always moving and the heart always remains. We feel the contraction in the land around us, the breathing in, the tension of something drawing close. With every beat, the heart draws nearer to itself. We taste the fruits of harvest. We smell the blood of slaughter. We shiver at the setting sun, earlier each day. We draw nearer to ourselves and to one another, for warmth or comfort, or out of necessity. The dead draw near as well. We say the veil has thinned, but perhaps it is only distance that has grown lean and pale between us. We can see farther now, deeper into the woods now that the leaves have fallen. The sky draws closer with its low clouds and ever-briefer days, the sun slinking along the horizon like a prowling feline. (Nature’s Path, October 9)

Tina Porter plays with the metaphor of “musical chairs” to talk about conformity and personal choice.

Oh, if that were true. Nope. I bought it
all, hook, line and stinking chair, that my worth
was in my speed and ability to
snag something I didn’t want. (Ugly Pies, October 15)

The power of a movement

The Rev. Cynthia Cain writes about the power of the movement for black lives.

Once one starts to wake up, to really see the interconnected web of oppressions and lies and myths and to listen to stories, again and again, reflecting a reality that many white people will never experience, there is really no turning back. You will dedicate your being, your time, your money, and your soul to healing this evil. You will hear and answer every call. (Jersey Girl in Kentucky, October 13)

Desmond Ravenstone writes about two “atheist churches” that have a lot in common with Unitarian Universalistm—and four things that UUs could learn from them.

  1. Keeping the message simple . . . .

  2. Including without diluting. . . .

  3. More egalitarian. . . .

  4. Meeting people's needs. . . . (Ravenstone’s Reflections, October 10)

We encourage you to engage with these bloggers by commenting on their sites.