On Politics, Religion and Labels

(Copy of a Facebook post)

So, as today seems to be my day to make provocative statements on Facebook, (which I don’t do often):

I don’t like boxes or labels. I do not consider myself a liberal, or a conservative, or a republican, or a democrat. I have even distanced myself somewhat from organized religion.

Here’s why:

Once a person identifies with a label, a group, an organization, or a cause, they then begin to make that group or cause a large part of their identity. So, what happens next is, every time this group says something, the tendency is to jump on board, and without really thinking about it. I think it’s just human nature.

Say you’re a part of political party A and Church XYZ.

“A” gets really organized and starts doing some stuff you really love and enjoy. You agree with it, you get on board. Maybe A has a manifesto somewhere, but you haven’t read it, cuz, hey, they seem like decent people, doing good stuff. So you jump on board.

Same with church XYZ. They seem nice. The fact is, they have some weird, wild stuff buried down in the dogma and doctrine of their church, but that doesn’t matter, it’s just been there forever, it’s in the jot and tittle of their beginnings; weird stuff. Stuff that if you read today would make your stomach hurt and your eyes cross, so you don’t think about it. You just go to church, cuz they have a cool worship leader and nice, friendly people.

What CAN happen, is people then begin to follow these very real, very fallible leaders in these organizations, even when they begin to do stuff that makes you question what you’re doing and what you’re a part of.

These days if political party A says jump, you say “how high” cuz, hey, that’s your party, and those are your peeps. Did you read all sides of the argument? Did you do any due diligence? Nope, you just said, “Those crazy political party B-ers, they’re stupid and wrong.” There was a rally, emotion, people were into it, and maybe, just maybe, you jumped in because you thought that’s what you’re supposed to do.

The Pastor of church XYZ decides he wants to build a bigger church than has ever been built before and buys himself a new house big enough for eight families, and for a second, just a second, you get a twinge. “Aren’t we supposed to be feeding people with this money? Reaching out? Doing great things in the community?” But you shrug and go get a triple non-fat latte at the new coffee bar and have a seat in the new 6 million dollar sanctuary and listen to them sing and preach about love and God.

Party A is in the news bashing party B and you get all fired up. You jump on board, because, hey, they must know what they’re talking about; they’re my party and my people. Brain checked in to the safe in the bedroom, compassion turned off.

You see where I’m headed here? Yeah, it seems like I’m bashing all churches and all political parties. I’ll even cop to bashing political parties. If you didn’t realize it, they really aren’t about the issues anymore as much as they are about who has the money to get into what office and be bought off by whom, with what particular agenda. An agenda you and I will never even hear about. I have no use for either of the established parties. Go ahead, judge me. I won’t align myself with things and people I disagree with.

And this is my point.

I won’t and I don’t align myself with organizations, religions, or any group that wants to slap a label on my head and get me to back up their agenda, knowing full well that their agenda and mine are often polar opposites.

If you want to know where I stand on any religious or political issue or anything that is in the news today, please, feel free to message me and ask. I love discussing all of these things with people who use their own minds and thoughts and hearts to discuss with respect.

I can always spot the ones who have signed on to the “party line” because they are the ones who do not have logic or facts, only hyper-emotion and, if I might use the term, “religious fervor” to back up their arguments. They do not show respect, they cuss, they name call. They don’t want to have a kind, rational discussion, they only want to push their agenda. I have no tolerance. Zero.

For the record, this is not intended towards any one person, but it’s something I see every day all around me, especially on social media, which is largely why I don’t discuss politically-charged things on Facebook.

I did have a nice chat with Jacci Kalynn earlier, and I’ll call her out as a person with a brain and compassion, and she carries those things around with her. Love her to bits.

So if you want to ask where I stand on anything, please ask, and preferably privately, (especially if your intention is to stir up trouble on social media, I won’t play that game with you.)

I know there are good people in churches, trying to do their best, trying to do what they feel God is calling them to, and due respect to them, I spoke in very broad terms to make a point. I will re-iterate though, sometimes churches have an agenda, and before you align with them, make sure you are 100% on board, or don’t be a part of it. It’s integrity.

And know that all church leaders are only human, and by and large, as I said, are doing their best with what they know.
Denominations come with dogma, statements of faith on what you’re supposed to believe to be a part of their body of believers. Read it, and see if you can get on board and align yourself, in integrity. If you can’t, get out.

Labels, people. I hate them. I don’t wear them anymore. If you had to slap one on me, like, if you just HAVE to for your own peace of mind, call me this:

Loving, Peaceful, Independant, Empathetic, Compassionate, God-fearing… I’ll take these.

Mission Statement

This is my heart and my mission statement:

I try to bring order to chaos, it’s why I was created; to, in creative ways, bring people together, show them love, show them peace, show them a better way.

This will show (and has shown) itself in my life over and over again.

You may not always get where I’m coming from but I ask for the benefit of the doubt.

I was born to be a peace-maker, so if you hate me, hate me for that.

It will rear its head in my writings, poetry, fiction and non-fiction and in my artwork. But if you want to know who I am, this is it; this is what I’m about.

Love it or leave it, handle it or walk away, no matter.

Hugs to ya, my friends on this; a new day. Spread peace.

I wanna pack my bags and hitch a ride on the next inter-glactic transport…

Can we rewind ten years and try again?

I don’t remember the world ever being so polarized, so defined, utterly, by their political party affiliation. If a republican says the sky is blue, a democrat will come along and scream loudly “No, it isn’t, it’s azure!!”  If a democrat says “We ought to feed the hungry,” a republican response will be, arrogantly, “Get a job.”

I do not now, for the record, align myself with either of the two major political parties, I cannot, in good conscience.

I used to believe republicans stood for small government interference in our lives and low taxes. I believed that democrats always leaned more towards a heavier responsibility on the government to care of its people, to make sure people are fed and have health care. I always kind of thought a democrat’s mindset meant people cared a lot, loved deeply, wanted to help others. In the last several years, any sense of, well, sense, has gone out the window.

I always thought it was just about a person leaning more towards one way of thinking than another, and you’d go into the poll booth and you’d vote your conscience.  I remember it being that way, I really do.

I remember as a twenty-something being able to sit over coffee or a meal with someone and talk about things happening in the world, and you’d discuss, and maybe even respectfully debate how you saw things, how you thought things should be, but throughout the whole time, there was a feeling of mutual respect. Our relationships did not rise or fall based on being a republican or a democrat. And at the end of our time together, we hugged and said goodbye and went about our lives.

Man, those were the good old days.

I avoid all talk of politics now, for the most part, because it’s like walking past a barroom brawl and if you open your mouth to voice an opinion, you find yourself pulled into the brawl, no-holds-barred, kicking and screaming fights will commence. Ugliness. Disrespect. When did this happen? Why? When did humanity decide we all had to agree all the time or the other guy is dubbed evil? I don’t like it. Our world has become hyper-confrontational.

Now this thing in Charlottesville happened, and a light has been shined on racism, the KKK, and hateful bigoted speech fills my social media feeds, even more than usual.

And my heart hurts.

I long for a simpler, easier time, perhaps one that never existed, and perhaps, never will. But a gal can dream.

I dream of going back to having respect for one another, of liking or disliking people for who they are, at the very least, not what political party they belong to. I am not, and refuse to be defined by a political affiliation, and if that’s the thing that you identify with the most in a person you meet, I kinda feel sorry for you. What’s going on in our world right now is craziness. I don’t recognize people anymore, they’ve lost their humanity.

Beam me up, Scottie, cuz I’m ready to try life with another species. I’ll come back to earth once people get their wits about them again. Take me to a place of love, acceptance, grace, and mercy. Take me to a land where the people recognize that we are all much more alike than we are different, where people give each other the benefit of the doubt, and all the beings are free and treated equally. Where respect still exists.

Yeah, there probably isn’t such a place, but shouldn’t we have goals? I’ll keep dreaming and hoping for a kinder, gentler humanity. Until then, I may have to limit my reading of social media commentary, for my sanity.

Spread the love, people. Spread the love. (I really don’t travel well and would love to stay here on earth.)




When I tune out all the noise

and set my focus

When I think of no-one’s opinions but heaven’s

When I dig deepest into who I am

I am supremely peaceful

Uniquely blossomed

Divinely divine



Surviving The EMPTY NEST

Even though I, being a writer, tend to write about every thought or feeling I have, I wanted to write about this subject because it’s something I’ve gone through recently and feel strongly that it may connect with some of you out there. I know I have a lot of friends of a similar age that are going through this stage of life called The Empty Nest.

I don’t know who first coined the term, but it is quite accurate. Maybe we could call it “momma bird depression syndrome” as well.

I was looking back over a journal the other day and saw where I had written (at a particularly low point) “I have become redundant in my own life.” As sad as that sounds, I think it is a common sentiment felt by many a mother (or primary care giver).

I, (like my mother before me), always wanted to have children. I probably wanted it so badly that I had kids younger than I should have, but I entered into it with a willing and open heart.

Now, if you have children, you know that they quickly became the central focus of all of your thoughts, time, and attention. Dads experience this, too, I don’t want to downplay their impact in the process, but as I’m a mom, I write from this perspective.

There were times I might’ve felt like I’d trade one of my kids for a box of Godiva chocolates and a hot bath and five minutes (or seconds) of peace and quiet, (y’all get what I’m saying) but ultimately, they held my heart in their tiny hands. Always have and always will, even now that their hands aren’t so tiny anymore.

When the primary focus of your life (your children) are suddenly no longer there, at least not daily and hourly, when you find yourself trying to remember how to cook for just two, when you hear the overwhelming sound of silence where you once heard the laughter, giggles, and pitter-pats of tiny feet… well, that nest of yours suddenly feels very bare.

That hectic schedule you once bemoaned and whined about, the stress of sibling arguments, the lunches made, baths given, the tuck-ins and “check-ups” at bedtime, all of it is suddenly gone.

Just gone.

And for five minutes, maybe even five days, you enjoy it. You eat the chocolate without three or four little hands reaching up to take their share (and maybe their sister’s), you take long walks, you get a massage. Maybe you and your husband take a trip.

And then you come home and find yourself face-to-face with an empty house, a barren home.

I know of parents who seemingly deal with this time of life with much enjoyment. They throw a party, travel, make plans, and seem to never look back, but that was never my mother, and that was not me.

My mother didn’t have a good time of it when she came face-to-face with this inevitable life phase, and I swore I’d prepare myself, I wouldn’t be caught unaware, but, much like having kids in the first place, it isn’t something you really can prepare for, because no matter how much self-talk you employ, how many books you read, or people you talk to, it cannot be prepared for. It’s something you really must experience before you know.

I remember my own grown child standing in front of me, telling me that they were prepared for having kids, and I just laughed and laughed. “No, dear, you’re not,” I wanted to say, “because you cannot be.”

In the same way, you just have to stand at the precipice of the tidal wave of emotion that is about to knock you flying, just stand there, take a deep breath, and let it hit you in the face. Because, just as there is NOTHING like having children, there is also NOTHING like watching them leave.

No, your kids, sweet and perfectly-raised as they may be, do not understand, and as I said, they cannot. It’s just the way it is.

If you find yourself feeling redundant in your own life, if you feel as though your whole life has just pulled out of your driveway, if you think you might just curl up and die, take heart, my friend. You will not die. You will grieve, for it is a grieving process, make no mistake. Similar to a divorce or any other life-changing event, you will grieve, you will hurt, you will feel as though your life lacks purpose and meaning.

This too shall pass.

Pray. Travel, if you have the means. Find your passion and pursue it with your hands and your heart. Meditate. Have the massage and the pedicure and the Godiva chocolates. You can and will survive the dreaded Empty Nest. And you will find a whole new side of yourself you may not have known existed. A side that is allowed to think of what YOU need, what fills YOUR soul. A side that looks at your partner of many years and says, “Hey! There you are!”

It’s change, drastic change, a whole new phase of life. But you got this, and if you need a listening ear, I’ve been there and done that, give me a call.