I am a rebellious spirit. Always have been. My mother for years along with many pastors and aunts have tried to stifle my rebellion. I think this part of my soul is a valuable and valid part of who I am. This rebellion is something that I admire in myself. When someone tells me something cannot be done, my entire being screams inside, it can but you are too scared to try. So then I try. Sometimes I fail, but in the end my rebellion has proved valuable to me in seeing the world differently. In seeing how things can be and not how they are.
In my youth I did not understand how to be authentic and still function within the structures of society. I have learned that to destroy something it must be done within and not from the outside. This means you have to have the ability to function within societal guidelines and push from within. It was how MLK worked. He chose non-violent protests unlike the “Black Panthers” who chose to destroy from the outside. Ultimately both actions brought the society of bigotry and hatred to its knees. If MLK had gone the route of attacking from outside then the results would have been drastically different.
In my lifetime I have seen the destruction of so many societal norms, mostly carried out within the confines of those same societal norms. I see equality is still not where it should be, but every day we take baby steps towards a fully equal society. We can see that those who want things just as they are are now on the defensive and that makes any movement weak. One day things like bigotry and hatred will be a thing of the past and I look forward to that day, until then the battle must continue. Equality for all women and men of any color and even of all sexual orientations is essential for any nation to move forward.
Change is difficult, which is one reason I embrace my rebellious side. My rebellious side is always looking for change, so change is not scary and I no longer fear change. I believe that to stay in the same place our entire life stops our growth as individuals and as a society. We can see that in the recent #blacklivesmatter movement. Social media has taken rebellion to an entirely new level. We can no longer sit back and pretend we have no idea what is going on in our world. It is right there in our face, we just have to find enough truth in the muddle of media and come to our own opinions.
My personal opinions conflict with that of most of my family. Let the bashing commence! I believe in women’s rights to choose her own destiny, to be able to determine if she really wants to have a baby and to be treated equal in the workplace. I believe in the rights of men and women of all races to live and work in peace without being harassed for their cultural differences. I believe in the rights of individuals to love whomever they want. The choice to dress how they want and to identify in any way that suits them. Equality means I myself have to let go of my own prejudices. It means that I have learned to accept anyone and everyone at every level of the spectrum. Equality also means that those who are handicapped are given equal opportunities to pursue a life they enjoy and as much as possible be able to become independent.
To me these truths were the path to happiness. If you have faith and practice it, then by all means be free to do so, but just like I do not have the right to grab your Bible and spit in it, you do not have the right to beat me down with it! Remember true equality is accepting that there are those who do not believe as you do and that is ok. My eternal life is my own business, and please do not pray for my salvation, I have found a much higher peace in finding myself. This means that by letting go of my faith I have found peace, which I never had in my faith.
Religion and faith is not for everyone and trying to force it on others is demeaning and defeats YOUR purpose of trying to convert others. Just like seeing Muslims as monsters for practicing their faith to a zealot fashion, Christians are doing the same, it just looks different. I choose to find the beauty and connections within nature and people. I find it is far more important to find a common thread that we can embrace than to find every individual in a church. I also have seen the greatest sins behind the walls of the church. My rebellion means that I can look past one’s faith to see the true person.
Cutting off the cloths of faith and religion and seeing a bare soul free of all constraints is a far more liberating and even important aspect than how much church you attend. There are good people all around and the diversity is important. When I see people I can see what some would say is God, just like when I look out into the ocean I feel so connected with myself and nature that I sometimes lose hours just being. And that is when you know you have found balance.