|Church Camp. Probably 1989 or so. That's me with the shoulder pads, the madras shorts, the bandana, the big socks and the bad perm.
The good old days. A simple mistake I made today while putting on my earrings made me think of being in church camp and doing this with an ice cube and a safety pin.
Status update that I posted today, got me started here:Things were so simple when I was a teenager. And yet I thought everything was so complicated. I was super churchy girl. I was a figure skater. I was a virgin. I never had a drink until I was 18. I was dunked in the river, newly baptised Born Again at 16. Those were the glory days. I didn't know any better. I had no experience with people who were different than me. I thought I knew love and compassion, but I had no idea. It wasn't shown to me, so I didn't know how to show it to others.
I pierced my ear - second hole, left ear - at church camp when I was 15. I haven't used that hole in 20 years. This morning my earring accidentally went in there no problem. I think there's some Back to the Future thing happening now. Like that hole is a portal into the past. I feel the need to tie a bandana around the knee of my ripped jeans that are peg-legged with two different popped collar Izod tops and matching socks. HOLD ME.
|You remember this girl? She was an idiot.
In 1991, I had my first drink. And then it all busted wide open. The shit hit the fan. I became an alcholic and that meant destruction every where I turned. The switch had been flipped and I was in for the long haul. By my own hand. Why do we not appreciate what we have when we have it? I think it's the way of the young that we just don't know any better. The older I get and the longer I'm sober, the more I can hear myself saying, "this is so good. appreciate THIS. RIGHT NOW". And I actually do. Living in the moment is not an easy concept to learn. But it's crucial to contentment.
When I was young, I thought I knew everything. I also thought people who didn't love Jesus were bad and were going to Hell. I judged because the church taught me to judge. I was judged by the church so I thought I was bad. Now of course I think that's all a bunch of fairy tales, because I've lived too much and met too many great people who are not Christians to know that to be true. I am so grateful for every single thing and horrible experience I've gone through. I never would have learned compassion otherwise.
It's great if you love Jesus. I don't think Jesus is the problem. It's the organized religion that's the problem. Love and compassion are my church. Acceptance and tolerance and love. Did I say love? I don't need anything more than going through the shit storm I went through to know that is what heals. It allows me to feel compassion for others in a way that cannot be taught by books or by sitting in church.
I will not judge you for your religion. All I ask if you don't judge me for my decision not to participate in one. I'm not FOR abortion. I am FOR human rights. I am for Gay marriage, or as we like to call it, marriage between people who love each other, same as Dumpster Husband and I.
Living in the moment. Free of judgement and conditions. Sounds strangely like a dog. Which leads me back to what I believe to be true, dogs are better than humans. I strive to be more like a dog.
|Dixie at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, September 2011