Born: late 1960’s
Meyers-Briggs “Type” – https://www.objectivepersonality.com/home I’m phasing out Meyers-Briggs though INFJ has been close enough for most of my adult life. I had been working through Objective Personality’s methodologies, but my bandwidth was significantly diminished by a few health and other curveballs. So. We. Shall. See. I did, however, find that their tendency to question the more seemingly heroic aspects of a type is a tremendous boost towards greater self-honesty and authentic growth. So, an INFJ as protective could very well be an INFJ with fear issues that present challenges around whether or not they are really responsible for keeping x safe. Is x a person? An ideal? If a person, then is your protection really about them or about a need to control things so your greatest fears don’t come true? In other words, my more angelic-appearing traits may actually be my worst tendencies. Self examination is a huge aspect of this particular approach. And I find that to always be a potent and effective aspect of any serious work towards authenticity.
Passion: Oppression Ousting (In every layer of humanity’s story…)
But I didn’t know my sun sign (moon or venus either!) ’til I was in my 30s. It had been forbidden in the first two decades of my life and I was busy untangling some very confusing issues weighing me down (women’s roles, devotion to creed vs. the spirit of love, parenting in the aftermath of oppressive religious experiences, chronic illness as environmental or spiritual, marriage as a “sacred” institution or as an intense spiritual process completely “holy” without religious or civil “consecration.”). As an example…
I was required to wear a long skirt – for a brief period of time – as decreed by my religion when I was 4. But my parents and community began to realize that a literal translation of the Biblical roles was not in keeping with the general tenets and made for a far less intelligent walk with God. So, I got to run free. But TV was wrong and rock and roll music was OUT so I didn’t get to watch TV ’til I was about 8 years old and then only a little (this was actually a very good restriction!). Music? Two of my big sisters would sneak it. They had to shut me up fast when I’d go around singing this song innocently out loud, clueless. As far as I knew, “making love” consisted of hugs and kisses. Oops.
Because of my historical religious experience, I’m especially interested in shedding light on roles and dynamics in life that oppress, suppress and repress a more natural, free-flowing and richly self-accepting life. This means I am, on a daily basis, sensitive to anything influencing a life (my own, my kids, my community) in ways hindering, stifling or otherwise condemning authenticity. There are times when I feel this means I’m reacting against my past. In truth, I’m responding to the immeasurable worth of liberation and authenticity in establishing solid personhood. My past is the background that provides solid awareness of extremes and their transformative (or destructive) influence. I fiercely value the wild above the civilized, cultured notion of “progress” but am more diplomatic than not. And I love refined beauty almost as much as nature’s wild offerings.
With the birth of each one of my three children I became more real, less afraid and deeply motivated to be free of anxiety, of any slavery to the past.
Christianity is often mentioned here as something I “walked out of” but I want to clarify what that means and what it does not mean. It does not mean I’m anti-Christian. It means I have found my own resonance with the Divine and with the spirit of Christ. (For example: when I’m able, I love to go to Quaker services and sit in silence for 45 minutes with others who’ve come to realize the restorative work of meditative gratitude and reflection.) It means I’m not a Christian as the world understands such. It means I’m not much into being labelled or otherwise pinned down but I do value the gold of my former experiences enough to accept some religious tenets. I’m deeply influenced by Taoist, Buddhist, Shamanic and Native American philosophies and beliefs. But the realms of Christianity, the pitfalls and potential are my expertise since it formed me from the age of 3. I perpetually work through my views in a cauldron of life’s events. This informs my work with people recovering from religious malaise or any who are finding their growth extends beyond religion.
I’ve identified what I call a “Christ Process” not dissimilar to Cayce’s views (But without the prerequisite of a “personal relationship with Christ” and without any fixation on the notion of “original sin” as is traditionally accepted. Mind you, the heart can deceive itself and others and each person is born with a capacity towards wickedness. But many pose quite the opposite in religious circles while the worst toxic destructive elements devour everyone in their wake of “righteousness.”) that can be a universally experienced work of change, no matter your religious or atheist bent. I feel we all participate in a Christ process whether we know it or not. One thing is certain: Jesus wasn’t a Christian. For whatever reason, humanity has a Christ and this Christ influence has undergone some pretty intense transformations. I went through a phase of doubting Christ had ever walked the earth. I have days where I doubt everything. But that’s how I’m wired. I’m cyclic and I ride the waves of my mind’s ability to poke holes in anything “solid.” My intimacy with the ups and downs, the ins and outs of religious influence and the fallout of these influences is what informs my connection with folks who’re particularly interested in facing their religious “demons.”
Through it all I’ve found one thing that will not be destroyed by any force, mental or physical: love. And it ties up all the loose ends and brings me to a safe haven even in my mind’s own ruthless capacity to dissect itself to pieces. When I speak or write of love, I mean something strong, intelligent, gentle, fierce, passionate, fearless, wise, intentional and truthful. I do not mean sentimentality or anything refusing an intimate awareness of the layers of the human experience.
7 thoughts on “A Closer Look”
Doubt is a by-product of thought. And wouldn’t it be considered a ‘sin’ to underuse the gift of thouht? Well that’s how it seems to me. But what do I know: I just write silly stories.
It is, isn’t it? A by-product, that is. And wholly necessary to keep the mind flexible. You know, you hit on it with this sin notion. Part of what set me free from some toxic dogmatic doctrinal oppression was the recognition that the underuse of thought was a wrong I couldn’t afford. I began to celebrate my mental processes.
You know aplenty…your stories transport people to the stuff of the stuff of being human (using little rodents!). And silly is essential, vital, smart.
I’ve never thought of myself as smart, but I have learned to trust my decision-making process to the point now when it feels instinctive. Whether that’s right or wrong I am yet to determine. But thanks for making me consider the subject – and the compliment.
instinctive decision-making can be genius and i think sometimes accidental genius is best. right…wrong…i’ve yet to find a song of living that actually does justice to the value of our lives while clinging to either of those notions but…
appreciate your visits, sir.
[…] Miscellaneous And Random History Posted by: jruthkelly | September 30, 2009 […]
Ruth, How can it be, I’ve been on your site at the very least once a week for a few months, usually much more… and I’ve never seen this page? Real observant… not. Fascinating. I’m staying tuned. Tell more…
It’s been cooking, that’s why. I just now pulled it out of the oven! You didn’t miss it!