March 28, 2013

Breastfeeding is Best Said My Boss

"I wish that you could stay home so you could breastfeed your baby. Breastfeeding is so much better for your baby...."said my boss, when I sat down to talk with him about my maternity leave coverage. 

Despite how inappropriate it was for my boss to say that to me, I did not respond. I allowed myself to be squeezed into what I should be to fit in, again.

There was a time when I said all the right things, dressed appropriately, was involved in all the right activities, and created an existence on pleasing others. I went to church services all week long, sang in the choir, directed programs, volunteered on multiple community activities. I tithed regularly and voted uninformed.

I never debated politics or religion. I joined causes that my friends were involved in, and donated money to only Christian organizations. I boycotted the companies that supported the "wrong" causes, signed petitions, and breastfed my baby. I was the good all American Christian woman.

And than one day, I woke up. Who had I become?

How this stubborn, Philly born, competitive gregarious girl squeezed herself into a mold...still baffles me.
I removed the masked version of who others thought I should be and found me.

I have devoured books on politics and religion and have challenged the faith I inherited. I have seen God in the eyes of a man living with AIDS whom I held hands with. When previously he was one I boycotted through not buying products from a certain company.

I have sat among a group of friends where we talked deeply and passionately and uncensored about God and felt the greatest sense of church.

I stopped tithing regularly at church and instead give money to others when I feel led and have received some of the greatest blessings.

I have been moved to tears while singing songs of worship in a church held in a bar (no alcohol is served) where a group gathers who have been cast out of the traditional church. Their robes are often smoke scented and need a good pressing, but they sing with the deepest passion and love for our God, that even the most practiced cantata performance could not portray.

I am processing all that I once deemed wrong or bad no longer through eyes of condemnation, but love.

Some wonder if I have lost religion. Perhaps, but I have found God.

I have found him out in the world, that I once fought so hard to keep my girls from.

As much as I am for protecting my children and want to shelter them from evil, I also want them to grow up knowing truths. That all in humanity are flawed, but God loves each of us regardless. That going to church does not make you a Christian. That just because someone has AIDS, or is homosexual, or is divorced does not condemn them to hell. That all of my girls are in the gifted program at school and were not sickly and only one was breastfeed for a shot period of time.

As I journey through the detox of my sheltered naive tunnel vision view of who I was, I am finding myself piece- by-piece. I am committed to teaching my girls, as Eleanor Roosevelt did with her children, "that they have an intellectual and spiritual obligation to decide for themselves what they think and not to allow themselves to accept what comes from others without putting it through their own reasoning process."

Why, why do we do this to ourselves or others?

Instead of loving others for who they are we condemn them because they are different. We look at other parents as less than ourselves because they allow their children to be who they are. We shy away from having a different point of view. We do all the right things, only to feel empty. We are quick to throw Bible verses at others wrongs, instead of embracing them in love.

Tell me, who did Jesus do this to?
"All the time we look at people- hot girls, beggars, gays, pop stars, people with dreadlocks, or suits. But over time we can develop new eyes and look into people. Jesus never talked to a prostitute, because he didn't see a prostitute. He just saw a child of God he was madly in love with." -Rich Mullins

We conform to fulfill our desire to belong. To a community, to a church, to a job, to our spouse. We set aside the wonderful creation of our individuality to become like everyone else. It is time, we embraced our God given beautiful individual beings and supported others as they did the same.



Aimee @ said...

oh, you speak to my soul. i have lost myself in the uniformity of what i am required to be while repressing who i was designed to be. my "6th sense" as people refer to it -- is intimidating and overwhelming and needs to be reeled in. WHAT? WHY? after 10 years... i do not want to be intentionally dumb, naive and quiet -- i was called by God and i am His child and He created me and i will not be still. or mediocre. or dumb.

i am ready to fasten the belt and go for a ride. a wild ride.

Merie said...

Simply and eloquently written.