Monday, June 21

Love/Hate and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes it is hard to come to terms with that which harms you. That is how I feel about food. I really would love nothing more than to bite into a really awesome chocolate chip cookie! But the end result of that would likely be itchiness, hives, inflammation, and pain. Is it worth it? No. Not in any way. And that is just the beginning.

Celiac disease is difficult some times. It has caused my body to deteriorate into a syndrome called "leaky gut syndrome." Apparently leaky gut has some permeability where there should be no permeability in the intestines. Quite irritating (both emotionally and physically). I had always thought of this symptom as something to be fixed and managed. Until recently. It taught me a lesson. And that lesson began in my Spiritual Direction appointment.

I was pondering with my Spiritual Director about the idea of motivational interviewing where if you occupy a position, you make no room for others to enter into your position. So your best plan is to vacate the position. Couple this with the idea of power sharing where our borders should be permeable--allowing others to enter into power or power sharing. But taken a step further, those of us in power, in order to lift others up, should vacate our power positions so that others may enter.

What? Vacate power? That's it. In truth, we can never really give up our power. If we have it, it is part of who we are. My power is in my Euro-Western-American heritage, in my social privilege, my economic privilege, my educational privilege, my personality, and my religious privilege. I'm sure there are more. But each one of these items carries power and can never be unlinked from my self. So I can't really vacate my position. But I can work hard to make my borders permeable, inviting others in, and stepping aside to let them lead.

Back to my Spiritual Direction episode. I was sitting with her and we were focusing on some body work. When I feel anxiety over power issues (trust me, working in chaplaincy is the nexus of county, state, and church politics and power struggles) where in my body does it manifest? I described it as starting low and rising through my body. Until this week, when I was able to breathe through it, center myself, and stop myself from being overwhelmed by the anxiety of others. The anxiety rose nearly to my throat, but on the Spirit to surround me with peace...and the anxiety lessened. It lowered and lowered and then centered in my second chakra - that is the seat of creativity according to some wisdom sources. Now that I was able to walk through these different sources of conflict without it choking me, it all centered there--my second chakra--or in my gut. Suddenly, it popped into my mind! "Hey, girl! I have something to teach you!"  Then I just started laughing.

Porous borders.

Leaky gut.

Power sharing.

So very weird. Then I knew. I still have more to learn and my body has things to teach me.

Now, whenever I think of the various points of involvement and power struggles that I encounter, I think about what my leaky gut has to say to me! Where do I need to offer permeability? and Where do I need to offer strength?

So today, and for a while, my inspiration is governed by leaky gut syndrome and a concern for the lost, the least, and the lonely. Offering permeability to the disenfranchised and strength when speaking to power.




Terri S.

Chocolate Chip Cookies cc licensed (BY NC ND) flickr photo by Phil Romans:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
cc licensed (BY NC ND) flickr photo by Phil Romans:

Leave a Reply