In the Arms of the Beloved

12 Jul

In the perversion that has been my life experience, I have always associated the discharge we experience in grief as similar to that in orgasm. The distinction is that orgasm is a pleasurable experience and one that people seek out; grief on the other hand brings a sense of distress that people try to avoid.

I learned long ago though that after an open expression of weeping, peace would settle throughout my body not unlike after an orgasm. There is a reason a child crashes after a crying fit. But I am no different than anyone else. I don’t actively pursue emotional pain.

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Yet sometimes it seeks us out, ever the ardent suitor until we pay attention and eventually surrender to its hold on us. For its presence is benevolent. In its own way, it is God wooing us.

There are few people I can truly cry with and few places where it’s okay to wail. We are a culture of repression for all our sexual forwardness and lack of inhibition. When it comes to expressions of the heart, we are a frigid society. And yet the one place I can always cry is church. In the sanctuary of the sacred, I can let go.

As the week of the anniversary of my mom’s suicide crawls near, the grief begins to pulse through my body. I try to ignore it. Focus on work and tasks but have learned. It’s best to make space for what will surface. Because really, it’s my mom tapping me on the shoulder, saying hello to me in the form of a butterfly.

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Every year I journey to my mother’s church, a place where my memories of her are most strong because it was somewhere we went week after week. Year after year. It is also the only church I know of in town that never locks its doors. You can always go to the side entrance and find it open. And there, alone I weep.

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Knock and the door will be opened to you. Ask and you shall receive.

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When we’ve been deprived love, we often can’t take it in. We struggle to receive which in its very essence is a feminine act. But in the arms of the Beloved, we can risk letting go. Whether we’re male or female. We all need to be held in the arms of God.

Mother, Father, Beloved.

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