I’m an introvert and to some extent a highly sensitive person. That means I’m alone a lot. It means that there are places where I’m not comfortable and people I’m not comfortable around. You’re probably thinking, well, that’s everybody, and you’re right. It is. Everyone has their discomforts and I don’t mean to discount anyone’s sensitivities.

So last weekend I went into a fast food restaurant. I was one of maybe four or five customers. In fact there seemed to be more staff than customers at that moment. The workers were in kind of a hurry, there were a couple of orders being held up, and the cashier was pissed off about something. I walked in a little annoyed. This place is notorious for getting orders wrong, and I went inside this time instead of using the drive-through. This same order was something they’d screwed up a couple of weeks before and I wanted to avoid having to come back. So I went in not at my best…with preconceptions as to how my order was going to be prepared.

When I got in there I felt uncomfortable… agitated.  I guess I was blending in quite well with the overall atmosphere of the place. I just wanted to get my food and get out. I used to think that my discomfort was always me, like the way I hate being in really loud, crowded, enclosed spaces. But at that moment I had a thought that maybe the the energy of the place might be contributing to my discomfort. Maybe it’s not just me…not just an introvert/HSP thing.

We’re always somewhere between chaos and calm.

Any high-traffic venue probably going to be kinda frenetic as far as it’s overall atmosphere is concerned. There are several things affecting that. Wherever we are, moment to moment, we leave a little bit of ourselves in any space. Our residual energy and thought-forms perturb others on several levels. As one friend put it, they’re like ripples in water. The people occupying the place are dealing with all sorts of things just by living. Then there’s me. While I’m not the only one I have an effect on I am the only one who can take responsibility for that. What are my mental, emotional, and spiritual states walking into the door? What have I been dealing with all day, the night before, on the way there? Did I sleep well? Did I sleep at all? Have I exercised? Have I meditated? Have I taken a few minutes to sit quietly and alone? Whatever carry in with me is what I’ll be leaving behind for others to deal with. Therefore I need to take a moment…to get my bearings…to breathe. Think of it as a form of spiritual deodorant. Maybe if I’m in a better state my energy will balance some of the chaos instead of making it worse.

This is something I’m just starting to pay attention to.


Carrying the sack: Some thoughts on deconversion

tatersackprisma-finalI’ve been headed in the direction of deconversion for several years. I strongly suspect the process began the day I first converted. It’s like carrying a sack on your shoulder with all the stuff of a religion…beliefs, concepts, commentaries, notes, sermons you’ve heard, ideas, thoughts, prayers, texts, dogma, emotions, rules, regulations, testimonies, myths, legends, all of it. And every so often you have to toss something out of the sack because you have no use for it anymore. Then over the years some doctrine or other, some belief that people hold tightly to but rarely, if ever, examine very closely rattles to the top of the sack and falls out. So you keep walking. And if you don’t tend to the sack weekly spots become frayed and more stuff drops out. Then some time passes, and later you start to realize that the sack has gotten really really light. Finally you stop and ask yourself whether you need what’s in there at all.

That’s the place I arrived at, and my answer to that question was, no.