Hawaii 2010

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Experiencing life from someone else's eyes

Pictures of family taken from our ugly back porch in Jackson Mississippi

That is what a well written autobiography is about. A person is describing experiences and then the feelings going on in their head and heart that those experiences create, and what was learned from those experiences. And when someone is naturally honest and self deprecating it can be a very valuable thing. A spiritual autobiography can be like living a life you never could have lived, and benifiting from the scars, wounds, and healings of another soul.

Most of us try too hard to clean up our stories even in the midst of living them. We place too high a value on the rightness of our actions and reactions since our ego and self worth are at stake.

Anne Lamott is a believer whose life was very different than mine. She kept her Jewish and Atheist friends, she stayed faithful to the feminism that birthed her personality. She stayed in the world of literature and academia. She faces life with enough honesty to say it is sometimes really full of s**t.

She has no glowing past of moral virtue to boast from, she was immoral, did drugs, became an alcoholic. And she is forgiven. Those of us who were raised in the morals and virtures of the faith have a much harder time admitting our failures and need.

I love it when people accept that life has really hard parts, people not healed, early death, suffering, bad relationships, without having to tip toe around spiritual platitudes that we evangelicals love to repeat. She is gritty and real.

I wish I still had atheist friends to hang around and experience life with, and to ask the questions together.

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