How I reclaimed the word God--By Jessica Kaufman

Jessica Kaufman is a curious blend of sensitive and bold. She finds her calling in teaching, organizing, gardening, and moving her body to music. Currently, she is running her own small business in the city of Asheville, NC. 

I believe in god. I trust god, and I need god. The word "god" itself used to freak me out. As a liberal UU kid growing up, I was super comfortable with calling [it] any number of things: the universe, the great forces of which we are all a part, father-mother-god, the great "I am"... And then when I needed it most, I found 12-step recovery and god came back into my life as "higher power" or HP, which felt comfy to say, but I was unused to relying on (or even talking to) that power, and didn't feel it's presence in my life on the daily. I was creaky and rusty, having given over all of my belief to the power and cult of Thin. As I softened and released, I had to focus and try to churn up some kind of... awareness. I had had glimpses, but they were fleeting and I could call them all kinds of secular things (which is totally fine if that's how you roll). I *believed*, though. I needed to. The word "God" (especially capitalized, ESPECIALLY when given gendered pronouns) really turned me off and reminded me too much of the judgy, conservative right-wing Christians I saw all around me in the South. They scared me. I didn't want anything to do with their ridiculous ideas about what god is. That wasn't me at all. So I've worked to reclaim the name... GOD... to gather all the feeling, intuition, guidance, connection, forces, amazing synchronistic events of my life, and say "this is god." I feel you. I trust you. Thank you.

I'm making progress on my quest to have a living, daily relationship with god. All I want is to be Inigo Montoya in the forest with his eyes shut and his father's sword, believing fervently that if he asks, he will be shown. That he's always able to tap in. That god never, ever goes away-- we just forget and get sidetracked and bogged down with our human stuff and we look to other things to satisfy our hearts. THOSE THINGS ARE ALSO GOD. Allah is the love, the lover, and the beloved. God is crazy present at dances, in song sharing, when love making, crying with friends, taking brave steps, taking certain drugs. In the shadowiest times of our lives. When we're writhing in our personal struggles. When we are treated to surprise birthday parties and are overwhelmed with how much our friends love us. When we are heartbroken and when we dare to fall in love again. "Guide my sword" really sums up where I'm at with this relationship. People who would argue with me and put me and others down for questing after a relationship with god, who would feel the need to take apart and belittle this heart-lust, this thirsty spirit need... well, I don't date them anymore. And I want to be less careful, less fearful about sharing my belief. God is my primary partner. I'm wearing god's body, so it is always right-sized. You can see god in me, because I am a drop in the ocean of god. Oh, this is a step I needed to take. Aho, amen, here we go, let it be.

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