A friend of mine, whom I have known since we were in third grade at St. Timothy's Catholic School, has grown and morphed into the kind of awesome person I wish all Catholics/Christians could be. We were friends on MySpace, back in the day, and now on Facebook. Though typically quiet as far as link-sharing is concerned, he's lately shared quite a bit more. Perhaps it's because he's a teacher on Spring Break? Nevertheless, he's provided a wealth of food for thought/meditation, and subsequently I've started navigating a small internal mental/soulful process wherein I start to have a little more faith in humanity...and in myself.
The TED talk I've shared above is profound. I have no other word for it. It is my Epic Struggle. My journey on this Earth has always felt like an effort in approaching and acting out vulnerability. Sloughing off shame, embracing community, being my authentic self. I think that Brené Brown does an incredible job culling data from her academic research and turning into a passionate and articulate series of mantras for living life.
Protesting Holy Week by David R. Henson - given that it is Holy Week, I think that this piece is invaluable to all self-identified Big C and little c Christians and Catholics. I was quite young, and impressionable, when I entered into Catholic School, and most of my religious education revolved around biblical passages and understanding the basic metaphors of the text as well as the guiding principles it was designed to share. As I grew older and separated more from the faith, I realized that there was this vast and deep chasm between the teachings of Christ and what Christians actually do - and allow one another to do. This piece was a confirmation of that which I learned as a child.
This small clip from Thomas Keating, Cistercian Monk and one of the architects of Centering Prayer, is incredible. I'm still not quite capable of articulating why it affects me so deeply. I think the last part where he says, "serving God in other people, God in us loving God in other people, or simply God in us greeting God in other people" is an incredible way to perceive human interaction. I think that living like that, replacing God with Other or however your personal belief system functions, is INCREDIBLY vulnerable and like Brené Brown suggests, could inspire significant amounts of positive change in the world.
I'm Christian, unless you're gay. A great piece! God doesn't hate anyone, folks. And this is an incredibly powerful follow up to the original post - A Teen's Brave Response.
Disclaimer: I'll talk about Christianity/Catholicism here as often as I need to, not because I'm evangelical in the slightest (it is actually something I LOATHE, deeply), but because it is one of the [muddied, blurry, somewhat cracked] lenses through which I view the world. My childhood was multi-faceted, as are most childhoods, and one of my experiences was growing up in a mostly-secular household attending Catholic school. I think that faith (however you define it, with or without (G/g)od), in general and specifically, is a great way to work through internal and external conflict. That's why I'm sharing.