Gift Of A Lifetime

I thank God for the gifts she gave me.

I curse her — with wit — over the situations I was in where I needed to use them, to develop them, to master them.

Everyone has healing gifts, unique skills to offer the community, filling needs and creating better.

Only those who have had to face their own wounds, though, have really had to engage and own those gifts.    Wounded Healers.

The basic premises of being a good human have never been secret.    Joseph Campbell could look at myths, the stories of creation & growth, across time and cultures to find the threads that run across the human experience, the truths that connect us.

Getting beyond our ego, though, moving beyond comforting & illusory walls of separation, past the conventions of fitting in, of chasing what we are told should make us happy, well, that has always been hard.   It takes a willingness to trust your own truth, standing for yourself to slay the scary dragon with “Thou Shalt” on very scale.

My Aspergers parents didn’t know their own feelings, so they often acted out without an understanding of themselves and others.   I was the squeaky wheel, trying to help get the family right, so I was also the target of their frustration and anger.

I had to understand early my parents motives in attack or neglect, knowing that they loved and needed me even when they made me crazy or hurt me.   They could only do what they could do and I had to do the rest.

That’s one place my gift of being present for others comes from.

From a very young age I knew that my inner knowledge of myself as feminine, whatever this beefy body telegraphed was queer to others.   As much as I scraped for understanding, context and support, it didn’t exist.

I had to dive deep into rules around sex and gender, understanding taboos and why they existed, and searching for solutions that could be used to liberate from tight gender boundaries.  There were no effective off-the-shelf solutions.

That’s one place my gift of theology, of being able to understand and evaluate the stories we use to function in the world comes from.

There are times that I wish my gifts were cuter, less demanding of both me and others.   Yet, I know that these are the gifts I needed to survive and that no matter how much the leave me porcupine spikey, they are gifts that others have found value in.    The spines I leave stick and that irritation often leads to deeper healing.

For example, I may have been cut out of this years Transgender Day Of Remembrance event as being too old, too loud and too un-PC, but in attending I saw voices I brought out last year develop, heard my words read back to me and a song I found finish the event.   I was present, even if people were trying to cut me out.

The challenges I faced in my life were hard.   The solutions I had to find went deep to challenge everything.   That means the gifts I own aren’t pretty pebbles but instead big boulders to be used as tools for big jobs.   I challenge, I fight, I illuminate, I hurt.   It is, well, a gift.

I thank God for the gifts she gave me even as I rue the struggles that demanded I own them.   Yet trying to reject the challenges that demand your own gifts, resisting calling to the point of self-destruction, isn’t that the big drama in every human life?   We want it both ways, both tamely comfortable & pretty and wildly strong & unique.

And today, I find a bit of warmth in the idea that somehow, the gifts I worked so hard to own may have just given some help to somebody sometime.

Blessings on owning your own gifts.

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