This is Me!

I had a conversation with Jolanda in which I told her my whole life story–the good, the bad, and the ugly. Before the talk, I was hesitant to tell her how I had treated women poorly because she is a woman and the mother of two daughters. I didn’t want to jeopardize our blooming friendship with my tainted past.

But Jolanda didn’t judge me in any way. She understood everything I did in my life as a part of me unfolding. She picked out the best parts of me even in the darkest situations. I felt relieved, happy, and honored to be me, perhaps for the first time since I was a pure, innocent child. I could embrace all my trespasses as well as the trespasses of others as a beautiful tapestry woven of light and dark.

This interaction reminded me of Neil Douglas-Klotz’s translation of the Aramaic [the dialect that Yeshua spoke] version of the Lord’s Prayer:

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.

Forgive our hidden past, the secret shames, as we consistently forgive what others hide.

Lighten our load of secret debts as we relieve others of their need to repay.

Erase the inner marks our failures make, just as we scrub our hearts of others’ faults.

Absorb our frustrated hopes and dreams, as we embrace those of others with emptiness.

Untangle the knots within so that we can mend our hearts’ simple ties to others.

Compost our inner, stolen fruit as we forgive others the spoils of their trespassing.

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us, as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.

Jolanda embraced my frustrated dreams and hopes with emptiness. She forgave my hidden past and secret shames. She helped me untangle my knots within, which allowed me to mend my hearts’ simple connection with others. I felt whole again, almost as if I had been baptized in the river Jordan by Yeshua himself/herself.

A friend turned me on to Zach Bush who talks about working as a doctor in the ER. One night three of his patients died, yet he was able to revive them all. All three said the same thing when he brought them back to life: “Why did you bring me back?” They said, when they died, they experienced a white light of total acceptance for who they were.

“We are beings of light and we are completely accepted at every moment, including this moment when we would rape the earth, when we would kill each other at the rate we do, when we would destroy the entire ecosystem of a green planet in the middle of black space, when we would have that level of hubris, WE ARE STILL COMPLETELY ACCEPTED. And our journey is somehow understood by something more benevolent and more complete than we can see as human beings. What if we all looked at each other in wonder and awe and said, ‘You’re enough. I accept you completely. I want to be with you. I want to live with you. I want to be alive’.”

I experienced this total benevolent acceptance with Jolanda. I felt alive for the first time in a decade. I felt the joy of inhabiting my body, my life, and my soul. I hope everyone experiences this unconditional acceptance at one point in their lives–hopefully, before they die. It is a life-changer, literally. It changed the life I thought I was living. It changed my view of the past, the present, and the future.

A few days later, I was watching The Greatest Showman for the 5th time, and I started bawling when the “outcasts” were excluded from the reception with Jenny Lynn. The marched out singing the song, “This is Me.” I felt like the song encapsulated all that Jolanda had shared with me:

And I know that I deserve your love

There’s nothing I’m not worthy of

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down

I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out

This is brave, this is bruised

This is who I’m meant to be, this is me!

As the singers entered the big tent and a spotlight shown down upon them, the sun pierced through my window and blessed my tears. I felt accepted in the eyes of the divine.

This version of the song made me cry again. “WE ARE GLORIOUS!”

Love you all!