And, I am trustworthy – except when I’m not. I am loyal, except when I broke a vow. I am helpful, except when I’m being selfish and self-centered. I am friendly, except when I’m aloof and dismissive. I am courteous except when I’m rude. I am kind – except when I’m mean. I am obedient. Except when I pull illegal U-turns. I am cheerful, except when for the days when I’m sour, dour and a pill to be around. I am thrifty, except when I travel, or eat out. I am brave, if you count dishing out bold, prophetic rants on social media from the safety of my living room. I am clean – unless you’ve seen my living room. And I am reverent – for a heretic who some have called a “false teacher” and a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
An Eagle, I catch thermals and seem to soar with ease and without effort to those who look-on from a distance.
But the truth is that I don’t always soar quite so on purpose.
Half the time I’m caught in scary eddies in the sky that I’m not strong enough to break free from.
My flapping is futile.
So I just wait them out until the warm air passes and lets me go.
I’m not the expert that some make me out to be.
There’s a lot I don’t know – far more than what I do.
I’m not always easy to love – or even to like.
I’m not always good.
I’m sometimes full of myself.
I can be a jerk.
I sometimes refuse the love that comes my way.
I’ve been known to self-sabotage.
I break my own heart.
There’s a cloud of grief that tends to follow me wherever I go.
I’m not always content – that’s an understatement.
I criticize in others the very things that I struggle with myself.
I’m not always grateful and when I am I don’t always say thank you
… though I feel good when I do.
I’m not always ok,
…. and that’s okay.
Some Native elders say “within every brave there are two dogs constantly at fight. One is the dog of malice, selfishness, and treachery; the other is the dog of loving-kindness, compassion, and community. The dog that wins is the dog that’s fed.”There’s truth to that… and yet if we don’t honor the other dog within, if we don’t own and vent our shadows… even a well fed good dog can bite the mailman or snap the neck of the toddler.
I’ve heard why the caged bird sings … and thank God for that..
…but what I know is that eagles have prisons of our own and not all of our flights follow the official flight plans.
What I know is that when we fly, when we lift up off the ground or push off from a high cliff – what happens is a miracle.
– xx roger wolsey
(written and first posted on Facebook July 29, 2017)
Previous blogs I’ve written on the importance of pursuing healthy integration. – I’m still in process. Blessings to us all as we do our work.
1. Halloween and Me: a Time for Me and My Shadow
2. Pressure Pots
Rev. Roger Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist pastor who directs the Wesley Foundation at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity