When I was a Christian

My transparency 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
+When I was a Christian, I looked at others with a sadness. I believed that if they just had the knowledge that *I* had, they’d be okay.
+When I was a Christian, I thought of myself as a savior. If they could just hear me, speaking for God, they could have a relationship that changed them. 
+When I was a Christian, I truly pitied anyone who didn’t think like me. I was in full belief that my ideals (or my tribes’ ideals) were the only righteous ones.
+When I was a Christian, I operated from a place of unintentional arrogance. It was normal for me to run into someone and immediately ponder in my mind, “Bless them, they’ve had it rough, is there a sin they are committing, leading them into these troubles?”
+When I was a Christian, I met people with a silent judgement, but fake understanding. While I outwardly displayed the fruits of the Spirit, inwardly, I was pridefully attempting to encourage others to be like *me, therefore more like god. 
+When I was a Christian, I loved making sure others knew where I stood. I approached conversations with locked beliefs, unwilling to meet someone else where they were, but with the full hope of swaying them to agree with *me*
+When I was a Christian, all I needed was my echo chamber. So long as I had my believing friends and pulpit pals echoing back to me what I understood about god, then I’d never actually need to hear anyone else out.
+When I was a Christian I prided myself in speaking “truth” to everyone, even if I could sense they were uncomfortable. My brain was actually driven by this tension, to hurl my knowledge louder because these were the folks most in need of my knowledge, I could lead to the saving they didn’t know they needed.
+When I was a Christian, I made a spectacle out of my childrens’ obedience/disobedience to me and God. I praised their attempts at witnessing EVEN THOUGH I was encouraging their false ego, even though I was inherently teaching an us/them worldview.
+When I was a Christian, I doted on my kids as they *led others to Christ, and I began to cultivate in them, the same echo chamber friend system I had partaken in.
+When I was a Christian, my goal was that my children would stand apart for the Lord. No, not they they would see the face of God in others, but mainly that they would see God in their own reflection and their peers in Sunday School.
+When I was a Christian, I felt an arrogant sorrow for those kids who weren’t in Sunday school, oh how different their futures could be, if they had a mother like me…
+When I was a Christian, I could not love people exactly as they were. I always had small internal hopes for the ways *I could rub off on them.
+When I was a Christian, I operated with an ego so large, that I mourned the souls of those not like me, therefore not like God. I literally was a Pharisee by default.
+When I was a Christian, I got high on church, I got high on Jesus, dopamine levels through the roof with 4 part harmonies or repeated chords.

But now, now that I am not a Christian, I’ve loved from the pits of my own despair.
Now that I am not a Christian, I’ve loved with the kind of love that changes ME, literally reshaping my marrow.
Now that I am not a Christian, those whom I love might change—— but not because of my swaying, not because of *my example, but because they are safe and FREEEEEEEE to be unconditionally themselves in my presence. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I look in the eyes of the humans around me and believe in my whole heart that they, *we* are perfectly perfect and not in need of saving, unless it’s the saving that time spent inside the metaphorical grave gives us. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I understand that there’s a glorious darkness inside that grave. And that this is not something you can prompt, that it’s not something an echo chamber can provide. That it is not something you can indoctrinate into your children. It isn’t in a church and it’s only alluded to through metaphor in scripture. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I recognize the quiet of the wilderness, the silence of the mountainside, the belly of the whale—— that is where the holy sacred work gets done, not the pulpit. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I run into hurting people and I sit with them in my own hurt, I am no longer mentally slightly above them.
Now that I am not a Christian, I recognize that in order to eliminate our ego, in order to operate in humility, we must let go of everything we were taught and re-learn what and who we actually are. 
Now that I am not a Christian, people pity *my children, they’ve been proselytized and told that hell awaits them by their churchgoing witnessing peers— They reply, “oh you mean, Gehenna- no way, they turned that into a garden a LOOONG time ago, wanna see pictures, it’s worth a google” and they walk on.
Now that I am not a Christian, I find myself explaining to my children in full compassion the way indoctrination works and how their peers are truly fearful for their souls, that it’s not a burn (play on words😜)
Now that I am not a Christian, I have daughters who come to me tearfully, longing to be friends with ANYONE without an agenda, anyone who can fully love them as they are, without the line drawn.
Now that I am not a Christian, the tables have turned, and I am not in the Cliques, I am not wise-council, I am not even invited to the table without an agenda. I know the hurt of being “just another neighbor, unworthy of hearing.”
But now that I am not a Christian, there is no limit to my neighbor. There is no limit to what *I* can learn from those that I once set out to save. 
Now that I am not a Christian, *they* are saving me. 
Now that I am not a Christian, I sit on the outside of the gates of those who profess to follow Christ and yet, I am free to love like him more than I ever did———when I was a Christian…

Inspire.

I hope, I hope,  I hope like hell 

you wear your feelings loud, not well.

Blast your heart from roof to roof.

Make sure this world knows your whole truth.

Your every experience is important, 

You can’t let your thoughts lay dormant.

Inside your mind you hold the key,

It sounds cliche but listen to me,

This Universe is on your side,

Conspiring to ease the tide.

There are no corners, no walls, no seams,

Just Endless possibilities 

What could be, what could be, 

If you just step out- if you just break free.

There is no such thing as break the mold,

The mold is not real, there’s no such hold,

No such hold, weighing you down.

Listen, can you hear the sound?

“You’re supposed to be here,

You ARE  supposed to be here!

Do something. Do something. 

JUST GET IT STARTED,

It doesn’t have to be clear!”

It’s all on You, it’s yours hands that create,

Don’t tap out, don’t take the bait.

You CAN DO ANYTHING, BE ANYTHING,

BUT first you must let yourself Dream Things

You must, you must be willing to dream, manifest  in your thoughts, see the unseen.

With your  hands- work, 

With your soul- receive, 

let go of fear, 

then 

Achieve. Achieve. Achieve. 

Written by: Stacy Johnson

Thanks for reading, Friends. 👣❤️🔥

Is Jumping the Answer We’ve Always Needed?

🤔 Hmmmm. I was at the Trampoline Park today, and it dawned on me, “Wait, what? What is happening to all the humans here, right now? Why are we all so happy, so giddy, so joyful? What is it that has reached the oldest of gents to the tenderest of tots, spreading smiles amongst all?”

Jumping!!!! Unified Jumping is what!

I looked out and laughingly embraced the genuine, true, heartfelt smiles beaming from one person to another. There was no shame. Age didn’t matter, size-shape-color-gender-class-socioeconomic status-political party-religion-sexuality, none of it mattering as we frolicked like that of antelopes from one trampoline square to another in our matching psychedelic socks.

With giant leaps, and super strides, we all take our shot at suspending gravity’s pull, our time in the air is held with grins that are real, extending from our mouths to the wrinkles at the corners of our eyes. There is no faking, these are the smiles of time-less fun.

I people watch a moment longer and I nearly cackle. The variety of jumpers is pure hilarity, and each kind of jumper has goals.

There is the gazelle strider, allowing only one foot to touch each patch as they swiftly glide from one end of the entire park to another. They are unaware that anyone is around them.

There are then the knee-tuckers. They spend time in one patch really getting a rhythm before moving to a neighboring square. Usually, knee-tuckers are young and they falsely hope that by tucking the knee, they’ll achieve more air-time, instead they plummet.

There are the spread eaglers. From one square, they accomplish toe touch after toe touch, after toe-touch, until at once, a leg buckles, they wobble and become uneven, sometimes falling, they must rest.

Also, there are the big boy bouncers. They rain down without warning onto whatever black patch is nearest them. They have no care for who is in their way, rocketing small children into the air, often leaving parents confused as to what just happened. Their force propels them furiously multiple squares away. As if they’d never been there at all.

The stiff-leggers are usually middle age, and they either can’t move the way they once did or simply have forgotten how to loosen up and bend at the knee. They stay in one black square for at least 3 minutes before stopping and walking to another patch.

There are also the runners. These are the folks who enjoy the spring of each bounce, but they do not jump, instead they launch into a sprint, having enough control to dodge those younger then themselves. However, at times, a runner’s front half moves faster than their feet, leaving them face-planted on two patches.

We also have the adolescent gymnasts. Often, they use several patches to display the parts of their floor routine applicable to the space they’re allotted. Onlookers are awed.

Next, there are the tots on their one black patch, trying to escape their care-givers with fierce determination. The care-givers are those who have sheer frazzled terror on their faces, as they understand their child is one gazelle-strider away from being booted into eternity.

Finally, there are my favorites, the humpty dumpty jumpers. They bounce, flop, roll, twist, face-plant, back-plant, ricochet, and donkey-kick all in their own little space. They are content. And, I like watching their joy! I get completely cracked up as I see them ricochet off the side trampolines with fervor and smiles. They don’t give a shit about anything but landing their jump. They range in age from 5-65.

Anyhow, today-as I tried to keep my one year old out of harms way, I just took a moment to embrace ALL THESE PEOPLE who paid money to be able to become mutual jumpers. Jumping in mass brought us all to a common place of shared happiness. I decided that perhaps Congress should meet under this circumstance of shared jumping. “Perhaps, jumping was the answer to all that is wrong in this world, perhaps jumping was the way of the future?” I pondered. Did our ancestors use jumping to bridge some kind of gap, I mean, we are all here, and we are all loving this, it’s like it’s in our DNA…

Before my very eyes the walls that divide us, were being bounced into oblivion. And, while I can’t put my finger on exactly how, I know for sure that jumping is taking us places…

Could mutual jumping be the next frontier????

🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂

(Yes, this is me being a dork, this is my weird humor, I find random moments-hilarious at times, ima crazy- I know!)