Pastor Kate's Blog - Reflection of "See No Stranger" - Chapter One
As someone who is an empath, the idea of thinking of everyone walking around in the world as someone who is a part of me that I do not know yet is overwhelming. Quite frankly, it make me want to curl up in a ball, pull the covers over my head, draw the curtains, and never come out. All of that information coming into my system would be sure overload.
And yet, I appreciate the reminder that our orientation to the world, the stories we tell ourselves about the world, affect how we interact with the world. And I agree with Kaur that my place is not to judge the world – but to experience it. To approach with curiosity, humility, and a deep sense of unknowing.
In my younger years – I learned that love was conditional. I would experience love if I followed the rules or stayed within certain boundaries. Now, I am surrounded by people who know who I am – my whole outlandish self – and I am still loved. I have had to relearn my understanding and definition of love. I am loved because I am, not for who I am.
When I am in place where I forget that I am loved because I am – I constantly worry that I will lose people’s love. And of course, there is always a chance that I will lose people’s love, but those who are the closest to me – those who are my tribe, my people, my community – they will always love me because I exist, God will always love me because I exist. That love is not conditional. That is a powerful realization and one that I still have to remind myself of everyday.
This chapter generated so many questions for me:
How do you cultivate curiosity – a sense of not knowing? What does that do to our lives? Is it destabilizing? Is there a way to feel secure and honor that there are so many unknowns? How do we feel a sense of safety – or is a goal of safety incorrect? What makes us able to live fully? What are the necessities of a fully experienced life where we thrive? What conditions are necessary for us to thrive and how do we focus on those?