Ever hear of Bluma Zeiganick? Yea, I hadn’t either until a few months ago. Bluma Zeiganick was one of the first women in Russia to go to a University. Upon graduating she became one of the first female psychologists in the world. Our dear Bluma discovered the Zeiganick Effect which links memory to incomplete tasks (and she had the audacity to name it after herself!) Basically, your brain remembers uncompleted or interrupted tasks, going back to them again and again. You haven’t finished the laundry, you’re about to fly across the country, and so it stays on your mind all day. Conversely, once you cross an item off your list you’re less likely to remember having done that task. Perhaps this answers why so few of us can remember what we did the other day, but we can remember what we still need to do.
During my first year of college, I had an 8am (!) Biological Anthropology with the intimidating, serious, not-messing-around, Dr. Madrigal. She would start each morning with a fierce “It’s 8 o’clock lets begin” and boy did she.
It was from this formidable woman I first really learned about evolution. I had gone to a Christian school growing up, so all of my experience with the subject had been focused on poking holes in evolution and trying to convince us science was the devil.
I’ve started this post five or six times, each time I am at a loss for words. My heart and my soul grieve.
How is this happening again? What have we done?
When ‘45’ publicly sympathized with Neo Nazi’s I was stunned. Stunned, but not surprised. I’m not proud of this, but my first reaction was one of superiority- “See?! We told you this guy was terrible! I bet they really feel like shit for voting for him.” I practiced what I would say the next time I saw a Republican family member or friend, the snide comments I would make. I took great pleasure in imagining exactly how I wanted to make them to feel- ashamed, remorseful, embarrassed.
You know that feeling you have when your hand finally finds your partners after a long day? I believe God is in that moment. That one painting that has always moved you- the colors, the energy? Pretty sure God’s there too. Your favorite spot, on your favorite hike, during your favorite time of year? Definitely. The smile of your child early in the morning. The smell of the first rain of the season. Good food with good people. That moment when the peony is just about to burst into a fury of feather soft petals? Each and every time, the Creator is there.
History repeats itself.
We’ve all heard it our whole lives, usually said with a sigh of resignation or a hint of disdain.
Tied up in this refrain we hear a note of condescension directed toward those poor, unenlightened people who came before us. They didn’t realize what we know so well, and because of their ignorance, history did, in fact, repeat itself for them. Time and time again.
I am passionate about my faith, my spirituality is the richest part of my life. But can I share a struggle with you? So often, when sharing my thoughts with others, I am met with a resistance to unorthodox idea. Which puzzles me because I know we are all just trying to live out our beliefs as best we can. But in my pursuit of conversation, I am confronted with a confining black and white way of viewing a world that is rich in color.
My dance of faith and feminism began when my mother-in-law suggested I read Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter. This book ripped my heart wide open and threw a freaking hand grenade in. My faith and my identity blew up. Everything I was so sure of was ripped from me. I was left with fragmented pieces of faith, sorting through what I wanted to keep and lighting on fire that which I no longer needed. At times, I longed for the security of ignorance.
This story is forcing me to be even more vulnerable and open. But here it goes. I have a deep and constant fear that something or everything will go wrong. Whenever life seems too good- just wait, because something bad will happen and mess it all up.
God is a man.
You’re causing men to stumble.
Women can’t/shouldn’t be pastors.
You’re not enough for your family.
The man is the head of the household.
You’re too emotional.
Whether we learn it in church, from our family, or in all the subtleties of society, we have our limiting beliefs about ourselves that repeat and repeat. They are personally tailored to hold us back. So much of what I want to do with this blog is Re-Image these inane platitudes in religion and faith practice. Along the way I have found that these defeatists thoughts extend beyond religion into our psychology as well. This post is a bit of personal growth and spiritual work as a result.
In the typical Western Christian church we hear a lot about the “patriarchs” – Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph- of the faith. We don’t really get a chance to hear the stories of the women leaders of our faith, the Matriarchs of the Jewish and Christian tradition. This isn’t really that surprising as we seldom hear much about women in the Bible in general, unless of course they are pure and virginal or considered to be a prostitute.