I've always known that I'm a bit strange. A hard nut to crack.
At the heart of my personality lies a people pleaser and an eminent rule-follower. I like knowing what is expected and strive to exceed what people want or ask of me.
I'm a stickler for good behavior and impeccable manners. To be flippant, dismissive, or down right rude to others is beyond unacceptable in pretty much any situation. Just ask my children, they've experienced my wrath when they choose not to be kind.
Physically, I've been told that my mother and I have a sugary voice and eyes that listen. And, I think on most occasions, people would say that I'm a nice person.
But when we start to get to know one another and we go out for wine or coffee or take a random yoga class and then grab margaritas, you'll realize that there's more than meets those kind eyes.
I like rebellion. I'm a fan of people being comfortable in their own skin and expressing their truth.
I like to cuss a lot.
I like to talk about sex and religion and politics and all of the cans of worms that you're not supposed to speak of in polite company.
I like telling irreverent jokes and comparing notes on douche bags and folks that are intolerable...and many times at Bunco, Book Club, or my jewelry parties, girls will tell me that they never guessed 'those' things would come from my mouth.
So, it was hard yesterday after I left mass.
We heard a homily that our priest said was more than challenging for him to deliver. It was essentially, a listing of sins, some of them mortal, that keep us from the closest possible relationship with God and fully experiencing Holy Communion.
It was tough.
Because I don't agree with all of them. And yes, I send my children to Catholic school.
I literally felt like a walking contradiction as I walked out the door.
Do I pray for my perspectives or opinions to change and to be more aligned with the church?
Or, do I recognize that much like the person I am, not everything is black and white and that people are complex and that's okay? Or is it not?
Am I an a la carte Catholic and is that like being a fraud?
At the end of it, I liken it a bit to parenting. Two parents can raise kind, giving, curious, loving children who contribute their talents to the world...and those parents do not have to align politically, philosophically or even spiritually. Their home can serve as a safe haven where their children are free to dialogue about all of the circumstances, life situations, fears, hopes that come their way free of judgement. And in the end, the children are empowered to choose the path that makes the most sense for their lives.
I know that as a person and most certainly as a parent that I'm evolving...so, maybe my stances on certain social issues will change, but until then, I'll walk the world a walking contradiction, trying to find some harmony and peace in the gray praying to be in communion with a loving God.