Darkhorse Press:
an essay from:

In More about this, poet and essayist Victoria Chames steps out of the closet as a kitchen-table philosopher and mystic. An informal collection of essays about challenges and questions that are bound to come up when we endeavor to live a spiritual life in a physical world. Her search for the simple honesty of a Practical kind of Christianity is a deeply personal quest. Thought-provoking, unexpected, realistic, sometimes funny and often profound, "essays about everything."


It was the summer I was ten years old and the warm lazy days flowed along so easy and carried me with them and there was plenty of time. That was when I first started to look around at the world and to notice things beyond the end of my own nose. Sometimes when I was by myself I climbed up into the little pear tree and sat in the branches and wondered about things like life and God.

OOOI'd be wondering about what God was, but then I'd notice a perfect green pear I could pick, so I did, and I ate the pear and it was warm from the sun, and crunchy and sour and sweet at the same time, and the juice ran down my chin and I forgot all about God. Everything was good, and God was taking care of it, and that was enough for me. I figured God was around, watching out for me, just like Granny said, keeping me safe.

OOOSummer evenings when I went to bed and it wasn't even dark yet, I looked out my window at the lavender-colored sky above the roofs, and I understood that God was a something that filled the whole twilight sky, that kept the whole world in order, and still had time to notice me falling asleep. God was like the sky, only bigger than the sky, and He was also a someone, who knew me and He thought I was okay, even if somebody else said I wasn't. I came to wish with all my young heart that I could be the same person on the outside as I was on the inside, just be me, the way God saw me, and that would be okay with everybody else. But I didn't dare.

OOO(To tell the truth, a few decades have gone by since then, and I'm still trying to do that.) The simplest truth is that we all want to be who we really are, but for all of us, children and adults too, it's hard to know what that is, because most of the people in our world want us to be everything else but that.

OOOWhen we were first learning about what life was like, and what we were supposed to be, we each got taught a system of well-meaning lies, like, "You're not as smart... You're not as pretty... You're not good enough unless... And worst of all, "You can't do that, you can't BE that,”and “You shouldn't want that, because..." These lies became the rules that were supposed to protect us from some kind of problems and sufferings the grownups had experienced in their lives. But their lives are not our lives. Without even realizing it, we accepted those things as true. They embedded into our trusting young minds and became the unconscious core-beliefs that would shape us and limit us and hold us hostage for a lifetime. We tried to live by the rules, we didn't know that some of them were never true in the first place.

If we don't unlearn the untruths, we can't become who we are meant to be. We will hide our light, whatever it is. We won’t be able to live our authentic life, which is what every living soul sincerely longs for. We knew this somehow, even when we were children, but we thought we must be wrong.

The beliefs people taught us were things they thought were true. And they might have been true for them, at the time, but many of their beliefs likely were never true for us. I suspected, right from the start, that some of them were not true for me. Didn't you? But I had to live a long time before I realized it. Now I think the basic soul-work for all of us is to discover and then unlearn our untruths, the hidden ones we're still carrying like bricks-in-the-backpack, and don't even know it. When we come to see what we've been believing that isn't true, then we can find and claim
what is true for us, now. When we know the truth, it really can make us free.

No matter what anybody told you anytime back then, or anybody tells you now, you have the right to be who you honestly are, and that real-you is actually much stronger, braver, and more wonderful than you think. If you want to know who you really are, don't ask anybody. Don't look "out there." Don’t look in the mirror. Throw out all the filters, all the shoulds and can'ts, and then look inside, and believe what you see.
That’s who you are.

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