What resonated for me from the Lectio 365 reading this morning was the phrase, ‘Leave her alone.’ Jesus speaks those words to the men around him who berate the woman who has just poured an expensive bottle of nard oil over his head.
But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want to, you can do them good; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for the burying.
Mark 14:6-8 WEB
Broken and Poured Out
I was looking online for an image to illustrate the bottle being broken and the oil poured out. Instead, I came across the piece of art above. And it says what is welling up inside me better than I could express in words. Because I have, once again, been broken and poured out.
In spite of my religious trauma and multiple attempts to deconstruct/reconstruct, I recognise the worth of Jesus and wanted to leave everything behind for Him yet again–I just didn’t know how to deal with it on a practical level. And I especially didn’t know how to deal with it in a way that is culturally appropriate and socially acceptable.
But through today’s passage, Jesus says that’s fine and for the others to leave me alone. He said he would walk with me this time and that things would be put right. And they are.
They are being put right through other people coming into my life, including a really good teacher of Christianity. Thanks to being around these people, I have come to understand that I am still suffering from RTS (religious trauma syndrome). So this morning, I bought a book about how to heal from it. It wasn’t that people told me ‘This is what you’ve got.’ It was that they were authentic, non-judgmental and accepting.
By contrast, I realised that I couldn’t be authentic myself around certain other representatives of Christianity. So I guess all the inner work I have done with the tarot and other modalities has paid off to that degree, at least.
Aren’t You Embarrassed?
I was speaking to my daughter about how things are unfolding with my faith. And she wanted to know if I felt embarrassed about the awkward dance I’m doing in public. And the truth is that I’m not. Shocking, I know. On some level, it may help someone who is suffering from RTS. And if not, well… It is what it is. I don’t have enough pride to bother with embarrassment.
I suppose it’s a bit like asking someone who keeps going back to their abusive partner if they are embarrassed. Once you know that it is due to trauma bonding and that you are suffering from PTSD or CPTSD, it is out of your control until you get help.
The problem is that when you suffer from either (CPTSD in my case), you often do not trust people enough to seek help when you need it the most. So if anything, I’m just extremely grateful for the help and support I am receiving now. It’s quite miraculous and by divine appointment.
And the other voices are just noise. I listen to those who recognise that I’m on a healing journey and who understand that this healing journey does not have to mean forsaking my Beloved.
When asking God to reflect back to me what I need to know about my brokenness and the need to be left alone while I heal, he holds up the 4 of Pentacles.
It comes back to boundaries yet again. This is truly my biggest life lesson. One of the symptoms of RTS is “Difficulty understanding how to set appropriate boundaries.” And this is on top of the CPTSD I suffer from childhood abuse and abandonment.
Real boundaries can only come from authenticity. They cannot be imposed from the outside in the form of religious rules or conformity to religious subcultures. And isn’t that one of the things that Jesus came to teach us? I think so and I think that is why I love him so much.