De-frocked, Up-ended, and Ducking for Cover

identity: the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions

In a little over three weeks I will celebrate my 60th birthday (gee whiz). True to form, I am already in the throes of the annual ‘birthday work’. What is that, you ask? Since the late 1980s, every November-into-December I have experienced some big ol’ piece of emotional clearing work (see blog category “Birthday Passages”). I don’t know why I haven’t been anticipating it this month, though. … Oh. Now I know: The whole darn year has been one big ol’ piece of emotional clearing work! Very funny (not).

Duck, up-ended, jimcompton.com

The entire world is in an up-ended state,with many of us looking and feeling like (un)lucky ducks on a pond, hindquarters pointed to the sky, necks and beaks dredging the bottom for the remains of our unfinished business. Yes, humanity is itself doing ‘birthday work’ and is in its own shift from the long-held Third Dimension of separation and fear-based consciousness to a Fourth Dimension “Unity Consciousness.” From that state of awareness we move into the embodiment of our own divinity, which is the hallmark of the Fifth Dimension, a state of being from which we can do no harm. And not because of some outer force, but because of our inner state of Heart identification. From this place, our creations (read “thoughts, beliefs, actions…”) are generated only by love. Make that Divine Love.

My sixty years have led me in unanticipated directions – from artist to singer-songwriter, to custom framer to historic preservationist and museum curator/designer, to spiritual counselor and ordained minister. Each shift has been accompanied by some change in identity, and not by leaving everything else completely behind, but often just adding to what was already there. Other than singer-songwriter, the identity that “Amy Lou Pierce” most identifies with is Minister. As my unconventional spiritual journey has gathered steam, has deepened in multiple areas (writing, teaching, counseling, public speaking), I have also claimed the title of Minister in deeper and deeper ways. As a result, to the best of my ability (and in spite of great personal trials and hardships) I live life as a “healing presence.”

In recent years I have come to know myself as minister in the truest sense of this word: servant [via Old French from Latin]. I know, too, that I came into this lifetime not to experience this familiar-to-me role of servant-hood from the archaic stance of subservience – as in submissive, compliant, passive, or acquiescent – but from its opposite side. In part, this has meant I’ve had to learn to stand up for myself and to claim my worth. And finally, finally, as I wrote thirty years ago in a song, I’ve learned to “take my place at the table and sit with what I’ve earned.” Doing so has been a long, excruciating process, but when there is “a big enough for-the-sake-of” in place we do what must be done. For me, that “for the sake of” has turned out to be my abiding love for this world and my great, wide family – all of Nature: humans, non-human animals and mammals, the Elementals, the Kingdoms – and my steadfast dedication to us humans healing back into our beautiful wholeness. This “for the sake of” is itself an opposite: From my very early years (even well into adulthood) I hated people. I must say, “Oh, brothers and sisters, I’ve done come a fer piece.”

After seven years as an ordained Minister in Integrative Healing, I have this week been “un-ordained”, or as my friend Stacy said tonight over dinner, defrocked. The details of the experience don’t need to be shared, though I will say that I was not “compliant” in some ways that I was expected to be. In my defense, I’ll also say that I could not be totally compliant because I didn’t have enough information to be able to do so, though I tried on several occasions to gain the information I needed. Now I find I’m facing an interesting crisis of identity. Or am I?

identity: the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions

In my heart and soul I am a minister. No one can tell me otherwise. I will find another way to become ordained (unconventionally, of course). And I will likely start my own “church without walls.” As you might imagine, the ‘birthday work’ has begun in earnest.

“Oh, the water is wide; I can’t cross o’er, and neither have I wings to fly. Give me a boat that can carry two, and both shall row, my Love and I.”* Since I have no idea how to reach this goal of ordination, I’ll keep rowing my little boat; it’s the best I can do. And I will make every effort to give the search for a solution over to Love (Spirit). If any of you have concrete ideas to share, I’d be delighted to hear them.

Meanwhile, the lucky duck has come up for air to shake out her feathers and find out if she can let everything that doesn’t serve her dignity and divinity just roll off her back. Amen.

Cool Spray, Ellen Devenny, betterphoto.com

*From The Water is Wide [Traditional Scottish or English folk song]

© Amy Pierce and In Spiritual Wonder, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Pierce and In Spiritual Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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