• Recognizing the personal sacred on Easter

    by Jesse Loren

    I play a game called Health Month. It makes me think of rules for myself, or measurable objectives, and I play by the objectives with a daily rating. My trouble is understanding my own goal of honoring the sacred.

    I have rules that are concrete, for example: My goal is to walk my dog at least three times a week. Also, I need to be outside for half an hour doing something physical. This could mean cleaning the pool, gardening, weeding, doing chicken related things, but I have to do something. I have writing goals, food goals and mental goals. The mental goal is difficult. I have to acknowledge the sacred in others, but I can’t always acknowledge it in myself.

    My son does algebra at the kitchen table. Often he is watching the Khan academy and getting tips on how to solve math problems, then he’s back at the table doing work. He is quick to cook me something if I’m hungry, and quick to jump in and use drill or saw if I need something done. I love him now as much as the day he was born. It’s easy to see the sacred in him.

    My daughter comes home from school with an armload of books. She is my most academic kid. She is focused, deliberate, and methodical. She tells me about her plans for next year, then plops onto her bed and studies. Her youth and innocence are sacred.

    My husband is generally quiet in the other room, pouring over code and working at CAD on the computer. He answers work calls and is intensely focused. His kindness makes seeing the sacred easy.

    I am not like any of them.

    My sprawl of things I’m working on is all over the house. A mess here, a pile of books there, and projects in all states of completion. I zoom out to the garden, have ideas for this and that. I flit around, cook for them, get them all to the table. I’m off work due
    to illness and have more time to think about things important things like my status update on Facebook, God and politics, and the sacred in others.

    My kids are sacred. My oldest, the one who is married, is thinking of having children. She is ready for that life change. I see the sacred in her, and I am closer to her in ways that only time produces.

    I will be 50 this year. She will be 28.
    It’s hard to look inward and realize one’s own sacredness. If I am sacred, I should really clean this room and make it reflect my worth instead of being messy. My house should be clean and smell clean like a resort. I should not sprawl my things over every surface. In fact, I should probably eat something healthy and feed the holy temple that is
    me. Perhaps eggs or yogurt with granola. I should respect my body and do things that are good for it. For me, seeing the sacred in myself is the hardest thing.

    What am I doing when I feel most sacred? What is sacred?

    Sex and the sacred seem to go together; then maybe not. Sacred sex should be honest sex. Orgasm is sacred. Rushed sex isn’t sacred unless there is mutual orgasm. Being silent about your personal needs in bed isn’t sacred. There is a difference between sacred and scared.

    It is a rearrangement and nothing more. Is some sex play more sacred or less sacred than other sex play? Any act that is not a mutual act is not sacred. Masterbation is sacred. Eating homegrown salad is sacred. The earth is sacred. Monsanto is not sacred. Wall street is not sacred.

    Healthcare, sacred. Food, sacred. Innocence, sacred. Wisdom too, is sacred. Physical health and strength are sacred.

    Hatred and being scared of others is not sacred. Bigotry is not sacred. Righteous indignation is a false sacred. A dog’s devotion is sacred. Love is sacred. Trust, sacred. Taking care of the old, the sick or the very young is sacred. Helping a new mom is sacred. Being in nature is sacred. An economy of shared food and art is sacred.

    Wine is sacred. Too much wine, maybe not.

    Exploitation of others is not sacred. Greed is not sacred.

    Lifting your voice for your own truth is sacred.

      • David

      • April 9, 2012 at 1:03 am
      • Reply

      I found this extremely interesting to read. The identification of sacred (especially when you mentioned health care) immediately reminded me of this Op-Ed that explained current politics by contradictory notions of sacred: http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/forget-the-money-follow-the-sacredness/
      (I hope you aren’t offended that I’ve sullied your beautiful post with very un-sacred political drama.)

      Despite your initial concerns, I think you are doing a wonderful job of confronting your goal to honor the sacred.

      I do have a question: Of these things you’ve named, are they sacred because they are good, or are they good as a result of being sacred? Or maybe I am seeing a difference where one doesn’t exist.

      You say that sacred things deserve reverence: “I should probably eat something healthy and feed the holy temple that is me.”
      “I should respect my body and do things that are good for it.”
      “If I am sacred, I should really clean this room”

      I see you to have identified some main sources of the sacred.
      aesthetics: sex, art, cleanliness
      morality: caring for the elderly, sick, and young; advising the inexperienced; sharing food / resources. Examples of anti-sacred in immoral actions: hatred, bigotry, exploitation, greed
      virtues: innocence, wisdom, health, strength, loyalty, love, trust
      and then other comforts: food, the earth, homegrown salad, wine

      Again, I’m sorry for deconstructing your Sacred posting. I’m not try to challenge it, rather I only want to understand better. I hope you understand!

      PS- Your family sounds awesome!

    • Well said Jesse. Sorry you are off work for an illness. Feel better and take your sacred time to take care of yourself.

    • Jesse, YOU are sacred. 🙂

      • Jesse

      • April 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm
      • Reply

      David, I really enjoyed your deconstruction. In my mind I was checking off the columns of what is sacred. Why healthcare? in the core of my existence, my twin died because of lack of good medical care. Ann Romney wouldn’t have lost a child like my mom did. I digress. Like the article, there are tribal aspects. However, for me it was more of a meditation.
      Since I can’t do what I would consider close to normal for me, I am doing a lot of self reflection. I choose to focus on what I can do and not what I can’t. Part of that means a reassessment of the self. Lastly, an Easter story without “He died for your sins” just seemed necessary. Self reflection and a bit of tribal identity needed to win out over no reflection and a dominant identity. J

      • Jesse

      • April 15, 2012 at 8:55 pm
      • Reply

      PS, My family is awesome.

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