Monday, February 8, 2010

All Who Wander

There is a wonderful quote of Tolkien's which has always given me courage.  At times when I feel that I a bit scattered and not necessarily moving forward in a straight line I think back to his words. "All who wander are not lost."  Such a profound statement in so few words.  Personally I think it a wise thing to wander then and again.  It allows one to go off the beaten path and find new things to make their mind think on. 

I have always felt somewhat sorry for those who allow others to tell them how everything is, never questioning for themselves.  You know the ones I am talking about.  The ones who allow someone to be the authority on things they feel are important in their lives.  I have always wondered why people do this.  I do understand that there truly are those who know more, are more educated, etc.  Yet when it comes to some things, let's say beliefs.... why would you want to allow someone to have such power over you.  I guess in a way I was fortunate.  Although I was very much an introvert as a child it allowed me to sit back and observe.  And believe me I did just that, which at times confused me even more.  Yet in my confusion I just wandered further in til I found the answers that satisfied me. 

Not growing up in a specific church home, I passed around to 5 of the denominations that were represented in the small town I grew up in.  My first experience was with the Lutheran church.  It was the closest thing that my mother who was originally from Germany felt comfortable with.  Even then she had problems with the social aspect that Americans put into their church going.  I remember her saying often that it was just a place to go and show off your new clothes and that was just not right. 

Then at 4 I started to attend the Methodist Church with an older couple who were childless and somewhat adopted me as a grandchild.  It was here that I truly got my first taste of the Christian religion.  One of my favorite events was once a month they would have a dinner and invite a missionary who had served in another country to speak.  I loved to hear of the adventures they had.  I found it so exciting.  One specific time we had a man from the Philippines.  He brought money from his country for the children and was so kind.  His wife prepared a dish that was native to the Philippines.  It was on this night at the raw age of 5 maybe 6 that I heard my first words of hypocrisy spoken.  The missionary had spoken and all were winding down from their meal.  People were too and fro visiting with one another.  Being a small kid no one really took mind of me as I walked around the room.  I remember overhearing 2 men speaking to one another and the words they spoke confused me.  They were making fun of the missionary and his wife.  Saying unkind words about them  and the manner in which they lived.  I could not understand this as a child.  I remember so vividly wondering why they would do such a thing.  Because only earlier they sat and talked and laughed with the man.  Needless to say as a young child this perplexed me deeply. 

There were other incidents throughout my life, whether Baptist, Christian, or so on... yet that is not the pathway I want this post to take.  It would be easy to post numerous events where man did not shine his brightest.  I do not want to expound on the negative aspect of this point.  I want to stress the positive...

I learned very early to look for the answers to my questions myself.  Of course this meant asking, listening, and learning from those around me.  Yet it did not necessarily mean that I had to accept everything that they said to me.   Some of you may be thinking, who are you to question... I am me thats who I am... I was taught that the relationship between God and one is personal... I learned that at a very young age... I witnessed that at a very young age... If it is so personal then why do I need to let someone else tell me what it is I am suppose to believe....

If something did not feel right to me... did not sit with me well I asked for guidance, for wisdom... Such things could come in a variety of manners...., A teacher, a friend, a child's words, a book, a song, from nature.... and on and on... It was endless... It was just a manner of opening up my mind and allowing it in.  So many times there are messages all around us in so many forms, yet because we are programmed not to listen to such things in this manner we don't get the full benefit. 

I have learned more from Mother Earth then I have learned from any human.  I have learned more from the simplicity and honesty of a child then I have learned from an arrogant adult who feels that they are superior over me because of the position they hold.  I have learned more from a simple look at a persons eyes who has suffered and endured, from sitting silently with someone after the passing of a loved one, from laughing at the pain experienced,  and so on. 

It is not the norm I think to be this way... Or so it seems that many people prefer to be told what it is they are to do... How they should act, what they should and shouldn't say.  In a way I understand.  Yet what is so wrong about wandering... what is so wrong about going off and trying to experience it for yourself... Yea there will be stumbles along the way, yet isn't that how we learn.  Yea sometimes we may think we are somewhere only to be reminded that we really are not as  high as we thought.....

There was a book I read as a  young girl and occasionally I pick it up and read it again.  It is an allegory something I truly love. .  Hines Feet in High Places by Hanna Hurnard.  It is somewhat of a Christian book yet to me it could pertain to anyone.  It speaks of the climb we all take through life and the journey.  A wonderful uplifting book that truly makes you think twice about all the things that may occur to you throughout life.

I guess in some ways (probably many) I intertwine my early influences of the church into my beliefs now.  Yet I will be honest and say that I can not bring myself to go to a "church"  I do not like the way the church tries to force one into a specific manner of living.  Not allowing them to have a say in anyway as to what they may feel.  I also do not like the judgmental manner some treat others.  Now I know that this is something that occurs even outside the "church" and sometimes in the pagan belief system too. Yet it does not seem to be such a prolific characteristic. 

I still consider myself on my journey.. I have been so fortunate to meet many along the ways.  Many of all faiths.  Some I have grown to truly love and others I can not seem to understand where they are coming from... I am far from perfect.. .Learned to accept that about myself a long time ago.  I can be a bit pushy sometimes if I feel strongly about something and at times have to pull myself back and stop.  I am terribly protective to a mother bears stance of those who are dear to me, friends, family whatever. I always protect the underdog, to a fault.  I am a hopeless romantic and optimist and truly do not enjoy ones who look at things negative constantly... even if they call it being realistic... I have a very long fuse and usually it will never ignite especially to the point of explosion, yet if it does... watch out.... It is the Scorpio in me that comes out at this time and believe me sometimes it is not pretty....

Once again I do not claim to be perfect... I am just me... walking along my path... experiencing my journey.  I try to be nice and pleasant... yet am sure at times to some I appear that I am not.  Yet this wanderer will continue to do just that... Wander here and there... and though sometimes it may appear to some that I am lost without a cause... believe me I am right where I need to be...

11 comments:

Linda in New Mexico said...

Once again, a thought, well said. I admired people who questioned when I was younger as the most fortunate of peoples, now that I am older I realize that they (you) are blessed. I have for at least 2/3 of my life been a people pleaser now I am a me pleaser. Much better fit. Thanks for your words of blessed wisdom. There are very many who would just follow becaue they feel "unworthy". I hope they read and heed it's okay to wander and wonder.

Mother's Moon's Message said...

oh Linda... I too had my time as a people pleaser... just finally realized that it was not a good thing... People will take as much as you give them.. especially if you are doing it willingly... why should they question.... Then when you do stop because of whatever reasons you may have it is difficult for them to see why... and in a sense it is not their issue yet your own... Hard pill to swallow sometime yet it is true...

faerwillow said...

"I have learned more from Mother Earth then I have learned from any human. I have learned more from the simplicity and honesty of a child then I have learned from an arrogant adult who feels that they are superior over me because of the position they hold. I have learned more from a simple look at a persons eyes who has suffered and endured, from sitting silently with someone after the passing of a loved one, from laughing at the pain experienced, and so on"

these words should be in BOLD! your words are lessons that each if willing to allow in have learned...twice now...from sitting silently with someone after the passing of a loved one...we have watched life be taken from us right before our eyes...life quietly slipping away and yet it just remains stronger in my mind of the JOURNEY we are on...it never ends but seems to be filled with constant beginnings..."not all who wander are lost" one of my utmost favorite words...it came to me when i was wandering around feeling lost...i read it on a bumper sticker of a car and for days it remained on my mind...i realised then i had not been lost just wandering through my life trying to find a different path...such an inspiring post to share with us all...thank you for a beautiful enlightening monday morn...brightest blessings~

WyldeSage said...

This was just what I needed to hear this morning! I too feel the very same way. I have wandered much in my life, trying to find my footing, yet all the while fighting what "other people" i.e. family, society, ect...think of me and my life and where I should be at a certain stage. It becomes very daunting, especially to those of us who have certain ideas of how we want and need to live our lives. I love that quote and stand by it as well.

Miss Sandra said...

Thank you for these words. They remind me that the road is one of self-discovery..after all, if we do not wander, will we not remain stagnant? Lovely post. Be well!
Blessings galore,
Sandra

mxtodis123 said...

As usual, a wonderful and thoughtful post. Life is a never ending journey of learning...and I love it. Well said.
Mary

Bogaman said...

You call it wandering, I call it a free spirit. That which causes us to be different than some. X.

Rue said...

I just love the flow of your words!

I've always felt like a wanderer myself and have finally embraced it after all these years. It's all about the journey!

Thanks for this beautiful post!

Willow said...

My Mother belong to one church while I was growing up, but she wanted to go to any I wanted to because she wanted me to choose what I wanted for myself. I had friends from many religions so I got to go to alot of different churches. I have changed religions 3 times in my life, but now feel more at home the way I believe now than at any time in my life. I am thankful she let me choose what I wanted.

Willow

Lyon said...

Beautiful post, Mama. I'm so very grateful that you are indeed "just you, walking along your path" because this world would be a lot worse for wear if you were not.

Keep wandering and thinking for yourself, it looks good on you! ;-)

Bridgett said...

I think we all go through that 'need to please' stage during childhood. And many people never grow out of feeling they need to please everybody but themselves.

My mom is like that. She's so worried about everybody else all the time, she doesn't take care of herself or her needs at all.

As for church, I feel the exact same way. They want conformation. And if you don't conform, you're obviously being led astray by the devil.

I grew up Methodist and this is what was taught to me. Frankly, I thought it sucked donkey balls.

I hope you find fulfillment on your journey, Janie.

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