Have you ever thought about what shape you are? And I don’t mean what kind of shape you are IN, but rather which geometric shape you are. Bet you didn’t think you had a geometric shape, did ya? Well, perhaps you do. As a psychologist, I’m a little shamed to admit that I find silly internet quizzes fun and almost informative, but I do. If you share this view, click here and find out your shape. You can click on View All Results to read descriptions of the other shapes. Leave your shape in the comments if you want to play along. Come on…. you know you want to! 😉
I am very much a circle. Words like harmony and connection and intuition just make me feel good and I see my life through a kind of circular lens. Always looking for relationships between ideas and people. It’s the way I think and process the world. So……. I had a very happy circle moment yesterday in a conversation with Toad and our minister.
We were meeting with him to discuss the ceremony and the conversation could not have gone better. First, he gave us a packet of information (I also DO love an info packet) that began with a letter outlining the distinction btw religious marriage (blessing by a minister of a specific faith tradition) and civil marriage (blessing by the state) and explaining that he officiates only religious marriage ceremonies and does not sign any paperwork as a representative of the state. So, if he can’t confer special rights (hospital benefits, health insurance, estate taxes, etc) to all couples, then he won’t do it for any couple. He goes on to ask straight couples (who will have to go through the courthouse process in addition to the religious ceremony process) to explain the reasoning to their friends and families. How great is that?!!
The rest of our time was spent talking about our relationship, why we are (collectively and individually) making this decision, what our thoughts about raising a family are, etc. We talked about different faith traditions. We talked about humanism and transcendentalism. It was a fabulous conversation and I was thrilled to be having it in a church. To be acknowledged and understood and challenged. All at once.
I have struggled with religious identity since I was a teenager. I grew up in the Episcopal church and I loved it. I loved the rituals, I loved the community, I loved the ethic of asking questions and thinking deeply about things that really matter. I didn’t love the official policies of the church as they relate to gay people. I continue to believe that most of the people that align with that tradition do not hold the views that the church espouses, but where does that leave me? Well, for years it left me outside of organized religion. And then in a conversation with Toad’s parents, the idea of the Unitarian Universalists came up. It struck both of us at just the right moment I guess and we decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad we did.
So, back to the circle. Right in the midst of our conversation, I was struck with the realization that this man (the minister) has the same name (first and last) as my childhood priest. What is the probability of that? That the man who will be blessing my relationship shares a name with such a key figure in my childhood and adolescence. This was a man who drove me to school in a rickety red pick-up truck every Wed AM after the youth held morning prayer. He sat with us when one of our friends died in a motorcycle accident. He encouraged me to think for myself and trust my own voice. He hung a huge picture of Jesus Laughing in the narthex and I loved him deeply. I DO love a circle.