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Holli McCormick
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Hello World! I am Holli, but better known as the Joy Gal, writing about my personal journey out of bondage to self-doubt, self-criticisms and people-pleasing tendencies over at Practice Joy. This written documentary of my journey was sparked when I woke up to find myself in unhealthy relationships based on power, abuse and control - and realized many in the world around me are also locked into these unhealthy patterns. Of all the tools God has given me along this journey - learning how to practice celebration, practice joy has been a life saver - and thus the name of my blog and upcoming classes. Please join me when you can as I learn how to put my childish ways behind me, grow into an emotional adult, and Practice Joy along the way. 

The World Jesus Lived In?

Wednesday, January 02, 2013 #reconciliation #patriarchy #Jesus #anger #John #evil #hierarchy #crying #myth #redemption



Yesterday I talked about why it is so hard for most of us to go through the process of grieving.  Today, I will take a play out of the play book of Jesus...and hopefully give you a chance to see through my new Spiritual eyes as I look at the Spiritual Truths this wise sage departed to the world.  Let's start with what I see as another way the world has us jumping over our feelings by training us to:


Glorify a System of hierarchy that keeps its place in our world through the use of power/control, abuse and violence.  This System that uses violence shows up in our cartoons, super heroes, schools, companies, churches...and even in our most intimate relationships.  Here is an excerpt from the book, Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity in the chapter "The Myth of Redemptive Violence" where the authors talk about why more and more Christians are stepping away from the Doctrine of Salvation in which Jesus must be brutally murdered by his own father in order to save the rest of us from ourselves:


"We spank children to teach them not to hit one another.  We sanction the killing of killers as a deterrent against killing.  We advocate the arming of citizens to promote personal safety.  Is it any wonder that people are being deluded into complying with a system that allies them with violence not compassion, with death not life?  We are a wholly compromised culture that can't even imagine the existence of any alternatives.  In short, Wink says the myth of redemptive violence 'is the simplest, laziest, most exciting, uncomplicated, irrational, and primitive deception of evil the world has ever known.'"


For anyone that has even some background in either psychology, parenting or leading/directing others, you know that people follow your actions much more than they follow your words.  If our System is set up in such a way that the very foundation is BASED on violence - even if that supposed violence is meant to end all other violence - the brain/body connection cannot comprehend this.  The brian/body looks at what is demonstrated to  it and will always seek to recreate that as the foundation for its own life.  Therefore, if violence is what the foundation of System is, then violence is what the brain/body will gravitate towards.


Is this truly the world you care to live in?  Do you think this is the world Jesus lived in?




As I sat on my yoga mat on Monday, sobbing and rocking myself, I thought of the shortest verse in the Bible...


"Jesus wept."

John 11:35


I began to think of the sermon I heard last year about this verse, The Miraculous Tear.  One of the pastors, Jim Candy, does a monologue in this sermon I will never forget.  He talks about how this is a very weak translation of the what Jesus reportedly did here was not just weep a few tears...but bent over in agony as he allowed himself to feel the pain in his body.  Jim talks about Jesus as the Son of God, because that is the point of view of the letter from John - as far as I know from what I have been taught and what I have read myself.  


However, being in a different place with my in a place where I live in limbo on who Jesus was - I try to think of Jesus as just one of us.  A man, raised in a tradition that taught both spiritual truths and religious doctrine inside cultural norms.  A man who one day realized the world where the System of patriarchy/hierarchy reigned was a world he could no longer live in.  And so he stepped out of that world into a different one - one in which he was able to live the Spiritual Truths he saw in his tradition. 


This Jesus could call himself the son of God, not because he was any different from you and me...but because he simply recognized his inherent divinity by recognizing the Light and the Truth that lived in him lived in all living things.  


This Jesus could say he was the only way to the Father because he knew getting to the Divine through this world's System of patriarchy was not possible...that one would have to follow the path of Jesus and step outside the System into a different world.  


This Jesus knew that his death was immanent not because it was foretold in the scriptures but because he lived in a time of great political/religious upheaval and there would be consequences for challenging the political/religious world where everyone else lived.


When I place THIS Jesus in the story of Lazarus, I get Jesus.  I can relate to him more this way.  He was human, just like you, just like me.  He was a man that had stopped closing himself off to his heart, to his emotions.  He was a man that validated his feelings and those of the people around him.   In doing so - he opened himself up to Love of the highest kind - that joy-gasmic love I talked about before.  He was a man that knew in order to open oneself up to this kind of love - he also had to be willing to feel the pain that living in the body can bring.  He didn't shut it down.  He didn't stop it, jump over it or try to rush past it.    He felt it...deep, heart and gut wrenching pain.  


So, how about you?  Will you take Jesus' lead and step outside the world that honors only the rational mind - and step into a world that uses both your head and your heart to live?  


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