Saturday, June 16, 2012

But

When I was a little girl
My momma took me to church
and I learned the names for God and Jesus
I learned all the songs and how to pray
They told me to love my Heavenly Father
and I would be happy and go to heaven

So,
I am a child of God
God is love
And families are forever
I understand,  okay

When I was eight they baptized me
One dunk, and I was purified
They laid hands upon my head
and gave me the gift of the Holy Ghost
They promised His spirit would go with me
as long as I lived the way they said

But
I am a child of God
God is love
And families are forever
so that's okay

When I was a teenager
I didn't know if I believed them
I sometimes didn't do what they said
I was told I just had to repent
and I could be clean again
they always forgave me, and it was enough

But
I am a child of God
God is love
And families are forever
so that's okay

When I was a young adult
I lost my way entirely
I didn't believe them, they didn't care
I was pregnant and eighteen
They said get married, it will be okay
I pretended to believe them, and they let me stay

But
I am a child of God
God is love
And families are forever
so that's okay

When I was a young mother
I went back to the church
I took my baby girl, and then my baby boys
My children learned the names for God and Jesus
My children learned the songs, the prayers
And I believed we would reach heaven together

And
I am a child of God
God is love
And families are forever
and we'll be okay

When I was fully grown
I went to church each week, I served the people in my ward
I taught my children all their stories
I loved God and Jesus and I prayed
I believed what they said- most of it
And when I didn't, I convinced myself to overlook it-

But
I am a child of God
God is love
And families are forever
so that's okay

When I went through a terrible divorce
I went to church for guidance, for help
Nobody had time to talk to me, to comfort me
I was alone with three small children
So I turned to God and prayed and wept
I couldn't think of a reason they left me alone-

But
I am a child of God
God is love
And families are forever
so that's okay

When I was a wayward woman
The bishop pulled me in (he had found some time)
He told me that I was not forigven
He told me I was outcast
He ripped my heart out of my chest
He turned my soul to blackened ash
Repentance and forgiveness lost-

But
I am a child of God
God is love
And families are forever
so that's okay

em

Love. (See the period there?)

As a gestational surrogate (surrogate mother), I am often assailed with questions about how I could do this to my body, my family, yada yada.  The only answer I have is:  love.  When I see somebody hurting, I want to help.  When I see a woman/man/family that can not grow, it breaks my heart. 
When I realize how easily I could help them fix that, how can I say no? 
If you saw a wounded child on the side of the road, how could you not help them?
Would it matter if that child were your own?  Would it matter if that infertile woman was your sister?  Sadly, it would. 
And then I think of all of the other ways in which we, as a society, do not show love.  When we hate people because of their race, their religion, their gender, their sexual preference.  And I realize that even though we claim to love each other, we pretty much pick and choose who we want to love.
And then I get angry.
I was raised by a mother (and, I must give credit, a religion) that taught me to love everyone.  I was taught that every single human being is a child of God, regardless of anything else, and that was the most important thing.  I was taught "Jesus said love everyone".  I never thought to question that statement.  I love everyone.  Well, I don't love everyone, honestly, there are people I really don't like.  But I don't like them for personal reasons, not for anything silly like the color of their eyes.
I didn't realize at the time that most people teach "love everyone" to their children, and then, through their actions, teach their children who "everyone" really is.  Luckily for me, my mother really did love everyone, so I never learned how not to love everyone.
As I have grown, my view has changed on many things.  I don't know that I even know what God is anymore, so I don't know how well I can connect everything to Jesus, but I do know that whatever you believe God is- whether He is a She, Mother Earth, a pantheon of gods, a spirit that lives in each of us, the power of our own minds, the collective spirit of all living things, whatever- that that God is love. 
I no longer prescribe to any specific religious views.  The only principle that I really prescribe to is love.
I am going to love everyone I can. 
When I look at people- it will be through the eyes of love.
When I vote- it will be through the eyes of love.
I am totally, completely, undeniable, and irrevocably imperfect.  I  make bad choices all the time, but I live with them, and when I can fix them and apologize to those I hurt, I do.  I say stupid things all the time- and I apologize all the time as well (my husband perhaps may disagree, but overall...)

I guess the point to this entire rant of mine (written while some Indiana Jones movie plays and my husband and father in law chat in a decidedly distracting manner) is to convey my frustration with all the time our society spends on issues like immigration, racial equality, gender bias, gay rights, and so many other "people" issues.  We are all people.  Can we just put our common humanity above the many differences between us?  Can we not just look on one another in the way my mother taught a young and innocent me?
It's all about love people, it's all about love.