25 June 2008

wHo'S mY fAmiLy...?!!!

questions like this one rose up in my mind during my time at the rainbow gathering in north Spain...I went with Ton...we arrived when about 200 people were already there, and left after the full moon when approximately 500 people showed up...
"we are circling , circling together,
we are living , living our heart song,
this is FAMILY,
this is unity,
this is celebration,
this is sacred..."
was the usual song we sang when we joined for "food circle" twice a day...
was this family for me?!!!
Was this real unity?!!!

I had many weird moments in this time at the rainbow gathering... and I realised once again I'm not so good in big gatherings of people...it's too overwhelming for me...
I went mainly to be with those I met before and reconnect...
to be with those I felt like family, those I was missing and longing to be with... but I felt alone in the midst of a crowd... this is not unfamiliar to me either... loneliness has nothing to do with the amount of people I'm surrounded with...
Also, big rainbow gathering are in itself different than small ones... it's more like a meeting of different families who come together...and it was so different in Germany  because even if it was much bigger (more than 2000 people), I was with my spiritual family as well...and I didn't feel lost nor alone there...
This time I guess I lacked my family in the big Family...
so, as a thinker that I am, I started to ponder why was I having these feelings...
I missed the ones in the Mount of Oaks...I missed the Borden's with whom I lived in Lisbon and moved to Africa almost 2 years ago...I missed Emma, my best friend...Juran, Mathias, Anne, Jonathan, Judith, and others who were at the gathering in Germany...I missed many of those who were part of my community in Lisbon...and others with whom I've been journeying throughout my life course...
I realised I was missing those who really know me... those I can be in silence with and feel we are sharing something together...
I don't wanna say I didn't meet many beautiful and lovely people at this gathering, but maybe I was expecting more... more intimacy maybe, more depth in conversations and relationships...
As I said, I'm not so good dealing with big gatherings of people, cuz I feel I never have real quality time with anyone and I don't really know where or to whom to turn to...
Anyway, after sharing all these feelings with God I felt at peace... loneliness was something we were already chatting about, and it was a confirmation for me that nothing in this world nor in this life will fill this gap... I know one day I will feel complete...and I so long for this day :-)...
I also got some comfort from a friend in which lap I could lay my head and be still for a short while... a good lap always feels good :-)...

next day I was at the food circle and saw this friend...she didn't seem so good so I stood from my place and went to her to give her a hug... for my surprise she said she didn't want any hug... I didn't know what was going on with her...she definitely didn't seem ok... I understood and wanted to respect her space, but I noticed I felt hurt at the same time... specially cuz I feel such a strong connection and love for her... I wanted to go after her and see if I could do something, but at the same time I was afraid she might simply discard my help...and I would get hurt again... it seemed selfish, but I couldn't go to her till 2 days after... and thankfully we were able to speak just before I went away... I just cannot handle this sort of things to stay in my mind... she deals with things differently and didn't seem so worried about discussing it, but I'm really glad she listened to my heart at least... deep inside I wished she would have trusted me as a friend to help her or simply to listen to her, but I didn't want anything to be forced as well... we all have our ways to deal with things anyway...
Again my feelings and thoughts were overwhelming me after that experience at the circle... I needed to go somewhere alone... (it's interesting how I long for solitude when I feel alone...Hummm... maybe because I know only God can fill the gap)  

I went up to one of the amazing mountains surrounding us... I got to the top and had an amazing wider view of the rainbow camp... I knelt down and simply asked God " what am I doing here anyway?!! I don't really feel to be with those I wanted and I don't seem to have anything to give to them..."
I simply burst into tears... my heart was filled with pain...hurt...rejection feelings... different faces were coming to my mind, and my prayers were made into tears...no need of words... I also find no words to explain it better...
in the end, Peace came... I understood I went there for that... to cry and pray... I knew those tears were not mine as well (it's not the first time this happens to me at a rainbow gathering)... and also the feelings of being lost , of loneliness and rejection were not only mine as well... somehow I felt many people there were feeling the same but not really expressing it (some could have been even disguising it or hiding it)... I could do nothing about it but pray... not many people were open as well to share their heart's pains, or if they did, they were not really willing to solve them...
Anyway, these were just my impressions... maybe I was totally off...but that's how I felt it !!!

For me that's what I miss in a family, a space to express my feelings, whether they are good or not... people with whom I can be in silence with if that is what I need...with whom I can speak and listen both superficial and deep things...with whom I can cry or laugh, being honest with my own condition of the moment...people with whom I feel one with, in the soul level and the spiritual...
That was probably the main thing I was missing... a spiritual connection... I had few strong soul connections, specially with those who came to the land some weeks before, but besides Ton I didn't feel any other spiritual connection with all the others... In the rainbow family everyone has their own spiritual journey, their own perception about God or whatever name they give to Him/Her/It... I totally respect everyone, and many are very honest in the way they seek God, but I just don't feel the same connection... My relationship with God is personal, with Whom I speak with and whom I try to listen and follow... And I do miss others who have the same kind of connection... It's interesting too how in Germany I was with people I just met, but because we had the same Spirit in us, it was like we knew for ages... sometimes this happens in the soul level too, but when it's in the spirit, there's something even stronger...
I was missing someone to pray together with ...
I went few times to the Shambala tent, which was a common place to worship or sing spiritual songs, but even there I didn't feel connected with God... for me it was mainly singing random songs, usually in a strange language I couldn't connect with, and to gods I had no idea who they were...Shiva, Krisna, Kali, etc... I heard about them, I knew something about them, but I don't really know them personally the way I know Jesus, and they definitely never spoke to me the way Jesus speaks... I don't feel them as well, the way I feel the Spirit of Jesus in me... so, all that made it hard for me to feel unity in the spiritual level... It was nice to hear people singing, but nothing more beyond that... and I also didn't feel free to express my worship to Jesus there, as it seems that all other gods are cool and are accepted, but when it comes to Jesus there is a certain apprehension...there was a candle with Jesus' picture on it there, but still, that meant nothing for me anyway...just like all other symbols
I even understand that reluctance towards Jesus cuz often He is put on the same bag as Christianity, and the picture most people have of Christianity is not the most attractive , peaceful and loving as it should be...or simply not true... 
That makes me sad as well, cuz I know Jesus has nothing to do with this picture "christianity" made of Him...
Anyway, I don't want to mumble anymore here... just wanted to share a bit of my heart ... hope you don't mind...

going back to the family issue... my main struggle is that I do feel as a family with the rainbows, I often say it is my tribe, if I have any on earth... but I do know I belong to another family... Jesus' family... and I have a Father and Mother in Heaven with whom I'll spend eternity one day...
I feel like Jesus...One time He was with His disciples and someone said  his mother, Mary, and his siblings were calling outside for him ...to which he replied " who is my mother, and brother, and sister?!!! Those who do my Father's will are my mother and brother and sister"...
I don't think he meant to be rude, but he wanted to point out his spiritual family, the eternal family... We will be together one day...in spirit and truth... 
John had a vision as well, where peoples from all tribes, languages and nations would be together, singing, celebrating and honouring the One who welcome us all into the Big Family...
I'll be there with the Rainbow tribe I believe :-)... then no more veils nor anything will ever separate us... we will see each other as we really are...who we really are !!! 


I finish with a prayer I sing to God:


YOU ARE FATHER OF ALL
YOU ARE THE MOTHER WHO HOLDS
YOU ARE THE SPIRIT INSIDE ME
JESUS, CARRY ME HOME...
CARRY ME HOME...
YOU ARE THE ONE WHO HOLDS MY HAND
YOU ARE THE ONE WHO WALKS BESIDE ME
YOU ARE THE ONE WHO WIPES MY TEARS
JESUS, CARRY ME HOME...
YOU ARE THE ONE WHO BRINGS ME PEACE
YOU ARE THE ONE WHO SINGS TO ME
YOU ARE THE ONE WHO GIVES ME JOY
JESUS, DANCE WITH ME...
DANCE WITH ME




13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh BAba

Bless you!!!

I know that space too. I encounter it so often in gatherings. Especially with those I am attracted to. And it hurts. You have been blessed with the knowledge and wisdom to use that as intercession on behalf of the larger body!!! That is so cool that you allowed Jesus to take you that deep in it without being overcome by the fear and rejection. More of us nee to know that truth so we can venture out and into the hearts of many... You planted seeds... on that mountain!!! With your tears... So beautiful!! And now may your heart be filled with the love of our almighty creator!!!
Bless You!!!! You are making ripples across the globe you know!!! Ripples of love that will fall on the shores of many hearts!!! And the truth does not come back void!!!

Woo Hoo!!!!

Whitney S. (the other whitney)

Anonymous said...

hi baba! thank you for sharing your heart. thats what i want to know about, and in reading the blog i felt close to you, but i want you to feel close to me too....its been maybe years since weve talked! you've been on my mind lately... i think of how thankful i am that you have perservered through so much lonliness and i beleive there will be a jesus family and your tribe together on your land! i know carly will visit you soon! shes part of my family and tribe here! i do know that spirit connection you talk about with people you just met! i lovve that. i am so thankful God is so clear and personal to you and that you go to him and you know there is no other! i share this in common with you. i love you. lets stay connected. from the lisbon days....leslie

Baba said...

leslie....I miss you sooooo much... I think of you often, and wished you would come with Carly...
stay in touch...would love to "hear" from you...still have the same e.mail address? I know you´re not so much into e.mails, but anyway...
I love you Leslie...
good days in Lisbon...eh, eh...

matew said...

Hey Baba, you've expressed here a bunch of astute, sharply analyzing thoughts ... I really appreciate your ability to do so! What you long for and call "family" is a precious verbalization of what I search also and call "community".

Reading the part about you being sad on account of also the loneliness of all the people around you ... yea, I think I understand that feeling. It's weird to live in a world so full of people and loneliness, and not knowing how to explain their need to people.

There's really no family without Jesus (the Spirit connection you mentioned) ... because there are no people who can live out family values for real, without being changed by the Spirit first.

Blessings,
matew

Baba said...

thanks Matew for your comment...
just woudl like to add one little thing about what you said in the end... I don't really agree with what you state "there's no real family without Jesus..." ... I know what you mean though, but I've seen more of a spirit of "family" with people who don't know Jesus than in most of "christian communities"...
Christianity has lost the sense of community and family long time ago and has become an institution, a recreational set off activities and one more religion among many... (maybe that's why "church" is not so attractive to rainbow people and so many others)...But I'm glad many who are really willing to follow Jesus are becoming dissatisfied with that "picture" and going after BEING a "family" again...
Indeed , God is our best example of a family...God is 3 in one, in perfect unity and harmony bonded in LOVE...God is the perfect Father and Mother and brother and sister of all... yet, I believe God has put in every people's hearts what it is to be a real family...that's why so many people crave for it and look for groups to connect with... it doesn't mean they are perfect... none of us will ever reach perfection in this life anyway... yet, we pursue it with all our hearts...
this was actually what most attracted me to the "Rainbow family" when I first got in touch with them 12 years ago...
they might not be perfect, but most of them are real in their attempt to be a family with all human beings...
PEACE

matew said...

Baba, thanks for clarifying my roughly verbalized sentence :) I'd say, basically I share your view ... .

That's a sad but true picture of (general) Christianity that you draw. And indeed, today's Christianity is no real family though Jesus is said to be there ... . It's sad how consequently we as humans use our potential to block God's blessings, so to speak. So, "With Jesus there's always real family." is certainly not a true statement.

And yes, it's attractive to meet any kind of people who realize their (God-created) desire to be family. They will also reach a good level of living as a family ... . Just, I think there's a level above that, which we cannot reach by human efforts. It needs being educated by God to get nearer to that level of family living ... . If I got you right, this higher level was something you were missing at the last Rainbow gathering.

Now it's a good question how God teaches this level of love to people ... is it an immediate "magic" change, made by the Holy Spirit in us? Is it effected by accepting God's authority and starting to obey? Or by the educating, spiritual gifts of brothers and sisters? Or ...

I really don't know! Jus' think it's not simply the first alternative ... learning to love is no magic but an educational change.

Which means there might well be people who don't follow Jesus, yet are educated in "family love" through other means. And there will always be aspects that I as a Christian can learn from them. That's probably what you admire at the Rainbow tribe ... .

Blessings, sister! Really love the vivid, inspiring discussions with you ...
matew

Baba said...

thanks again... I like discussions...that's why it's hard for me to use full stops in the end of sentences...my thoughts are just "in the air", not statements :-)

yes, if we look at God and obey we will learn what "family" really means...
but we have to be honest and recognise that it's not easy to be a real loving family...it's not easy to deal with our differences...it's not easy to deal with our own personal faults or wounds which prevent us from being honest and open to all...it's not easy to forgive when someone hurt us...it's not easy to speak the truth in love when it's needed...it's not easy to be always graceful and merciful, etc... anyway, it's not easy to be like God :-) ...so yes I agree with you...only by The Spirit of God we can achieve that, not by our own strength or good willing... whether we recognise it or not...
but definitely that's what God wants from us all...

Indeed it's not a "magical change"...it's a learning process... I learnt a lot through many people, specially one family in particularly, with whom I lived for some years, the Borden's (you can find out more about them on this post http://shantipilgrim.blogspot.com/2006/08/bordens.html)...I never met such a perfect family... Jesus is definitely the centre of that family, the centre of each of their relationships... husband and wife, father and kids (4), mother and kids, brothers and sister...and I believe that is a strong foundation for a family... :-)
Bless you brother...

K Knowles said...

Hi Baba,

I think I heard you speak at the MG2015 conference in March 2007 in Lisboa.

I work in Portugal as a missionary (so, I am linked with many church institutions) but I do appreciate your blog and can relate to many of your feelings which you express on your blog.

I especially liked how you felt a profound difference being in an environment where other gods that you didn't know were worshipped... that you knew there was a difference between Jesus and these other gods that others sincerely seek... I'm glad you can discern this difference. Perhaps our paths will cross in Portugal someday. I pray that Jesus will continue to teach you how to be a family with others.

Janet Woodlock said...

I'd have to say for myself that the feeling you describe can be most intense when the "rhetoric" is that of family, oneness, etc.

If you're in the midst of a big impersonal organisation there's no expectation that the "hunger of the soul" for community will be met... so you don't open yourself up looking for it. When there's the language of "family" but the reality of disconnected people, the contrast only emphasises a feeling of loneliness.

This post reminds me of the old quote from Augustine... which translates as "You have made us for yourself, oh Lord, and our hearts are restless 'til they find their rest in you". Even the best connection with others is but a joyous echo of the union with God we are invited towards.

Anyway... you asked me to let you know when I'd posted something about Sabbath, so I have! Fascinating blog Baba.

The Winters said...

Hey Shanti Barbie! You are gorgeous and we all love you loads and loads here in Zion. There are loads of laps here where you can lie on and say nothing whenever you want. Cos we're already family. From the first moment we met, Von and I felt an immediate and deep connection with who you are and what you are doing, eventhough we knew nothing about you. And every time we have hooked up since has been utterly delicious. You are our inspiration and our guide in these things of community. We have already learned so so so much from you, from being connected with your spirit, which you share so freely, so generously and so warmly. Por isso, estou ansioso para os próximos anos de nós. Memphis! xxxx

The Winters said...

Hey Beautiful Shanti B...
All these words we write, think, speak, hear and yet I wonder if what we are all seeking is a deep silence within, and to share that unspoken beauty with those around us. To be softened, opened up and encouraged by silence.

True silence is one of the hardest things to cultivate, it is a practice but one that requires love and trust amongst those you are with. It is hard to resist the temptation to project our insecurities onto others and moreso when they are silent. Silence is about trust, is about letting go of the desire to control or manipulate or project. For me I can be in a group and not talk, but still not be silent. In my head there may be so much going on that the silence is drowned out by thoughts.

I love you. I am so grateful that you are in existence and that we are neighbours of a sort. You can come and be silent with me anytime you fancy Shanti B...

Peace and love

River

Anonymous said...

hey, i just read this post! it is funny that i was working through similar questions this last month while on the move. I found that i connected with the 'strangest' people. I found several who professed to be muslim and jewish but had the spirit of Jesus, and I also connected with several who professed to have no real 'faith', but who also has the special essence- i also had times this last month when i was going to bed so lonely and literally crying for comfort- and so i can identify with what you wrote my dearest sister! I have so much more to share with you, so please lets talk soon. needless to say the travels in croatia, cyprus, israel and palestine have taught me valuable lessons and caused me to praise god many times. love you, as always, wee me. xoxoxoxo

eddy said...

hey barba ,
ya, its good to read your honest thoughts , (find a liddle tear in my eye)
i also really know this feelings of loneliness, in the midst of peaple i like,
and this desire of true conection.
i love jesus for his great family plan,
how good , how precios , how pure , and home.
brothagreetings,with hope for meeting you again , ...eddy