I’ll Admit It: I’m a C-Word

girl dancing in the rain
Photo credit: Michelle on Flickr

Why is this the hard one to write?

Why is this one freezing up my fingers and slicking my skin with ice cold sweat?

Why is this the one I think you’ll stop reading me over when I have no issues whatsoever talking in detail about my poop, my period or the color taupe. (Gross, man. Taupe is just gross.)

But guys, I have a confession: I’m a Christian.

This is kind of exploding every single brain cell in my skull right now because sometimes when I even say it out loud, I think, No you’re not. You’re a cat glitterer, you crazy woman. You’re a car keyer and avoider of all office situations. You’re the person who lies on the floor in Target and puts nacho cheese in her bra.

You’re Ericka, gosh darn it.

But see, that’s the thing.

I’m still Ericka. I’m still Ericka “What Did Her Mother Put in Her Bottle?” Clay. I still love cats and glitter to the point that I’m not allowed in the state of Vermont anymore. (Spluh, like I need their stupid cheddar…sniff.)

But even more than that, I’ve taken to re-sculpturing my life so that it can support a more loving and open heart. I’m taking steps that have left me less lonely, less dark and more willing to smile and ask you your name than write you off as something you may not even be. Because fear is easy. Fear and misunderstanding is the name of the game in this world.

But I’m learning it doesn’t have to be. And man, does that feel good.

So really, this whole Christianity thing isn’t taking me away from Ericka. If anything, it’s made more Ericka-like, so much so my face won’t stop sticking this way. It’s okay. I have amazing teeth.

And no worries, you guys. I love you for you. There will be no requests to follow me down this journey because everyone has the exact road they need right beneath their feet.

All I ask is that you accept me for me. That’s it. (And to smuggle me some cheese from Vermont.)

Because “me” I fully am now, and I can’t wait to unleash all that I’m on this amazing world.

Cats, I’ll give you a five minute head start.

 

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16 Comments Add yours

  1. Ericka Clay says:

    Reblogged this on Ericka Clay and commented:

    Cats, you’re still going to have to watch your back.

    Like

  2. I’m agnostic, but you’re still Ericka, and you’re still awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ericka Clay says:

      Thank you, Martin. I appreciate this! Now where are you on smuggling that cheese? No pressure. Well, a little pressure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have cheese in every room of my house, I may or may not have an addiction.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ericka Clay says:

        There is no such thing as a cheese “addiction,” only a cheese “appreciation.” Even if that means resorting to wearing clothes made out of cheese. Cheese would want it that way.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. If I was wearing clothes made of cheese I would be naked quickly, IJS, and nobody needs to see that.

        Like

  3. Beautiful, Erika!
    Last week, I had a gentleman on an airplane ask me if I was Christian. The fact that I had just been “walking in Memphis” was still resonating in my mind and I all but sang, “Ma’am, I am tonight!”
    I’ve been a Christian all of my life, but I’m low-key about it and not sure why. Not embarrassed, just quietly spiritual, I guess. I’m hopeful that the words I write reflect the love in my heart.
    Thank you for this tonight. I often think I could/should be more upfront with my beliefs. You did this in the best of ways.
    Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ericka Clay says:

      Thank you! I definitely get that quiet spirituality thing. I’m generally a low key person (you know, other than when I’m blogging lol), and I’ve never felt a reason to defend my faith. But I started to realize that some of my being quiet about it was out of fear. I don’t want anyone to peg me for being a horribly judgmental person because that’s not who I am. And then I realized that’s not really Christianity at all, and maybe I have the opportunity to help remind people what it REALLY means to be a Christian: a loving open-hearted human being who wants to help, not hurt. You’re so right about love being reflected in your words. I always hope to do that, too.

      Thanks for reading (and understanding)! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You DO do that, my friend. I even see the evidence in your fiction. Xo

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ericka Clay says:

        That is so good to hear! 😊

        Like

  4. Jay Wilson says:

    Is there a difference between being Christian and being _a_ Christian? Not that this has anything to do with my comment, but you have to admit, as a writer, the distinction could mean different things.

    Anyway, I was born into a Christian family and stayed that way for a while. I probably lost my religious faith somewhere around the mid-nineties (high school) while I was young and still trying to figure out the world. I went from going to church every Sun with my parents to atheist in 3.7 seconds.

    I stayed that way for a few years until I realized how stupid atheism is (no offense intended to anyone that reads this comment, that’s just my opinion). How could I, in good conscious, completely rule out the existence of God? I can’t. I’m human. I can tell you that I believe in the existence of _something_ because even if we try to use the whole we evolved from the big boom, we had to come from somewhere. There is always a starting point, and something _had_ to have created the starting point of existence. I can’t be so naive to think it just is and that’s it.

    Anyway, back to you. I think it’s perfectly fine that people have religious beliefs. You seem like an amazing person. Yeah, sure, you might be Christian, but honestly, it only makes up a part of who you are. Some people might tell me different, that their religion _is_ who they are, and that might be true for some people, but it’s not true for everyone. Some people are a culmination of life’s experiences, interactions, and how they react and learn from all of it.

    Knowing this about you will make reading Dear Hearts interesting considering the content but not in a bad way. The thing about Christians, and people from other religions, is that we are who we are and who we choose to be. Some choose to have an open mind and an open heart. To love those around them. There are also the _other_ ones. Those that don’t have that open mind, who—despite the bible teaching to love even the sinners and that God is the only one that can judge—do exactly the opposite.

    Religious zealots and sword swingers have long since tarnished the religion. From the Crusades to witch burning to killing gays to terrorism. What people need to realize is that’s not everyone. Just because some religious people do some of these things doesn’t mean all religious people do all of these things. I wish more people understood that, but it’s rare. I actually touch on this in my upcoming Novella Dr. Oz of Z-Industries (I know, shameless plug), where one of the main characters is a wonderful person inside and out, but it doesn’t matter. All people see is what he is associated with, and that’s it. Like people who think that all Muslims are terrorists or that all Christians are ignorant and judgmental. These are simply untrue, and unfounded.

    This is where fear comes from, and honestly, I don’t like it. You can’t be anything without being pegged a terrible part of something that you may or may not want anything to do with.

    I get along with people of all faiths (I don’t often get along with atheists, though, haha), because I’m not here to have a relationship with their faith or their faith’s history. It’s the person that I want, which includes their religion. Not many people are like that, so your fear, is warranted, though as you mentioned, unnecessary.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I think it’s great that you are who you are. That you know who you are, even though you know you’re still growing. Many people haven’t gone there yet, and some people may never get to that point of enlightenment. The world needs more people like you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ericka Clay says:

      Such an incredibly thoughtful response, Jay. I really appreciate it.

      Here are my thoughts:

      1. Yes, I definitely think there’s a difference. In fact, that’s why I was nervous writing this because I don’t want people to believe I’m trying to label myself as ONE thing and that this ONE thing involves me being judgmental and/or close-minded because that’s just not how I operate. For me, I want to live as Christ did. I want to break down all the BS and get back to looking human beings in the eye and feeling their souls. I want to forget about having the perfect car, the perfect hair, the perfect family and all that other nonsense that keeps us at arm’s length. For the first time in my life I want to be really me and to know the REAL version of everyone.

      2. Atheism is also a hard concept for me, too, for similar reasons. It would be difficult for me to definitively say there is no God because, like you said, I’m just a mere mortal. And really, when it comes down to it, the strongest thing I feel is love. I feel the very essence of what Jesus taught. This is what makes me happy. Why would I want to deny myself, my family, my friends – shit, the whole world – the possibility of that?

      3. Some people do become their religion in an incredibly negative way. It’s almost like a drug to them. What’s funny is that Jesus wasn’t teaching a religion. He was teaching a way of life. We’ve been attending a non-denominational church that puts the emphasis on going out and doing good deeds for others, not on the church itself. I really respect that.

      4. It’s nice to meet another human being who can see the divisiveness in this world. How we are all guilty of that horrible group mentality that labels people without truly knowing the individual’s heart and mind.

      5. Thank you and likewise, sir. You’re certainly not a bad egg yourself! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jay Wilson says:

        Thanks for the wonderful response. I love all of it, but this really resonates with me: “I want to break down all the BS and get back to looking human beings in the eye and feeling their souls. I want to forget about having the perfect car, the perfect hair, the perfect family and all that other nonsense that keeps us at arm’s length. For the first time in my life I want to be really me and to know the REAL version of everyone.”

        Nothing, and I mean *nothing*, says more about your character than those few sentences. Well stated, I feel the exact same way. Well… maybe not the hair thing… I shave my head, so I have perfect hair days year round. 😉

        Like

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