Our country’s 237th birthday party has come and gone and I’m still celebrating June. It was a rather large month in my life.
Hillary and I were ordained as an Interfaith Ministers on June 9th, the highlight of a wonderful weeklong trip to New York. I hadn’t been to the City, where I was born and raised, in over 25 years, and everything exceeded my expectations. Perhaps most amazing to me is that every single thing I craved to eat—a hot dog from an umbrella stand guy, a slice of pizza, a bagel, Italian food and a knish (you might have to google that last one)—was just as good as I remembered.
At the ordination I got a strong inner message to shave my beard, which had adorned my face for 30 years. We came home and I promptly did. When I showed up at Unity without the beard, nearly everyone (including my mom) asked, “Did you grow a moustache?” So I decided to get rid of the moustache, too, which had been hiding my upper lip for upwards of 42 years.
It was one of the bravest things I’ve ever done. I felt so vulnerable and naked even while I was doing it. And I was worrying the whole time about what I would look like. I wasn’t completely displeased, though my lip has this interesting curve to it…
Then when Hillary, who I met a mere 38 years ago, shed some tears upon seeing me totally clean shaven for the first time ever, doing her best to reassure me that she didn’t think it was ugly, just a huge change, I felt even more vulnerable showing my face in public. I got mixed reviews, and with Hillary obviously reluctant to kiss me because of my ever present stubble, the moustache has quickly made its return.
On the 23rd, at that point still sans moustache, we had a local celebration of our ordination at Unity. I have never felt so loved, so validated, so seen and heard, and so honored. It was quite the community love fest, and undoubtedly one of the highlights of my life.
And now that you’re up to date on my big June, including the current status of my facial hair, I suppose I can get to the point.
I didn’t expect to feel different after the ordination, but I did (I experienced that same thing when I got married). Something somehow feels different: more, bigger, better. I’m still processing all this, and I have no idea how the ordination will play out in my life as far as what I will do differently, but I suddenly have a more expansive vision of who I am. I feel a strong urge to be more, bigger and better. I suppose that’s why I got the message to shave my beard.
I also suppose I didn’t need two years of seminary and an ordination for this expanded vision to emerge, but as long as I did it, I’m grateful I haven’t gotten too wrapped up in worrying about “what do I do now?”. In fact, I think the biggest thing that has changed for is that I’m more convinced than ever that I never have to worry about what to do as long as I’m clear on who I am and what’s important to me.
I no longer hold a shred of belief that I have to first do something or acquire something I don’t already have in order to express and experience my deepest intentions and desires. In fact, I can clearly see how all my past striving to do and have more is precisely what got in the way of me living my dream right in that moment. When I look back at all the things I’ve wanted to do and have, I can also clearly see that I thought I needed those things in order to express and experience love, peace, joy, meaning, fulfillment and connection. But I don’t need to do or have anything to experience all those things; I simply have to stop believing I do and start expressing and experiencing them!
As one of our deans at our NYC ordination said, “When we’re grounded in enough love, the doing takes care of itself.” Amen!
And if that’s all I remember, that’s more than enough for now.