In my dream last night I was attending a work meeting and hurrying out the front of the hotel it was at. As I went past the lobby there was a big group of tables set up with table cloths and decorations. A hurried and desperate sounded young man ran up to me and said, "For 93.97 you can meet Wynonna Judd!!" He was so excited and trying so hard to do his sell. I didn't answer him right away, I just started looking around the room. Truth is, I was never an over-the-top fan of her music. I liked some of it, and I just knew she was famous. I found it interesting she was doing a meet and greet in our tiny little town.
As I scanned the room my eyes finally settled on her behind the back table. I made eye contact and waved and smiled real big. She smiled and waved back and I felt like we had a moment. No more words were said with the eager young sales guy, and I woke up.
As I was considering the dream I realized that this is what my brain was using to make sense of god. That young man was so eager and earnest. He felt like he was selling a great opportunity -- and he even went down a few bucks from $100 to make it seem like a deal ;). This is religion to me and members' desires to convert other people.
For free I could look over at her and and smile and wave. That felt like a true connection to me and was all I needed. There was nothing that $90+ could pay for that I didn't already have. For other people who were bigger fans or knew more of the ins and outs of her life, maybe money paid to ask some in depth questions would be useful for them. It was not for me.
When bishops at Ricks spent weekly meetings trying to convince me that I was no longer connected to god and couldn't feel him (even though I did) it really messed up my developing brain. I feel like these years in my 40s I'm trying to untangle the web that he/they created. Spirituality is simple. No guy in some wood lined office and 80's suit had the magic answers to MY spirit and the love I felt from god. He kept trying to convince me I needed those weekly meetings so he could teach me how I had caused my assault and how only I could prevent another one. I literally did not understand for 20 years after that that sometimes things happen out of our control, and that chance really is part of crime and just every day living.
The earnestness of the sales guy in the dream felt really meaningful too. It helps me see my coreligionists with some grace. They are sincere and they really think they will help you by trying to sell you their groups' or family's or town's special experience. I've been proselytized to more than any already religious person would expect to. I feel it hurtfully when it happens, but they are just misguided and earnest, and maybe just feeling personally that the need to earn the points, like him.
It was freeing to have that dream. I'm glad I did. Thanks Ms. Judd :).