Jan 9Liked by M Tamara Cutler

My neighbor/friend has faith in me, but a few months ago I lied to her.

I walk another neighbor's dogs—because he can't—and stop by to say hello to this neighbor/friend. The dogs often poop during our walks, and I pick it up. Except when I throw the poo in the woods. One time, when my faith-in-me neighbor asked if Slick had pooped, I said no. I didn't want her to think I hadn't picked it up. That little lie. Oh me of little faith.

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Jan 9·edited Jan 10Liked by M Tamara Cutler

It was not the lie itself (there are many deceptions that support this lie) , but the confession and accountability that came after.

After accepting the self lies i was participating in.

It was all within wanting to be good. To not give breath that I could be racist and bias. It is what I had applauded myself with NOT having. I did not have THOSE bad parts.

My liberalism was the lie. My white feminism was the lie.

I could say I was good, but never go deep into my generational internalization of white supremacy.

I could say I was good and participate in behaviours that signaled to other white liberals, I was good.

I could say I was good, and participate in a drug trade that supported mass incarceration and political drug wars.

I could say I was good , and vote (stickers on social media) for tone deaf millionaires that could care less about the anarchy needed now.

I could say I was good, and “donate” “volunteer” and express my rage at the system into a vacuum.

I CAN say I’m good by disentangling from my own lies that aren’t lies to anyone but myself. The lie that needed a confession was my own, to myself. It’s an inside job, which when practiced, reached far and wide.

I feel no judgement when these things come to light, but a discernment that forgiveness comes only with understanding. And understanding comes only with no shame, and shameless forgiveness does not ask for right or wrong. Just witness of ourselves. With love and tenderness.

I have faith in human capacity for understanding, critical thinking and the lies we tell ourselves to be good. We are full of good parts.

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Jan 10Liked by M Tamara Cutler

People are used to think in dualisms, and when you talk about faith the word evidence is often used as the opposite. When we are saying that something is evident, we mean that it is true. But what is faith then?

When I was 8 years old, I introduced myself to the girl in the neighborhood as a german girl called Petra. I was neither german nor was my name Petra. Petra was a german singer from a band I liked. So it just was a lie. For me, it was a world of imagination and dreams I had faith in. As my grandfather called me for lunch, the girl knew that I was not the singing german Petra. But then we invented together new games, roles and identities – and we believed in our new worlds that we created by ourselves.

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Jan 10·edited Jan 10Liked by M Tamara Cutler

Sometimes we go along to get along. Call it an act of goodwill. Private, personal negotiation in good faith. How far we go and for who we go there provides framework for who we once were and for who we are now.

When I was a teenager in small-town Iowa, off at week-long summer youth camp sponsored by the RLDS church, my 14-year-old self knew (as a non-member of the congregation) certain church activities throughout the week would obviously include my participation. I knew I’d be saying and doing some things that I’d feel unaligned with. We’d all sit around the campfire singing religious songs with devout lyrics and I would find myself hearing myself sing lyrics I just didn’t believe in. It wasn’t a big deal. The melodies were catchy and the outdoors spiritual. As a small-town kid, I was just trying to meet new friends and pick up girls. The different lengths we go to fit in. Whatever it took at the time. A personal negotiation.

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Raised by parents from the Southwest, me and my three older siblings were told tales of true hardship my parents lived through. Poverty, death and ghost stories are etched in my memory. Story telling was a corner stone of my Southern families life.

This apparent Hale family trait passed to my brother, Dave, who seemed to have a penchant for what became known around town as “Tall Tale Dave Hale” stories.

He could not help himself. Every story he told was usually questionable. People would call him out. Yet, he’d hold his ground. I stopped questioning him. It was of no use.

Why my brother had no faith in his own story is still a mystery. I only wish he would have had faith in himself, to know that he was worth his truth.

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Jan 10Liked by M Tamara Cutler

At age 11, I introduced the kid next door to where my family had just moved (and myself) to the wonderful and exciting hilarity of making and recording our own prank phone calls! Equipped with a suction-cup microphone I'd obtained from Radio Shack and a tape recorder, we got right to work, eventually filling an entire 60 minute tape with our juvenile phone shenanigans.

I wish I still had that tape.

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Jan 11Liked by M Tamara Cutler

As a child of bitterly divorced parents scarred by war, I learned omission as a survival tactic. Saying the wrong thing could trigger a scary response. Worse than any slap was rejection or shame. Lying became a habit to preserve a fragile sense of self-agency.

When the doctor’s form asked Have you had any abortions and if yes, how many? I wrote two.

The first three are swathed in disassociation, stashed away in my emotional archives. The choice had been easy—I had faith it was the right thing to do. The last two were still tinged with sadness toeing the line of regret. The decisions had been painful, weighted with shoulds and what ifs. But that doubt mellowed with age to manifest as a sporadic curiosity, as to who I might be had I taken a different path in those days of passion, now safely in the past.

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Jan 15·edited Jan 15Liked by M Tamara Cutler

There are so many lies I've constructed but never told namely because the getting caught would never be worth it. I learned that very early on. I was the rag-tag outsider, somewhat parentally neglected child from faded WASPy wealth at a private, all-girls school. By 9 or 10 I had learned that humor, playing the clown was good currency to obscure, cloud and distract people from wondering where I lived (a tiny rundown row house), why I was entirely unkempt (greasy hair, torn and stained uniforms) and why I arrived in a pick up truck complete with a hunting rifle slung across the rear view window on a carpool line of BMWs, Mercedes and Volvos. I don't recall the lie I told to Bari Rudikoff's little sister, only that the blowback was fierce and swift. The younger girl had cried upon learning the truth and the friendships I had stealthily cultivated through underlying fear of exposure were in a moment jeopardized. I knew I couldn't ignore this public relations crisis -the ensuing shame was enormous and the fear of ostracism, too great. I did what --as an adult --we only wish politicians and celebrities would do in the face of their own transgressions --Apologize. Which I did as much as with sincerity for hurting another's feelings as I did as an act of pure and primal self preservation from social annihilation. I think I also followed up with making the most offended get a laugh --at my expense.

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14 hr ago·edited 14 hr agoLiked by M Tamara Cutler

I had to look it up... Faith is from the Latin word Fidere.To Trust. So to me, that changes the word, because I normally construe it as "belief"... The Faith Healer. To be faithful. It encompasses belief, but the antecedent to belief is trust. I believe you if I trust you. (Or do I trust you because I believe you? Is that the definition of blind trust? The snake eating its tail comes to mind...Conundrum.)

So Trust. Let's focus there. It's an action and a thing to be placed or given, object-like. Trust is a hard one for me these days. When I was younger, I never understood that Trusting could be difficult. People who said they had "Trust issues" puzzled me. What are those? I thought of Trust as a choice - like love. A door you open or you don't. You're aware of all that is fallible and fickle in the human being in your midst, telling you and showing you their heart, so you either choose or do not choose to Trust them. In order to love you become vulnerable, in order to become vulnerable, you place Trust or Faith in the person to whom you expose your deepest darkest self... weakest strongest self ... best, brightest, and worst self... I've been faithful and too many times faithless in this life. I've been betrayed and have been the betrayer. Like all roles, I've come to understand, we get to switch it up every now and again. But trust, once broken, is awfully hard to regain. This I know.

At this moment, in the sunlit morning, I place faith in one breath in, one breath out... I place faith in the inevitability of death, in the dog resting at my feet, in the sound of the dishwasher churning water around glass and pyrex and stoneware. My faith rests in the daffodils forcing their way through the cold ground to feel the sun that seems to move across the sky, which isn't true at all... It's really just this big mysterious planet spinning in space. I trust that daffodils don't give a damn about that.

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