Thine Is Not Mine

Thine Is Not Mine

they stood

all twenty or so

joined hands

to make a ragged circle 

of connection

they prayed aloud

in unison

the lord’s prayer

a fellowship of grace

that I believe is genuine

yet

as they stood

I stepped aside

hands behind my back

as they prayed

I remained silent

 

the holding of hands

is forced conformity

a kind of automatic

social codependency of inclusion

as much as I enjoy acceptance

of being a part of

it’s going to be on my worth

not on my compliance

 

I am present for spiritual connection

not physical

I remain silent

during the our father

partially out of respect 

for those who do believe

what I don’t believe

silent

partially because

of the context of that prayer

the history of

the controlling monolith of dogma

a greed driven

control fuelled 

relentless remorseless fire

that judged what it didn’t understand

as evil

a cultural genocide of disease

military power & might 

 

I’m not going to say

your pointless biblical prayer

just be grateful

I hold my tongue

& not your hand

Another piece about 12 Step recovery 🙂 Based my daily reality – no that I attend meetings daily but often enough. When I started recovery, this joining of hands in a circle wasn’t common but over the years it became de rigueur – a linking of energy in fellowship as a closing prayer was said, usually the ‘our father.’ 

I stopped saying that prayer early in my recovery for the reasons stated in the piece. At first I selected those portions I didn’t argue with but that was too much thinking so I opted for silence. But I would do the hand holding. Occasionally my silence would be noticed. Over the years the use of lord’s prayer has declined to the more inclusive Responsibility Pledge. 

When SARS hit I became less inclined to hold hands. I carried (& still do) hand sanitizer & used it regularly. Gradually I stopped handholding totally. Stepping back when possible. I saw it as a form of people-pleasing, co-dependancy. Most assumed it was my germ-a-phobia, which is fine by me. A few have asked & I’ve explained my reasoning to their blank stares. Germs they understand, my not wanting to physically link into the vibration of harmony that passes from hand-to-hand contact in the chain of humanity, didn’t reach them.

At first I was bit self-conscious but I got over that. I have had people try to pull me into the circle. I can say ‘I don’t hold hands’ without getting snippy or even even apologetic. My opinion of ‘the controlling monolith of dogma’ is not relevant to anyone but me, even when pressed I rarely go into that ‘depth’ of explanation. I’m not in recovery to school people on the history of religious damage. So excuse me while I sanitize my hands.


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