A Spirit of Slavery ;a Spirit of Adoption
The challenges and rewards of being in an interracial, intercultural relationship come in how open one can be to difference, and how adept one is rejecting the master/slave model or the patriotic superiority. For example, with something as simple as the textural difference of your hair: you will need differing products and care. Do we remark on it? Do we compare? No.We participate in the “is-ness” of our difference. One may purchase products for the other on single errands, or perhaps wash the other’s hair as a prelude to pleasure. The acceptance of difference prompts participation in each other’s care. For our parts, Vivi and I do mutual grooming. She cuts my hair when it gets too bushy, and I brush and oil hers when it gets to dry. And we both complain to the other about (my) tiny black curls or (her) long gray strands hair in the sink. Difference does not aggravate human nature;it reveals its outlines.
Then there is the common traditions of bedtime, mealtime, and leisure time.
In our case long times alone before the relationship was formed nursed a private rhythm of when to sleep, eat, and what to do in free time. So, this may cause friction. Anytime we fight, it is necessary to be fair and avoid name calling or taking a superior stance. Race is present but race is not the issue. Becoming aware of the inherent racial overtones and accepting it as a given is how conflict and words that separate are avoided. But we’re wise enough to know that being the Other race is not the reason that our choices and habits differ. Sometime it’s cultural;sometime personal preference. So name calling or alienating words are always to be avoided in favor of openness to difference. Takes work but love carries the day.
In this relationship, we wake separately and agree to let the other sleep. One or the other of us sleeping-in could look like laziness or self-indulgence if either gets attitude and judges or is unwilling to just allow the other her sleeping rhythm. This can happen especially if the one who is awake is busy, cleaning, making a meal. She could feel like a servant to the other, even though rising earlier is that one’s choice. This could get to be racial if looked at from a certain servant/master view. So we avoid this pitfall. As a matter of fact, I suspect we spend a lot of time walking away from or disallowing our obvious black and white to dictate to our beingness. It does take thoughtfulness, mindfulness, conscious cooperation. In some instances, it is natural not to see color such as in buying gifts for one another, admiring each other’s bodies and gifts, and appreciating the other’s quirks and likes. Between us giving flowers is neither racial or cultural, yet both and transcendant.
So it goes with eating,meal prep, food selection. Couples have to meet around food–one cannot want hamburgers and fast food while the other wants roasted turkey and salad. This has nothing to do with race. But if there is a certain racial association with certain foods like chicken and watermelon (both of which I love), then it could be awkward when eating among those who are not raised in this tribe. Happily for me, my love loves watermelon and chicken, especially, drumsticks. But because it raises my blood pressure, I can eat little pork, and her tribe does. Is this cause for looking at race? Not at all;it’s a difference we accept. Graciously, she rarely eats pork, but we occasionally both eat bacon–I cheat).
When out in public, we hold hands. In the USA, in a given community, we may be stared at. This is where race and gender preference confront heterosexual culture. Here we get glances and stone faces. But this is a culture where the law allows us and all kinds. On our walks, in our travel, as a couple, we forget/ignore racial considerations and just become ourselves. How we look by color or gender devolves to how we may dress, or the combined energy we represent as we pass along. In these instances, we are walking without faces or libido; we are walking in love, in our joy, and as one–usually on an errand common to our daily lives–soul consciousness. We have left behind the spirit of slavery;we join in the spirit of adoption. Here’s your Daily Word
I release my fear and activate my faith.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Fear is the opposite of faith. While fear may sometimes strike, I do not let it control me; instead, I activate my faith. I am strong; I am confident; I am fearless, because I have faith in the powerful love of God.
Anytime I face a situation that may cause anxiety or uneasiness, I pray. Praying helps me release my fears and open to the love of God. Praying calms my mind, soothes my emotions, and frees my spirit to accept the good that is mine to receive. I cannot be afraid when I am filled with the love of God.
God’s all-providing love surrounds me and each person for whom I pray. Where there is faith, there is no room for fear. In God’s love, I am faith-filled. I am fearless!
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption.—Romans 8:15