- Affirming - that word is so often used with gayqueer folk, when we speak of an "open and affirming" congregation, one that accepts/welcomes us. Of course it also carries its traditional meaning of a positive assertion, to confirm. (Comes from Latin ad- + firmare "to make firm" - do with that what you will)! An affirmation is something that helps us to accept ourselves, to see us as worthy, to see ourselves positively.
- I was affirmed as a gay man, accepted, seen positively by others, and by myself. The participants and staff were made up of gay and straight men. And I think that is what made it so affirming for me. I expect some acceptance from other gays, but fear I will lose all acceptance from straights. To be accepted as a man among men, (a man who happens to be gay), was wonderful for me
- Encouraging - Part of the work for the weekend was to explore/discover my shadow side, that part of me that often lurks in the background, that I try to hide or run from, all that unconscious stuff within me that has great power. The Shadow is something we often want to "overcome" or ignore. But it holds great power and strength for us. We cannot run from our shadows - well, we can run, but cannot hide! It comes to bite us in the butt, coming out in our rages, fears, abuses, and negative ways. The journey is to understand and embrace the Shadow, to befriend it, even. Then we may begin to draw on its power and channel its energy.
Well, that's enough for now. More reflections, later. Shalom.