On Tampering Myself

I’ve tampered my passions. Stuffing down the fire within me that calls for all people fed, all people housed, all people safe, all people educated. That same fire that calls out systemic oppression and injustice. I’ve tried to put a lid on the sparks that drive me to want to make things better and more equal and more loving because I know that spark could start something powerfully cleansing. I’ve stood silently watching the lips of power blow out idea after idea because “it’s too much work” and “we’re just not there.” But still, the passion burns within me and it’s only getting stronger.

I’ve tampered my desires. Picking a first career that was acceptable and available for a woman and a mother, but when I taught those kids who were hungry and tired I wanted more for them. And then I wanted more for me. I wanted to say what I wanted, what I heard, what I saw. I wanted to meet people, all kinds of people, and travel alone. I wanted to find my call and my hope for the world. And once I did, I knew I had to help others find their way to those deepest, darkest desires hiding in their hearts and souls.

I’ve tampered my sexuality. Believing the teaching that a woman is pure only if she is untouched and unblemished. I pledged that True Love Waits and didn’t question the belief that it was much harder for males to wait than it was for females. I believed what I was told to believe even as my body and soul told a different story. I hear story after story of others who believed the same things and now can’t find pleasure or a partner who will value their pleasure because of the shroud of shame and guilt surrounding their sexuality and I want to tell them there is healing and wholeness ahead.

The tampering didn’t extinguish the fire within. I kindled the flame deep within my soul making sure that the spark never went completely out.

Now as I look into her big, beautiful, brown eyes, I pull her close and whisper in her ear, “It’s time to live wild and free!”