| Anne Williamson |

I am going to let you in on my little secret: I am a "buck the system" kind of gal. Blame it on my follow-the-rules childhood, liberal arts education, or millennial-noding 1981 birth year, but once I understood many of our “truths” are in fact constructions – of culture, society, even religion – my inner rebel was unleashed. 

Maybe this is why I'm fascinated by psychologist Christopher Ryan's TED Talk on the history of human sexuality. In it, he argues our standard sexual narrative – where men and women exist in an oppositional relationship of male goods and services for female reproductive potential and fidelity – was/is a construction of culture, not biology. Before agriculture, our ancestors were sexually egalitarian and inclusive. Some of us may respond to this idea with unease, worried Ryan is advocating sexually liberal relationships for all; but, his argument isn’t in support of a particular lifestyle. In fact, this is kind of the point and what makes his talk spiritually interesting to me....

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Why talk about sin? This is a legitimate question; especially when, for centuries, we've done it so poorly. We've liked our sins obvious and binary: the either-you-did-it-or-you-didn't kind of sins. We've especially liked it when the "it" we're referring to is the big It - you know, sex. We've spent an obscene amount of time on this one: Did she do it at the right time? That is, in marriage. Did he do it with the right person? That is, female. We've used sin to control, label, judge, hate, shame. And though we've generally used it as a weapon against others, turned inward, our approaches still cut and cage.

No wonder we don't want to talk about sin!

The problem is, however understandable our resistance, not talking about sin doesn't serve us. Theologian Barbara Brown Taylor often asks the question, "What is saving your life today?" That is, what is presently giving your life meaning, deep joy, wholeness? It's a powerful question; one that helps us identify good patterns, relationships, rituals, thoughts; and dive more deeply in. But, it's also only one side of the equation. We all also have things in our life that are corrosive to it; thoughts and patterns that erode our peace and wholeness - ours and others. That is, we all also sin. To ignore this piece is inauthentic, isolating, and ultimately undermines the wholeness we seek.

This is why, for the next ten weeks in this blog post and WAYfinding's spring round of groups, we're going to be exploring sin. Each week, our entry point will be a TED Talk that addresses one of the seven deadly sins in a thought-provoking way. The conversations that follow, and weekly questions we'll explore, will serve to give sin the complexity and nuance, seriousness, humor and grace it demands. Our lens will be both practical and theoretical, personal and corporate. Our intention will be, always, to experience and create the kind of freedom, joy, peace and wholeness we all desire - for ourselves and the world.   

Sometimes we need to identify what is saving our life. And, sometimes we need to get real clear about what is killing it. I hope you'll join me through this blog and/or one of our WAYfinding groups in getting clear together.  

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