Bridging Our Divides by Gina Messina

My voice has been absent from the FAR Community as of late; and without good reason. Rather than engaging in dialogue, I have remained in a silo, alone with my recollects. Something shifted for me a few years ago; and I haven’t been the same. I can’t enunciate it. But what I can say is that from that instant I’ve question my feminism and sect and feel as if I’ve lost a part of my identity.

With such strife in our person and the great division among us, I’ve wondered if being so steadfast in my principles has made me part of the problem. It seems we are in the midst of a political civil campaign; and if I’m being honest, so many of the people I enjoy are standing on the other side of the divide. I haven’t known how to agree this, and I’ve been agonizing.

The intersection of belief, gender, and politics has been an intense focus of my research and work for quite some time. And now, to engage in such part serves as a reminder of our current state and the hurt so many of us feel deep in our core. We wonder how anyone could guess differently from us when the answers are so obvious. With such crucial question on the line it is easy to write each other off, to walk away, sever relationships, and cling to the comfort of an resemble assembly. Yet, with such a response, the department continues and there is no reprieve from our heartache.

As I was just wondering what we are able to overcome this, I return to the philosophy of Carol Christ . Sharing our narratives, listening our working experience in those of another reminds us that we are not alone. It too reminds us that commonalities do exist among us that can help bridge our subdivides.

In search of salving in my own journey, I’ve decided to do what I know- start another campaign. If you know me, you might be laughing right now, or reeling your eyes. Nonetheless, I’ve launched a podcast and workshop lines to share our stories and discuss when it is okay to be bold, take risks, and undermine the rules to create a better upshot. My hope is that we recognize one another in the small intimate details of our lives and find a seat to begin a conversation that centers on what fetches us together.

It might be foolish or a band aid to shield my own wounds. But in these moments, I think it is important that we consider what we are grieving and how we might re-envision our lives in a way that allows us to move forward.

Listen to my latest podcast chapter featuring Monica Coleman or consider registering for a workshop .

Gina Messina, Ph.D . is an American feminist scholar, Catholic theologian, organizer, and momma. She helps as Associate Professor and Department Chair of Religious Studies at Ursuline College and is co-founder of FeminismAndReligion.com. She has written for the Huffington Post and is author or journalist of five works including Women Religion Revolution. Messina is a widely sought after speaker and has presented across the US at universities, make-ups, powwows and on national pulpits including appearings on MSNBC, Tavis Smiley, NPR and the TEDx stage. She has also spoken at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United People to discuss matters impacting the lives of women around the globe. Messina is active in flows to end violence against women and explores opportunities for spiritual healing. Connect with her on Twitter @GMessinaPhD, Instagram: @GinaMessinaPhD, Facebook, and her website ginamessina.com.

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