The newest scholarly translation of scripture (the CEB) translates the creation story in the first chapter of Genesis to say that after God created humanity, God pronounced us "supremely good."
Also within that story, scripture tells us that humanity was created in God's image.
I believe that being made "supremely good," in the image of a divine being is pretty awesome.
Here's a more scientific understanding. What are the chances that all the atoms, all the molecules, all the cells and hormones and whatever else it took to get you conceived and then born, were in the right place at the right time to make YOU? Not good. You are one in a bazillion (see how scientific I am?). That is awesome.
So the first part of the spirituality of DFTBA is: You are AWESOME!
Another way to put it might be, "You are awesome." Much of advertising media out there is designed to make us think we're not awesome... we need to buy these products, look like these models, be athletic like these people, drive these cars, acquire these dollars, all to become awesome. Realizing we're already awesome, without the car or the cash or the crap, is freeing. Knowing we're already awesome allows us to focus on other things that are awesome instead of the stuff that we think could make us awesome. Because we know it can't. Because we already are.
It's hard to get this concept through our thick skulls sometimes, and that's understandable, because we've been told from the moment we could be told, that we're less than awesome. Sometimes the voices are the media's, sometimes they're from our parents and teachers, and sometimes they're even our own. So how to make ourselves believe it? I've heard this stuff about being made in God's image for years now, and it only makes a little dent in all the self-doubt that still pounds away at me. A few ideas...
- Put something precious in your pocket. Maybe a piece of family jewelry, or a beautiful stone or shell that you found out in creation... maybe a note someone wrote that told you how great you are, maybe that scripture passage, whatever. Whenever you're feeling the non-awesome creep in, put one hand in your pocket, and let the other hand give a peace sign (Alanis) to the negativity.
- Tell someone else they're awesome. it will make them feel good, and will make you feel better.
- Do something awesome. A small act of kindness will boost someone else, but it will boost you, too.
- Mute the commercials. It's bad enough having to watch, but then they tell you why you're not that awesome. And commercials are too loud, anyway.
Part of this DFTBA practice during Lent is about helping my two-year-old daughter Esther know she is awesome, too. My plan for her:
- Every night when I tuck her in, I tell her she is loved and I tell her she is awesome/amazing/beautiful, etc.
- Every night when I re-tuck her in, when she is already asleep and I am going to bed, I tell her the same stuff in hopes she hears it subliminally.
- I read her stories with awesome female characters. This is one way I can control the images from the media that she is seeing.
- I sing songs about God and use "she" and "her" as the gender pronoun, along with "he" and "his."
- Snuggle her, hug her, kiss her, and tell her she's awesome whenever I want.
- When we say grace at dinner, I thank God for her, in front of her.
God, thank you for making me awesome. Help me to believe it, live it, and not forget it.
People of other faith traditions, I'd love to hear your thoughts!