This week I watched a really heartfelt documentary called Raw Faith. Marilyn (read below) made some amazing statements that I think describe the kind of woman I am and want to be. She is very insightful, and has learned to turn the struggles of her life into love and help for others.
Raw Faith is an intimate and revealing documentary that follows two years in the private life of Marilyn Sewell, an outspoken and socially progressive Unitarian minister who has re-energized her Portland community.
While serving a community that relies on her for wisdom and advice (on both personal and ethical issues), Marilyn struggles quietly with decisions about her own future. As she seeks to reconcile the commitments of her profession with a longing for intimacy and love, childhood memories of mental illness and alcoholism come back to the surface – and must be dealt with before she can move forward.
As Marilyn’s life unfolds in front of the camera (in real time), she shares her journey with remarkable candor, humor and increasing wisdom, ultimately leading her to an unexpected revelation of faith and love in all of its guises.
Some of the quotes from Marilyn Sewell, former Unitarian Minister:
I’m not there to fix him; I’m not there to help him in any way. I’m not a doctor or social worker. I’m there to be with – to provide an opening for him to be precisely who he is and to be accepted for precisely who he is. That’s very powerful
The most powerful thing we can bring to anyone in any situation is our full presence.
Sometimes when people come in with very terrible, sad stories, and they do, I sometimes find myself smiling. Sometimes people will be taken aback and they’ll say “Well I just said something that seems to me pretty sad, so why are you smiling?” And sometimes I’ve had to say, “Because I find you so beautiful right now. Because I know we all suffer and that we all are going to go through hard times. And right now you’re going through your very hard time but all of us do that and you’re doing that so honestly and so beautifully and so truthfully. So when I see truth and honesty the way I see in your face and in your tears, it really makes me happy.