This image was posted on the Facebook page of Charlotte D. Piper and I knew I just had to scoop it up and claim that identity for myself as well. She defines it in this way: “Spiritual Gangster: One who lives a heartcore, passionate, mindful existence as an ambassador of divinity.” I would add to it, “One who feels the fear and does it anyway, one who has their posse around them, whether nearby or farflung and invites others to join this none-exclusive club, one who declares his/her dreams and desires and allows them to manna-fest. His or her ‘weapon’ is love’; with no need to jack anybody up, force, bully or coerce anyone into adopting their beliefs. He or she struts their stuff, dances to their own tune, colors outside the lines….” Not exactly like the Jets and the Sharks.
There was a time when declaring this for my life would have seemed strange, since the people pleaser aspects of myself would have felt as if I would be considered weird for speaking of such things. I already sensed that I was (as I often told my parents) “an alien baby left on their doorstep” that they did a pretty good job of raising to masquerade as a human. I have sometimes felt out of step, but over the years, have found my Tribe. Some I have met hug to hug and others just heart to heart through the marvels of modern technology and social networking. Back in the late 70’s into the early 80’s, I hung out with folks who might fit into that category when we worked at a counseling center called Together Inc. We were young idealists who thought we could heal the world, one heart at a time and fix broken places in people. We painted the youth shelter in which some of us provided counseling, with hearts, rainbows and flowers. I remember the marathon sessions with paintbrush in hand, emblazoned with multi-colored drippings ourselves.
When I was ordained as an interfaith minister via The New Seminary in NYC in 1999, I decided then that I had no right to tell anyone what to believe spiritually, that love is my religion and God’s too big to put in a box. I like the 12 step concept of The God of Our Understanding. My understanding of the Divine changes, sometimes moment to moment. I like the idea of being in the God Gang since I know S(h)e always has my back and that my gang colors are rainbow hued.