Notes on Courage
Inner work for outer action.
As 2016 comes to a close, I have been reflecting on its purpose. It's been a mess of a year-- the kind you might want to throw a match to and start fresh. We've had wars and shootings that have rocked our collective sense of self. We've lost beloved souls, whose music and performances have soothed our hearts and inspired our tomorrows. There's been division and destruction of our relationships and our land.
For many of us (myself, included) these public hurts have been mirrored by private heartbreak. The kind that rips us open and asks more of us than we thought possible. The kind that keep us hidden. The kind that fill us with fear.
I could end there, but that's not how I roll...
See, 2016 was a disaster of a year. I've done disaster before, and what I know more deeply than I know anything else, is that disaster also brings grace and hope--if we are willing to see it.
The events of 2016 have awakened many to the injustices that have been perpetrated against people of color, religious minorities, native peoples, our land, our waters, and our children. These injustices are not new-we just pulled them out of the shadows. As painful and persistent as these truths are, we cannot change them unless we face them. 2016 did that for us.
2016 did that for me too. My personal life was filled with awakening. It wasn't pleasant, but it was absolutely necessary. It shook me, turned me upside down and inside out, until I could finally see my life in its truest form. Now I'm doing life differently, and couldn't be more grateful for the shake ups.
Back in my trauma recovery days, when I was feeling particularly raw and messy, a wise friend reminded me of what it's like to renovate a house. There's this stage where everything has been gutted, the inner workings of the house exposed. It looks like a complete disaster and panic and fear can set in. We can't read the blueprints, the master plan, and we want our house back the way it use to be-even if there wasn't room for everyone and we didn't really like it. If we trust our contractors and designers, the ones with the vision and skills for execution, we love the after and can't believe how we could have lived in the before.
That's my hope for 2016. It was our demo year. We smashed holes in all the walls, exposed some mold and pests that had been multiplying in the recesses of society, and now it's time to get to work on the new vision. Trusting that the ones with the master plan know things are right on schedule.
There is no real transformation without the discomfort of exposing the raw, messy underbelly of our reality. It's why I love rock bottom... at least, my own rock bottoms.
One of my awakenings this year, was that I had been trying to play Superwoman and hold up the world to protect others from the pain of their own transformation and the impact of their decisions. The truth is, I wasn't protecting them as much as I was protecting myself from the discomfort of the renovation. So, now I'm a superwoman in recovery and am inviting other women with me for the journey.
For me, 2016 was a year of renovation and recalibration: looking even deeper within to grow and explore my truth. I'm stronger for it. I'm grateful for it. And, rather than hold on to the hard that got me there, I'm choosing to embrace the strength and fierce determination is has awakened within me. My vision is clear and I'm ready to trust the master plan.
That is my wish for you as we close out this year. That you find gifts to embrace, lessons to lean-on, and connections to fortify. 2016, wasn't pretty, but we're getting somewhere. Count me in on the re-construction for 2017. Cheers!
About the blog:
This space holds thoughts and ideas generated from my personal journey of healing and recovery from trauma, co-dependency, and white supremacy culture. Opinions are entirely my own.