Tuesday, July 30, 2013
what matters (and what distracts ...)
This is a post I've resisted for some time ... partly because I know words set down have the ability to shift understanding and then I feel the need to rewrite, clarify, adjust and yes, defend my perspective (which is rests on shifting sands of awareness, so not an easy thing to do!) But it is a gray morning, I slept in and am moving slowly and certainly I am procrastinating on other projects. But there is this pebble in my internal/emotional shoe that has irked me for far too long and I feel it is time to shake it out. I can't seem to move forward unless I do so.
My confession: I am weary of the talk around finding one's tribe. Okay, back-pedaling already ... it is not the experience or act of discovering others who share in, support and understand my values, interests, and ideas around purpose and meaning that fatigues me ... it is all the fanfare and smudge wand waving, look-at-our crazy quilted wild selves in Photoshopped dreamscaped images strewn everywhere as confirmation of belonging. As confirmation of being vital and plugged into something essential.
I'm all for feeling a part of something larger. I understand feeling of being outside and wanting in so very, very badly. But what I am seeing in this celebration of tribe is a new group or layer to the experience of feeling excluded and overlooked. My sense is that the more I go outside of myself - for confirmation of my worth, the value of my voice, the validity of my experience - the less secure I will be in myself and my path.
After all the dancing is over and the bonfires have turned to ash, I am still walking my path alone and on my own. I can share parts of the journey - through wildflower fields, sandy beaches and mountain meadows - but in the end I am the one who chooses to continue on over slippery and rocky mountain paths, through the desert, through the mud pits and into dark forests with nothing but the next step visible before me.
What matters then is who I trust and believe in: myself connected to a higher purpose. All the work I do to heal myself is not so I may fit in; I work to heal myself so I may have access to my full range of gifts and potential which I then can offer in service to support the vital work of healing in our world.
What matters at the end of the day is who I am with myself and my family; how well I love and forgive, myself first and foremost. If I can not be in right relationship with my own self, how can I give freely, honestly, lovingly and compassionately to others? What matters is not how my life appears on screen, in Facebook, in glossy magazines but how my life feels to me and those whose lives intersect with mine. It is nice to have validation, but approval is not my goal. My tribe - yes, I do believe I have a core group that understands, accepts and more importantly, challenges me to be the best expression of myself - is a space I rest in while gathering inner resources, but it is also the place where I set off from. Finding one's tribe is an important and affirming stage, but it is not the end point. It can be an platform for diving into the deep work, the hard, challenging, heart-rending work of attending to our planet, to our lives and to lasting change, healing and care. It can also become a trap or a distraction from what really matters: self acceptance, individual empowerment and expression.
These are my thoughts today. There is a discussion buried amid these thoughts that begs to take place. Forgiveness, understanding, belonging, purpose, inclusion, and responsibility are some of the themes. I would love to dialogue in that space Rumi speaks of Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing ... I want to own my role in contributing to another's pain of disconnection but I also own my responsibility to tend to and heal my own woundedness. No tribe can do that for me. The deeper work is mine alone and it is time to shake off the distractions and get on with the task.