I’ve returned from the beach to my daisies in full bloom. It’s always a highly anticipated event that cycles through the yard: crocus, daffodils, tulips, lilies and then my yard trades it’s spring dress for it’s summer dress, and the daisies bloom.
Our Storyline group has come to it’s finale, and I feel blessed to have seen the reflection, healing and planning that has taken place. When we first talked of putting a group together, we decided that we would send out an invitation to be part of the group to a large number of people, and that we would trust that the women that responded would be women who were in a place in their lives where they were ready to create a new story to add to the book of their lives. Women who were ready to get uncomfortable, to live a life of more meaning.
The group that formed was about as diverse as it gets, and the first meetings were interesting as some pretty personal stuff was shared amongst strangers. The one thing that I think that we all had in common though, was that we wanted to be seen, understood, for what was in our hearts.
A few days ago, I wrote about how easy it is to see something every day and to stop noticing it, whether it’s beautiful or whether it’s ugly. I think that another thing that happens is that, often, when I see an object, I project my thoughts and emotions, feelings, fears, insecurities onto that thing and then it skews how I see it. I do that with people too.
I make assumptions about what someone must be feeling or thinking, based on how I feel about them, or how I think they feel about me. It takes a lot of work to separate my perceptions of other people from my insecurities of myself. It also requires an honesty with myself that I am not always comfortable with. Judgement is not really about the person being judged, but about the person appointing themselves the Judge, and that is a job title I am working hard at giving up. It takes courage to give up being the Judge, because when I give myself the Judge title, I feel like I am in a place of strength, of power, and I like to feel strong. When I put down the gavel, and step away from the bench, I feel vulnerable. I now have to deal with the truth that I have been seeing people and situations through goggles that I created. When I take the goggles off, it is a much different world. A world with more peace, because my inner turmoil is not skewing it. A world with more love because my emotions aren’t skewing it. A world with more understanding, because my assumptions are not skewing it.
It takes courage, though, to take off the glasses, because when I see the world and people how they really are, I realized that the clutter and garbage that I thought was there, was really mine. It didn’t belong to the world, it belonged to me.
I’m not great at courage. I don’t run from battle, but that doesn’t mean I’m brave. I would prefer to hide from anything that is uncomfortable rather than just face it head on, but I don’t allow that anymore. That is a thing of my past, or I am trying to make it so.
Yesterday at the beach, we were talking to artist Scott C. Johnson, who was participating in the Plein Air event and he looked at me and said, “May you be abundantly surrounded by courage, where ever you go.” This unexpected blessing from a stranger, who appeared to ‘see’ me, brought tears to my eyes.
I’m going to need abundant courage if I am going to see people and situations for what they really are, rather than through the skewed goggles of my messy assumptions.
Those words were a gift that I will remember, repeat and treasure.