all we have to do
Last night I had the privilege of meeting Glennon Doyle Melton, a woman I admire for her honesty, bravery, and inclusive messages of love. She has written a best selling book and raised millions of dollars for women and children worldwide, most recently in Aleppo.
When I met her, I felt foolish. Like a little girl waiting in line at Disney World to meet a princess. I told her this. I was also red faced and teary and desperate to say something witty so she would think I was cool. (Hello 7th grade self!) I gave her a hug. But she was a picture of grace and hugged me right back without the slightest bit of discomfort over my general goofiness.
After she spoke to the sold out crowd at a local synagogue in her warm and friendly manner, there was a brief Q and A. One woman stood up and said while she agreed with Glennon's message encouraging women to connect and support one another, she questioned the actuality of this. She expressed frustration at the fact that no one waved to her and said hello on her way into the event and doubted anyone would on the way out. She had come by herself, didn't know anyone there, and clearly felt a little jaded.
Glennon told her to share her email address. I wanted to stand up and say, "Did you wave to anyone?" The thing is I totally related to what she was saying. There have been so many times when I too have felt like the odd duck sitting in a yoga class where everyone is hugging and laughing or at a kids birthday party where I am convinced that every mom must be hanging out daily after school sipping lemonade and laughing for hours or at an event with my husband when I feel like a boring housewife. It has been so easy for me to claim, "I am different." "People don't get me" "I'm a fish out of water."
Guess what? That is total bullshit. And it's a cop out. And I'm sick of it. This is my stuff. Not yours. And if I want someone to include me, I better damn well include them. And if I don't want to be judged then I better stop judging myself. (I don't like that photo, I'm silly, yada yada yada).
And this is one of the sole reasons why I started facilitating women's circles. Because I want to connect with other women in a meaningful and authentic way. I want not only to support other women but I want to feel supported to0. We offer the medicine we most need, right?
Life is hard, we're not meant to do it alone.
And this is what is exciting to me right now. I have been in dozens of conversations with other women lately who are saying the same thing. I believe it is one of the hidden blessings of our most recent election.
It is the message that Glennon spoke to and even the one in Meryl Streep's acceptance speech last night at the Golden Globes. It is our responsibility not just as women, but as human beings, to bring more love, empathy, and understanding to the world. When there is hate and violence, we can't combat it with more of the same. Einstein said, "We can't solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
We don't have the luxury of complacency and we can't wait until we are more educated or more comfortable or we feel like we have our act together and our eyebrows waxed, we have to just show up and use our voices anyway. Now. And we have to do it together.
And maybe this is what it looks like. When one of us is grieving, we don't try to make it better, we just listen with our full attention and allow the choice of when to get up off the floor to be that of the person who is on the floor.
We pray together to be shown where we are needed most.
We take care of ourselves, spiritually and emotionally; personally and collectively. We practice being vulnerable and showing our true colors so we can truly love ourselves and one another. Flaws, imperfections, addictions, and all the rest. Sometimes the truth is ugly and messy but it is the truth. And it's what is needed for our freedom and our wholeness.
We make room for relationships that enliven us and less for those that deplete us.
We share our hearts in the face of self doubt, anger and fear. And even when jealousy rears its ugly head. Because we want to collaborate more and compete less. We know we will all have our turn. We believe in abundance not scarcity.
So we support each other.
And we continue to come together in the ways women have for a long time. When a baby is born, when a loved one dies. We make food. We comfort. We drink coffee or tea or wine together. We go for a walk or play bridge or talk on the phone. Maybe we just meet in downward dog and don't even really talk but share knowing glances about the fact that neither one of us slept a wink last night because we were too busy worrying about how we are screwing up our kids.
We are sick of the bullshit...the cat fights on the Desperate Housewives "reality" shows (yet I have been watching the Ladies of London...eek this has to stop!) But this is not who we are. And when we meet soul to soul, we can do great things, we can move mountains. And so we do.
We have watched and shared the Madonna video on social media because we too are all so sick of sexism and ageism and all of that other crap birthed from insecurity and misunderstanding. We are getting incredibly sick too of judging each other about the clothes we wear and the decisions we make to stay at home to raise our children or continue our careers or make new ones or to never have children in the first place.
As Dr. Cristian Northrup says, we have the capacity as women to nourish. We create human beings. And this doesn't just end when our children are born. Or if we didn't have children.
We can nourish each other. We can meet and organize and share ideas. I'll do the part I am good at and you do the part you are good at. We know we are a team and couldn't survive without the other.
We are blogging and writing and sharing our truths because we know it is essential to our survival. There have been so many before us that have taught us the way. And now here we are. ..."the ones we have been waiting for." - Alice Walker
We have experienced great sadness, many losses, fear and worry. We are trying to be the best we can be.
So we witness the turmoil, the chaos, and the sadness.
And we witness the rising too...the Phoenix spreading its wings, the firebird getting ready to soar with more power and more strength than she knew she had.
It is waking us up. It is waking us all up. Most of what happens is out of our control.
We can and will do something. Even if something doesn't feel like enough. We are done with not enough. We wake up, we do something and we choose Love over and over and over again. We stop blaming the other and we take our power back. In the words of sweet sister, Glennon, "All we have to do is stop being afraid of each other."
And we say hello.