I've been transformed.
I have been transformed. Yep. That sounds very dramatic, doesn’t it? But it’s kinda true. Okay, it’s totally true.
Why? This summer’s road trip has 1) cracked me open, 2) made me dig deep, and 3) truly left me with a new perspective on humanity. While the road trip was all about connection between people, it was also a very personal experience for me.
The crappy thing? I don’t know exactly know how to put it all into words. But I'm going to try, so I can share with you. (The other alternative is your simply reading my mind and that could be very scary.)
So here goes...
How this road trip cracked me open:
I have heard stories from women around this province. Stories that make a person laugh with delight, or cringe from the ouchiness, or simply weep. I, along with the many other women that were part of our events, experienced the stories fully because we could put ourselves in these women’s shoes.
For me, I could feel myself getting drawn fully into the energy of each woman’s story...it was as if I was right there with her, back in that time and space. The details around abuse, loss, grief, marriage issues, anxiety, depression, joy, searching, success, letting go, and so much more. I close my eyes, and I’m there. It is a trippy and extremely humbling experience.
When you feel these experiences this deeply, it’s only a matter of time before something in you cracks. For me, it was a slow opening over the summer...the honesty and vulnerability coming from these women floored me. And then their strength, humility, and ‘you just gotta keep going’ attitudes picked me up. They inspired me, and continue to do so, in a shockingly deep way. I now show my heart more and more in various ways, even though it is terrifying. My deepest of gratitude goes to these women, for helping to crack me open.
How this road trip made me dig deep:
I often felt the weight of these stories, wanting to help or do more or take some of the pain. ‘Here, let me take that pain. I can hold it for you so you can breathe a bit easier, for just a little bit.’
But as much as I wanted to, that was not my role. It wasn’t my role because 1) taking on the pain of these beautiful women would have crushed me, and 2) more importantly, they didn’t want me to take on their pain. They never asked me to. They simply wanted to be seen, to be heard, and to know that they aren’t alone. This realization made me dig deep on my role, and dig deep fast, early on this summer. I quickly chose to simply create the time and space for women to be seen, to be heard, and to know that they aren’t alone.
It’s not our role as women to save each other, or to take on each other’s energy. It’s our role as women to support each other. To bear witness so each of us can move through our own lives with dignity and find our own strength and power. We simply need to say ‘I hear ya sister. And side note: if I can get through it, you can too.’ That’s it. And there is such beauty in that.
How this road trip left me with a new perspective on humanity:
Layers. It all comes down to layers. We all have an infinite amount of layers, and it is rare to let people even see some of those. We rarely let people in, if at all. And if someone is lucky enough to see a few extra layers deeper down, that’s an honour.
(I actually just finished writing a chapter in my book, called ‘Paula,’ in which I talk about my light bulb moment regarding layers!)
But I also realized that under all of our layers, we are all very similar. The core of who we all are remains the same: we want to be loved. Yep. We all want to be loved.
And not necessarily by others, although that is very important.
It turns out, we actually want to be loved by ourselves.
We want to accept ourselves exactly as we are. And every struggle, and every success, is another unfolding for us to do that.
(This photo shows me and Lori, one of our panel speakers, at one of our Sask Sisterhood events. This event cracked me open in all sorts of beautiful ways. Kudos to the lovely Karen for the photo.)
Thank you for reading this, and taking it in. Whew. That’s all I’ve got for today...I’ve gotta save some stuff for my book, right? Heehee. (I’m aiming to have the book available by the end of November...watch our spaces for all the updates!)
Now over to you: has this sparked anything for you? Have you had any similar a-ha moments lately? Or do these words offer comfort to you? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
Cheers, and big-ass hugs to you,