Cynthia R.

I spent the whole week thinking about this stumbling block of a committee. I wrote a lot in my journal and am including a summary of sorts to share. The subject is not entirely new to me, but I looked at it intentionally with fresh eyes. I love that the context of our workshops has been building stamina. For me that provides a kind of safety net. I feel I can explore anything, because it is all moving me toward being stronger in making, stronger in creating. This is what I need right now, this context of strengthening my own identity as a maker, a creator. 

Notes from my journal:

You suppose you are the trouble

But you are the cure

You suppose that you are the lock on the door

But you are the key that opens it

It's too bad that you want to be someone else

You don't see your own face, your own beauty

Yet, no face is more beautiful than yours.

Rumi

This quote stopped me in my tracks about 5 years ago. I had indeed assigned myself the role of “Trouble”. If there is something wrong whether I am the reason for it or not, I a need to be the one who solves it, takes care of it, because somehow I am the root and heart of it all. I did, without realizing it, see myself as the lock on the door - the door to my own identity and future. When I did some delving into where this came from, some of it seemed clearly to come from important voices speaking into my life. Voices that were full of rage and smelled of alcohol. But some of it I knew I had assigned to myself. As if to say the committee must be right so I will join the committee and be another one of the voices that chimes in on my shortcomings, predicts my own downfalls and anticipates my failures.

Yes, there are/have been people at my committee table and I have over the years (even before the Rumi quote) acknowledged their presence and worked to silence their voice in my head... and discover my own voice... reframe the narrative.

The (short) List: 

my parents

my siblings

“The Aunts”

A few Uncles

Church voices

my husband

co-workers (most recently)

They have all served their terms on my committee. Removing them has sometimes been harder and taken longer than I thought it would. Some of them I have been able to see, or hear as also part of my Tribe. They migrated from one place to another, because for me, some of these voices also helped me in a positive way. I came to realize that through their negativity I grew - I want to repeat that: through their negativity, I grew! by opposing them or developing a strength that grew from responding to them, I grew. Maybe at first in fear, but eventually in gratitude. Being silenced, for example - sometimes in cruel ways - over time developed a wonderful skill in being able to listen to others. I don’t know if I would have developed this otherwise but I see the connection : in growing quiet I heard others’ pain, not being concerned about what I was going to say next, helped me notice the silence of others and draw them out. I have also learned through some voices at this table that I have an inner rebel and that it can be channeled for my own good and well-being and not just for sabotaging my own dreams or fixing all problems.

What remains at my committee table - Who remans at my table - is my harshest critic: myself. The hardest one to migrate to Tribe. And the Rumi quote is helping me unravel that, untangle the hard truth of that and begin to reweave it into something else, something on its way to being beautiful.

And here’s to a beautiful part of the Tribe in my life right now:

My lovely “Spillers”, who hear my voice and celebrate it - every time.