What a great question for me to listen into more deeply as restorative wisdom picks up momentum for me. [Gratitude for Mary Coffey @ Artful Spirituality, including Celtic and Ignatian streams of practice, painting, spiritual direction, more... ]
Restorative became a significant, felt-sense word for me in 2019-2020, as I was experiencing dissonance in a beloved community-of-practice. What I had assumed and understood our shared ethos to be with respect to prioritized, relational & abundant welcome was painfully contradicted as my own failure to accord to legal norms, therefore resulting in a censure of me as being competitive in existing relationships. I can see now how the entanglement was inevitable, but it was no less painful for either side of the disagreement. For my experience, the conscious feminine I had experienced as liberating became confining against innovations for sake of new relationship. A community I had thought would always choose relationship over structure chose structure over relationships, given they were perceived to be only in my circles as opposed to our circles.
I moved all of my confidential musings about conscious feminine leadership away from the eyes & ears of this web, no longer feeling safe, into a private space for the Restorative Conscious Feminine. My space needed a Feminine that was growing webs of relationship across difference, into abundant welcome, more than legalistic contracts and language protecting organizational structures.
The word restorative therefore allowed the recognition of an injury I felt, a disagreement in the referent or definition of whatever noun it might precede. The Conscious Feminine I was seeking was one that stood for abundant hospitality (even at a cost), and had integrity after a wounding, for all involved. She had been as She was, then became dissonant, conflictual, fragmented, and injurious, then was on a journey toward becoming whole once again, renewed, integrative, reconciled, restored.
Restored to what? This question Mary asked in response to Day Thirty-One reminds me to distinguish what I don’t intend with the word restorative. I do not use the word to refer to some Platonic or philosophical thing-item-normative characteristic which therefore must be defined, described, identified, and protected.
Whatever follows the word restorative for me is not the thing whose essence I am trying to codify, so to protect it. Wasted efforts by masculinized wisdom traditions for centuries. This distinction is also important to me because it touches my own church wounding so prevalent in journeys with more linear, masculinized wisdom traditions. Some true nature or original blessedness or human being-ness before the Fall into Sin… Nope, nah, not!
I do not understand Wisdom that Restores to be returning to any normed phenomenon or invitation. Whatever Wisdom has been, restorative wisdom is not trying to get back to that. But restorative does honor that human beings wound one another, and if fortunate, grow through the wound to a new and deeper Wisdom they share.
Re-storied, perhaps is the best nuance of the term. Shout out now to Amy Rebekah Chavez, Restoryative Somatics.