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Day 53: Continuing the Musing...PoL

Moving the lenses in a little closer to home now…

My journey of life, love, and learning will unfold regardless whether anyone else shows up or not. I used to be hesitant to be fully present in mixed company, be that gendered, racial-ethnic, orientation, etc.. While I am still inclined to honor the journeys of others alongside my own in context, I recognize my showing up is independent of anyone else’s presence (or absence). If I show up for me, those who matter will be drawn to me. Those who don’t show up are on their own journeys in which I don’t matter, don’t need to matter.

I can’t begin to name how HUGE this is for my spirit-heart. I have a felt-sense of mis-fittedness, being a deep-feeling woman in a family of either no or highly hidden feeling. A longstanding storyline for me is not being seen as who I am while in the shadows of my sister, or my family, or the achievements necessary for belonging in my lineage. Isolation, loneliness, even feelings of abandonment. Coping mechanisms? Intuition and high perception for the values of others, showing up for them, reading others' behavior to insure my own safety & belonging.

Here, in these months, I landed in a small group that was difficult and perfect. Three were executive-administrator types, well conditioned to produce programming while everything feeling-oriented/vulnerable remains hidden in learned roles. The other two in my group had incredibly full lives with deep commitments to family and local community, some in health crisis, some just naturally to be prioritized over our small group meetings.

My invitation was to show up in a group that might or might not show up for me.

Imagine how fun that was for a woman with a fear of being left, abandoned?

Today, I shake my head and smile at the gifts that held and guided me—my own and those of others. I experienced the inevitable yet wounded tropes of highly cognitive people trying to “solve a problem” instead of being present with one another. None of us knew how, really. I learned I could stand in the pain(s) of others without taking them on, or being shamed into responsibility. And most surprisingly, I learned I could feel deeply connected to others I never expected I would. When I committed to myself "to be present with" each of the small group members one-on-one before "our next gathering," there was one member I had the most anxiety about meeting in direct-space. Out of all of the conversations, that was the one I enjoyed the most. We talked well over our alotted time. Utter GIFT.

So over these months, I’ve learned more what it feels like to show up for myself, regardless of any other’s presence (or lack thereof). My learning does not depend upon others’ presence, even as I know learning will deepen with those who do show up.’s freeing to not matter to others…which is only possible when you already know you matter for you. That may be the more significant learning in the end.

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