When I woke up the other morning, three words were on my mind: Weather the storm.
What storm? I feel like my life is serene right now, so I had no idea what the message meant.
I had spent the previous day helping my sister with her two new grandbabies. I have no grandchildren of my own, so I was delighted when she asked for my help. Holding babies is one of my favorite things to do. I love the way they snuggle in and fall asleep, trusting that they are safe.
Every time I hold an infant, I feel invited to reflect on my own level of trust. I wonder if I could relax enough to fall asleep in someone’s arms.
At the end of the day with my sister and her grandchildren, I felt content and happy, filled with gratitude and joy.
So why did I wake up the next morning thinking weather the storm?
Then I remembered this week’s Ignite the Fire session, where we reflected on our call and the hero’s journey. We talked of the language of possibility and what keeps us hemmed in. We journaled about what internal scripts keep our worlds small. We considered what we need to lay down to make room for something bigger.
Martina said that if we are heroes, we will be admired and opposed. We will face fear, vulnerability and adversity—and know that it is part of the journey. She said that when our hearts are hammering, we are hearing our call.
That reminded me of when I was the Survivor Speaker at a fund raiser last summer for our local domestic abuse/sexual assault resource center. My heart was pounding, and my knees were weak. I felt exposed and vulnerable, and I wanted to run away. But I didn’t. I told my story, even though I was scared.
I am scheduled to share my story again, and I am probably feeling anxiety, vulnerability and fear—although I tend to minimize the emotions connected with sharing my story, downplaying how difficult it is for me. Perhaps what I need to lay down is my self-identity as someone who is strong and self-sufficient. Letting go of that self-identity would produce an internal storm as disquieting as a tornado; maybe that is what weather the storm means. Letting go of seeing myself as capable and in control of my emotions would allow me to lean into vulnerability and possibility.
Spending the day with my sister and her grandchildren was an invitation to ponder possibility and vulnerability. At one point, my sister and I each held a baby, and the two children faced one another. The four-month old looked at his two-month-old cousin and started to laugh. It was as if he just noticed there was another baby in the room, and that tickled him. We laughed along, tickled that he had noticed his cousin. Everything is new for these two babies; everything is possible. I want to be that open.