Let’s Talk in the Now -Part 2

To have the world we want, we must be willing to ask for it.

The reason there is a Part 2 to this post is because I did not post Part 1 when I wrote it. I decided after that I needed to take steps, to challenge myself and the ideas I had just written. I forced myself to be vulnerable.

The day after I wrote that, I decided to make plans with a dear friend I was missing desperately. Things had been strained between us and I not only missed, but needed him. It’s hard for me to face my fears when it comes to personal relationships. When I love someone, my heart grows desperate if I feel my truth could hurt them. Instead I shut it in and stuff it down, which I do not recommend. It can come in handy as a pause, but it’s terrible as an emotional habit.

What happened was profound. We are both in new places in our lives. The reaction I was afraid of did not exist and a warm and open heart is what I got. For the first time in years I felt that he heard me. He didn’t question me and didn’t make me feel bad. In fact it was quite the opposite and I felt that in that moment got my best friend back. I am so grateful.

That same week, I made a difficult phone call based on the reaction of a colleague. I made my concerns known with compassion and openness, and again…I was heard. I set up a call with a treasured friend who I wanted to talk to, but was afraid to share the pain I was feeling with. I didn’t want to burden her and have her think I was being dramatic. I had avoided the call for weeks. When we spoke the relief flooded and she assured me that if I ever needed to just cry, I was welcome to.

We all go through our own personal chaos. The lucky ones were taught that no one can do it alone, they ask for what they need and though it’s still hard as shit, knowing you’re not alone gets you through. Unfortunately for many of us it’s not like that. Some force the chaos on others, some blame the world and others squelch it down into the deepest part of their bones (that would be me by the way) hoping it will somehow disappear. This is even harder for people who have spent their lives needing to be strong. Thinking it weak to ask for help or simply say I need you now because I’m not strong enough alone.

Somewhere in my life I learned that to cry, to be exposed, to allow others to see that I am not perfect or as together as so many think I am; it makes me weak. What writing Part 1 showed me was my reflection. I had to see myself and ask if I am actually asking for what I need or sharing my truth. What am I actually saying? I realized that more often than not, I am the one to change the subject. I don’t want to talk about myself…or should I say, expose myself. I am uncomfortable if I think the other person is uncomfortable. I assume they do not want to hear the negative. In some cases, I’m sure that’s true but not as often as I have allowed myself to believe.

In reality what I am learning is that I do want to be seen, and not for the person people think I am, for the person who I actually am. I am a strong, intelligent woman whose soul requires being a part of a community. I am an artist who loves to collaborate, and leader who wants to learn as much as she teaches. I am a human being, like all others, who is imperfect and afraid and I will fight for the courage to be okay with it all, however long that takes.

Namastè

©NicholeDonjè

Let’s Talk in the Now -Part 1

Finding the truth is the only way to move forward.

I was watching the inspirational Brenè Brown on Super Soul Sunday (my happy addiction), as usual I was moved but, this time I had a different take. She discussed how people rarely talk about their journey when they’re down, it’s after the fact; which though inspiring, often in the end, after we’ve tried following their advice or walked a similar path and failed, we are disappointed both with the world and with ourselves. It’s easier to share what we have been through when we have made it to the other side, but what about when you truly question if you’ll get there. This profoundly made me consider where I am in my life right now.

What I am realizing is that I want to talk about it now as it’s happening, to share my fear, the struggle and the triumph. In Rising Strong, Brene says we as a people look away, and sadly, it’s true. I’ve found all too often when people ask, how are you? They either don’t really want to know, or they cannot handle the reality of what you want to share. More than once when I have been going through something, someone I know will see it in me and ask how I am or if I’m okay. The response is often unsettling. More than once I have worked to put aside my lack of trust to be vulnerable, hoping to be heard. What all too often happens is quite honestly painful.

1. The person shifts subjects as you tell them that you’re struggling and moves on as if they had never asked the initial question 2. They jump in and rant how shitty the world is (and in turn tell me all their issues, often negating mine), or 3. Though well intentioned, they are determined to be hyper positive. They want to fix it, make it all better, and give me all the answers that quite honestly often there is no answer to. All of these responses tend to make me either no longer want share my actual truth or make me feel as if they don’t really want to hear it. Sadly I know that I have been this person too and I want to change.

To listen, to hear with compassion and love, that’s what I want. It’s what we all want, to be heard. It’s the person I want to be, and I’m working on it.  I’m nostalgic for my childhood and college friendships. The long nights talking about anything and everything, wholeheartedly enveloped in and committed to one another’s lives. It gets hard when we realize that most friends cannot be this for us. I have so many friends, all of whom I love dearly and many who I know love me. But this is rare.

I ask myself, what I am doing differently or wrong. Is this just the way relationships work now? Did I miss something? I certainly hope not. Perhaps we are all just afraid to share and make ourselves vulnerable in this unpredictable world. Maybe that is what this time of technology has taught us. Stay safe, type it don’t say it; read it don’t hear it. If it’s at a distance it can’t hurt me. I really do wonder. All I can do is work on me and hope that I find in myself the will and commitment to rebuild these ideals, to make such closeness real again.

Namastè

©NicholeDonjè

Wake Up,The Curtain has Been Drawn

“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, LIKE AIR, I RISE! – Maya Angelou

I fell asleep and woke up today heartbroken, sad and quite honestly scared. I am truly beside myself. My life and the lives of many people I love are about to change. I was cautiously hopeful and excited by the possibilities before us but deep down I knew, and sadly I am not surprised. The truth about this country has finally been exposed and “white” America has spoken. Moment to moment I literally need to squelch back tears. Today, I am in mourning.

We have elected a president, the president of the most powerful country on earth, who ran on a platform of hate, racism, bigotry, sexism and lies.  How did we let this happen? To summarize a compelling note from NBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent, Richard Engel, who has seen the world at its worst – there is good and bad to being the most powerful country in the world. The good is that you are it, the bad is that your worst enemy is yourself – and this is what’s happening.

That said, and the deed being done… now, ALL of us know where this country stands, the curtain has been drawn, and we cannot deny or unknow it. This is the first true step toward real change.  I am moved as I have never been.  I pray and ask myself over and over – What now? What is my role? Please give me the courage to figure it out, and to play it well.

We will get through this, I know it. There is always hope. We are too strong not to find it. I hope the media machine looks in the mirror and starts to again invest in truth, that actual journalism resurges.  I hope that politicians reassess and remember why they are there, not for power, not for money – but to represent the people.  I hope that the artist and the humanitarian communities fight back with love- because “love trumps hate” and they are the best at knowing and sharing it freely.  I hope Americans from all walks of life come together, stop fighting, begin to hear and understand one another, and move forward. We cannot ever turn a blind eye again. Our voices must be heard. This is our wakeup call!

As the enlightened and wise Maya Angelou said, “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, LIKE AIR, I RISE!” and so we will.

Namastè

©NicholeDonjè

Little Moments

What’s next? Breathe deep, reach within, find the truth,  move forward – ever forward.

img_0507

 

Namastè

©NicholeDonjè

Little Moments

Today I am vulnerable, so that tomorrow I will be strong.

IMG_4066

Namastè

©NicholeDonjè