I love being me... The me who enjoys having time set aside, with people I like and trust, to consider, in writing, my strengths and weaknesses--- and my understanding of my strengths and weaknesses take on a different, more complex shape each time I am invited to consider my strengths and weaknesses from a new perspective (this was the first time I looked at how I respond to stress given what I had discovered using the Enneagram Personality Assessment method, sharing with others, listening to what they had written about themselves, and discovering, in the sharing more about myself and others. For me this was a day of gift in so many ways.
Here is what I wrote about who I think I am when I "feel safe, accepted, relaxed, integrated, free, and alive:"
"I move with the moment. I listen; I ask questions; I will ask others to share stories; I'm candid.
If I am with the folks (other African Americans) I fall into my Southern, Texas way of speaking (slower, words sliding into one another, tone and words moving melodiously--- now deep, now high pitched, now, with a grunt, now with a uh huh or a 'thank you very much,' to emphasize my point. My stories and concerns focus on the issues that are most important to me...
1. concerned about racial discrimination,
2. shamed by other African Americans who 'make all of us look bad,'
3. excited when I consider African Americans who are showing themselves to be bright, creative, able to get over on the patronizers, manipulators, abusers, and exploiters,
4. sorrowing deeply for the Black children and young adults who are being set aside, abused, unjustly used,
5. excited and thrilled by the people of other races who get it... the sorrows, fears, and joys of being marginalized in our country;
6. and who put themselves on the line every day to make life here better for us all..."
Seeing so much of me on paper and having the opportunity to share with others is so very freeing... like I have felt often when I have sat around the fireside with dear friends on a cold, wet night, and just talked, listened, learned and loved... and all the time hoped that that fireside time would never, never end...
We met in Olympia at the Tillicum Presbyterian Center
Our speaker was the honest, open, truly well read scholar, Dr. Gretchen Gundrum, Ph.D. from Seattle University... I loved the way she spoke to us... didn't hide behind a podium or a bunch of papers... she knew what she was talking about and invited us to share our thinking and lives
The women and men,all members from varying Christian denominations, of the Spiritual Care Departments for the Franciscan Hospitals) attending were very, very bright, honest, open, caring, and willing to put themselves out there... weaknesses and strengths sincerely and serenely shared,
At a site that was surrounded by just the greenest lawns and the most beautiful trees:
And I end this post by inviting all who can to walk around the sacred space where I learned so much about myself and other human beings... WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY THIS WAS TO JUST BE ABLE TO BE MYSELF...
ANY STORIES YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT PEOPLE HELPING OTHER PEOPLE TO BE THEMSELVES WOULD BE SO MUCH APPRECIATED