There is a strange combination of spirits growing within me. They seem at war with each other but in a strange way they complement each other in ways I would have never anticipated. If you knew me in my youth you know I had the reputation for being a little extreme. I was unapproachable. I was odd and I was quiet and often stood in the background observing rather than getting involved in a group dynamic. I was extremely content to be alone with myself. I was not a natural conversationalist and talking with people was not in my comfort zone. I just wanted to be left alone. This same little girl is still fully alive and well inside of me. I still love to be alone. It might be my favorite place to be. I also still like to sit in the background and observe everything going on around me. I won’t remember your name but I will know every variation of expression you carry in your face and body language. I will remember what you did and what you said but I won’t remember your name. I can feel very close and connected to someone and know that I would have their back and they mine but still not know their name. To me your name doesn’t matter…what you do and who you are and what you feel is what matters. Your story is what matters. That is what makes you who you are. A name is just a label to me.
What has changed over the years is my interest in people. I will find myself staring intently into the eyes of someone who is sharing their thoughts simply out of an earnest desire to understand the heart of who they are. I used to look at people indifferently and even dare I say with a very judgmental attitude. Then I walked through life and realized it is akin to walking through a battlefield. Even if it is not your war you cannot make it through unscathed and everyone’s walk is different. I became very curious about people. Their stories fascinate me. I want to learn from them and understand them. So now inside me live two spirits, one that seeks to be alone with myself and one that seeks close and deep connection to the heart of individuals willing to share that with me. They seem so at odds with one another but what I have found recently is that this odd combination draws souls to me with a need to connect. I am finding I am not alone. There are so many people with stories that need to be told and wisdom they are willing to share. The odd space between my solo internal dimension and my insatiable intrigue of the human soul create a void that naturally draws in the people I am meant to connect with.
I have found myself in a place of utter humility. I will openly share every mistake I have made and every shortcoming I possess. I have found that placing yourself bare yet confidently at the feet of a stranger often invites them to do the same. Creating a safe place to truly connect puts people at ease. There are no egos here, no expectations. When you have nothing to hide you can simply be yourself and people who are genuine are the most wonderful people. You can look into the eyes of a stranger and feel it. The depth of a person is written in the dialogue of their eyes. The eyes are the window to the soul is one of the most accurate statements ever made. You cannot hide rage from the eyes, sadness, fear, joy…it all radiates out of the eyes and no matter how good you are at creating opposing facial expressions in an attempt to cover up your true emotions the eyes still tell all. You cannot successfully hide it from anyone who truly looks to see.
I don’t think I will ever lose my love of being alone. I think that is a part of the core of who I am but I can see this curiosity and desire to understand and connect with real genuine people continuing to grow. My ultimate goal is to breed this through creating spaces to cultivate these conversations and concepts. I feel the ultimate state of being includes confidence in oneself and the path you are on coupled with curiosity and humility. The hardships of this world can breed that if we know how to use them to our advantage. Hardships can break you and send you down a path far away from your potential for growth but they can also be repurposed into fuel that feeds the fire in our souls driving us to become the best version of us that we can be. Often times the difference in outcome is directly related to the resources we have at our disposal at the time and the past voices that we hear reverberating in our minds. If these voices spoke lies that we believed then we will have a difficult time taking the hardship and repurposing it into fuel for our fire. Helping people to recognize the quality of the voices in their past, identifying those that are true and those that are lies and filling the gaps in with good quality voices to set people up for success through hardship should be an important goal for all of us. We can be those voices of truth for people around us. I am thankful for those voices I have had in my life over the years and I directly equate my successes with hardship to those voices.
I have a passion for helping people and understanding them in a way I would have never imagined. I know it is a piece of the puzzle to my purpose and I am dedicated to hashing out what that is meant to look like on a larger scale. I have no doubt that the road will be long and winding but I am dedicated to walking it. There is a purpose here bigger than me and I am willing to search until I find my role in it.