Not very nice stories.
And my heart feels them down deep. I have wanted to howl loud all weekend.
But I have not. I remain, well, still. Quiet. Enraged within. Holding it down.
Because damn it, that’s where stories like these are “supposed” to stay. Stuffed.
The story in my narrative closet goes something like this:
- “You always take these things too seriously. Just…let it go.”
- “Stewing about this is hurting you more than anything. Why are you doing this to yourself?”
- “With all the good that’s happening in your life, you’re going to focus on this? Don’t bring anyone else down.”
“Just…don’t be so intense about all that other goop.”
Wait. Rewind. “…about all that other shit” - because that’s what it was. Crap.
Dear Heart-Women, I haven’t howled. The very word I use to describe the Bad Ass Feminine Truth Telling work I do, I have not done. I got wrapped back-up in an old story.
I need to get naked.
To ready the lap of story telling we will be doing this Thursday March 27th at Noon PST with Shiloh Sophia McLoud, the woman who embodies the expansive permission of the feminine heart, I will ROAR!
Narrative Closet Step One: See the closet of stories.
NC Step Two: Identify the stories hanging there.
NC Step Three: Try them on and see how they fit.
I do not like how these “stuff the anger stories” fit, so I am redesigning a new one.
NC Step Four: Take them off, let them sit and get naked. HOOOWWWLLL!
My naked heart hurts and is angry. So. Damn. Mad.
I met my now 24 year old nephew standing next to my sister after an interminable wait at the Portland International Airport so many years ago. He was a tiny baby carried in the arms of the last airline attendant coming off the plane that brought him from Japan to the loving open arms of my sis.
24 years later I now saw him sitting behind a glass window waiting…
My valuable, sweet, quiet nephew is a drug addict. He is in prison because he broke the law. That is not the source of my rage. The story that plagues me is not “follow the law” or, “if you break it you pay”. I understand he earned his consequences.
The story gnawing at my gut is the one that seems to decorate the underside of our collective narrative closet that says “When you blow it, you are broken and will be treated as such.”
This was our first time to see him since he was transferred to a state prison. We had waited 3 months to be cleared and given the okay. From December to March my nephew had no visitors. Not one. We were all waiting to get clearance.
Finally it came. My sister made plans to come from her home in Colorado and even amidst the conflicting information on the website and the unanswered emails and phone messages…she managed to make two appointments for us to see him.
Neither of the appointments she made worked. Three times they changed when we could see him. Finally we got a meeting. Noon. We had been there since early morning. Filled with anticipation and nerves, we went through the heavy metal door as the lock clicked open, taking off shoes, belts and anything else that might buzz. I walked through the metal detector.
BZZZZZZZZZZZ. My sisters’ head flew up. I looked over at the officer. “What can it be? I have nothing left to buzz.”
He then asks the question that stole 40 precious minutes of time, two bras and some deep seated belief that in the end, all humans are valuable and we all believe that.
“Are you wearing an underwire bra?” Yes. We both were.
“Nope. You can’t go in there with one on.” Prepared to strip then and there, the female officer stepped over and loudly gave instructions. “Go to the bathroom and remove the wires. You may not go in without wearing undergarments. Go.”
We ran to the bathroom, threw off our clothes and with a ball point pen struggled, pulled, bent and tried to no avail. These things were not budging.
“What about the truck…is there something in the truck we could use to cut them open?” I asked. So we ran. Half dressed. Across the parking lot. A man we’d seen inside with his wife was walking back to his car when he saw us. “That happened to my wife last weekend”, he said. “Now I had one too many keys on my ring.”
And the clock ticks. In our minds eye we see my nephew, my sisters’ child, waiting…wondering where we are...
We find a box cutter and rip, cut, tear at the fabric. My sister cuts her finger. We laugh almost hysterically. Our hands are shaking so hard I think we are going to seriously injure ourselves or the upholstery.
Finally pulling the wires out, we stand naked by the truck doors desperately trying to get back into broken bras. We run back to the security check. Tick-Tock. Tick-Tock. Sign the agreement voucher. Tick-Tock. Run to the next security check. Tick-Tock. Pass to the next check-in where we see him. In orange. Behind the glass. Waiting.
He sees us. We see him and I think my sister is going to knock down everyone in line ahead of us to get to her boy. But she doesn’t. We behave. We stay quiet. We wait again. This time the guard had to rearrange a table. It took another 3 minutes. I know. I was counting.
Finally. Finally. Friggin Finally we got to go to him. For 20 minutes.
Fire-Wisdom Women - my belly burns with rage for how we practice the story that worth is determined by performance.
My anger is for the mothers and fathers, grandmothers and aunties that waited for hours, walked back and forth to their cars to once again become “right” to go in and see their loved ones. Some never did get in. They left in shame and tears.
I howl for all of them – and for us – for We Can Change Our Stories!
There are no perfect mothers or fathers. Nor are there faultless children. We are in motion, works of art in progress!
I want to write new stories, design tapestries that speak of value, worth & love. Tell stories that BOLDLY affirm the human potential to emerge from pain, abuse and a plot line telling us that unless we are perfect we are nothing, to owning our naked, burning essences of unique beauty that IS within Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
Oh Ya! Uh-huh. That IS right.
I want this for you, lovely, in your life and heart.
I want this for our communities, so we hold one another up to those stories as we reach for our stars and grasp our abundance!
I want this for all who feel small, demeaned and worthless and for each one of us who have been there.
I want new stories that dazzle! Come along with me and let’s make it so!
Start this Thursday, March 27 at Noon PST. Go here for all the deets! I know you will LOVE the lap of Shiloh Sophia McLoud!