Baked in Gratitude

My most recent Daring Way™ group, The Daring Survivors (yes, somedays they could be one of those ole’ timey all girl doo-wop bands) and I were lighting the way into the arena. We were gaining clarity on our values and making decisions about what we are going to take into the arena instead of the swords of emotional armor.

One group member piped in and asked what was Altruism? It was a difficult idea to explain in terms of a value, especially since I obviously could not keep my opinion to myself about how I felt about the concept. I did my best, but did say I worried saying ‘we are coming from a completely selfless place’ because I do not believe that is really possible.

We are humans and therefore we need connection. We cannot do this alone. We need a tribe.

Hell, sometimes I need more than one. So if we give knowing that it will bring us Joy, I would argue that it is not- nor does it need to be- from a selfless place.

And honestly, nothing has been more meaningful then the work I get to do with my fellow trauma survivors. Yes, some just come and go. But when we stick, its kind of like Mod Podge- we are gonna glue some shit down permanently. And no matter how you try to bake, it is NOT an altruistic endeavor.

I have the honor and privilege of holding space for my fellow trauma survivor. And as they plow through, trudge straight up hill- sometimes holding heavy weight for some time; I gently keep pushing on those edges of comfort and ask, ask and Ask Again to Wake Up to this life. Be Courageous. Do the hard thing- because if I can, You Can.

The transparent truth is this, I push for many important reasons, but as I watch the world shift, sometimes a life saved; I hold it dearly on those dark days. When someone does the work and moves from victim to survivor it gives me hope that WE can do it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. Their work has a ripple effect that they will never see. Sometimes I won’t even see.

So, from my perspective, there is no such thing as altruism. I am a hard ass about the work once I know your level of commitment. I have been known to straight out call people a fucking liar when their own personal honesty is lacking and I hope ONLY when I have earned it. Giving the gift of a whole hearted life to yourself is the most important and meaningful thing you will ever do for yourself. I will then carry your authentic Self with me ALL the days of my life. And no matter what the challenge, I WILL HOPE. I will keep dreaming of another. And another. And another SURVIVOR.

The only thing we can ever really do to make a difference in this life is to change ourselves. My fellow tribe pushes me to keep growing. I push them to keep moving towards Survivorhood.

Yeah- Survivorhood: its a place where the courageous go to lay down their emotional armor and change the world by changing themselves.

Come. Come and Go with Me.



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I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years in practice. I am in love with people and our peculiarities.

One thought on “Baked in Gratitude”

  1. When I heard about Robin Williams. I immediately thought to myself, “Damn! he couldn’t find his way out of the dark.” That could’ve been me, in fact, that was me less than two years ago. It’s so easy to get lost in this house of mirrors, this maze we call life. Where you don’t even know who the hell you really are! I imagine being trapped by the cameras, the phony people, the money, the fame and fortune hardly requires you to show up at all. “Show biz is no biz for a person with mental illness.” That’s why I’m so blessed to live a “normal” mentally ill fucked up life. Lol. Millions saw him on the silver screen and very few noticed the armor, of which, he wore very well.
    The fact that he touched so many people with his suicide says something about the magnitude of our suffering. We are suddenly forced to look at the ways we armor up ie. money, career, humor, drugs, and so on. “The tears of a clown” I will never forget his humor and I don’t know if I liked him because I saw something in him that I saw in myself. Did I sense his sadness and loneliness? Not sure, but I do know the road to wholehearted ness and authenticity is not an easy road to travel for most. There is no bargaining, borrowing, or stealing. This shit is long, arduous, and deep! Your real tribe members can help carry you through. One stone can make many ripples…May peace and joy be upon us all.

    Sent from my iPhone

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