2014, This Is How I Greet Thee
On January 2, 2014, I decided to become, or to be, a strong woman. I believe I was inspired, in part, by listening to Maya Angelou. To me, being a strong woman means:
- I will write and I will write from the heart and I will write authentically and I will only write in cahoots with inspiration and I will write bravely and I will keep putting my work out into the world. I will let my own voice speak.
- I will reserve the right to tell my story in the way I see fit. Someone said you can survive anything if you can tell a story about it, so I will craft story to keep strong.
- I will acknowledge my needs, even petty ones, even ones that make me feel weak and vulnerable, and with time and patience I will discover appropriate ways to meet every need.
- I will live the life my soul is asking me to live, and I will not pause for permission though I pause often for discernment, and I will not apologize for becoming who I am meant to be, though I will not shy from learning from mistakes.
- I will never stop growing.
- I will stay open to adventure and to surprise. I will extend hospitality to the unexpected and welcome even the stranger experiences and emotions.
- I will meet heartache with tears, then hope. I will respond to evil with creativity and integrity. I will fight violence with words and kindness. I will take chaos and create poetry.
- I will learn how to listen well.
- I will mother the motherless elements of myself, and when called for, do the same for others.
- I will not insert myself where I do not belong, nor carry anxieties that do not bear my name, nor worry about that which I am not responsible for fixing. I will find where I belong, I will carry what is given to me, and I will be a faithful steward of the tiny portion of redemptive action I hold in my own two hands.
- I will tell the truth.
- When I don’t know what to do, I will say so. I will not pretend any answer. When I don’t know what to do, I will light candles, pray prayers, sit still, ask for help, write poems, but I will try not to act too soon, speak too hastily, or force a way forward.
- I will arrange my pains and pleasures artfully so that my life gets to feel like a masterpiece and my darkness doesn’t get wasted and my light doesn’t get smothered by shadow. When you tell me your pains and pleasures, I will try to honor your colors too, and I will admire the art of you, like you are a museum piece I revere except that I won’t be afraid to touch you.
- I will make a beautiful home and I will bake my life full of sugar, yeast, gratitude and laughter.
In so doing, I will find that I am very strong.