Last week was a doozy. The Election and the reality of the country I live in gave way to a profound gut check. I was forced to seriously consider my beliefs and my call.
- Am I really someone who has faith in the impossible?
- Am I really called to accompany people as they figure out what a meaningful life looks like?
- Do I have the where-with-all to help people embrace the fullness of who they are, when I sincerely struggle with ways of being that many people embody?
- Do I really believe that relationships are the foundation of any and all life giving, transformative change?
I shared about how I felt last Wednesday and spent the rest of the week gathering together my thoughts and feelings. I slept. I cried. I was angry. I was despairing.
In the midst of all of these realities, I also connected with the people who matter most in my life – with my brother and my parents; with my grandmother and my aunt and uncle; with my friends and soul sisters; with my Mission Year team members and colleagues; with my LEAD family. I immersed myself in my relationships, partly because I didn’t know what else to do and partly because they were all I had. When you hit rock bottom, sometimes all you have is your tribe – the people in your life who uplift, support, convict, challenge and fiercely love you. In these moments I realized that, for me, my tribe makes all the difference.
I’ve come to recognize that I honestly believe that who we spend our time with can either lead us to live a more meaningful life or lead us to a life that’s not as full or impactful as it could be.
This quote sums up my thinking about those who I consider to be my tribe. If life has taught me nothing else, it has taught me that our actions speak louder than our words. I’ve learned that the people who I am closest to, the ones who I get to share life with, have to be people who have to capacity to dream and to act in ways that bring about positive change in their lives and in our world. I can easily go to dark places. I’ve shared on my blog, Embracing My Shadow, about my ongoing struggle with mental illness. This reality only adds to my urgency to create a community that is uplifting and empowering.
In my 35 years of life, I’ve come to believe that we are all offered the chance to live meaningful lives. Even though my core was rocked this past week, I hold fast to this way of thinking and being. A fundamental building block of living a meaningful life is being in meaningful relationships, of having a tribe that supports you and that you support. In these relationships, we can model reciprocity, mutuality, respect and a deep and abiding love that I believe can shift the atmosphere for the better. And isn’t that what we need, today and everyday? Don’t we need positive, uplifting and empowering connections? Don’t we need people who dream and do, constantly considering their gifts, the world’s needs and the invitation to make a difference?
If you’re on social media, I invite you to share your thoughts about your tribe using the hashtag, #RozeReflections.
Below are some pictures of some of the members of my tribe. I’m grateful for each and everyone of them.
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