I want to start a thing. I don’t yet know what this thing will look like, but I want to unite people in search of connection and belonging. After ingesting nearly all of Dr. Brene Brown’s writings in less than a year, I am now craving connection with people aspiring like goals. I don’t mean career goals, or family goals, I mean life goals: Living brave, daring greatly, embracing our gifts of imperfection, and learning how to love ourselves fully, wholly, completely, in order to live life whole-heartedly.
I have a small number of dear souls who write to tell me that my random ramblings mean a lot to them, and for that I am truly overwhelmed and grateful. I don’t take this lightly, nor do I assume some weird position of false humility. Honestly, I take a lot of pride and joy in my writing and believe clear and unique communication is a skill I have. As an avid reader, I also believe writing can be a strong, powerful bridge that connects people. In my mind, I am personal friends with Anne Lamott, Bob Goff and Brene Brown – despite the fact that I’ve never met them. Which is why I write this post.
We obviously live in an age of false connection and false belonging due in part to the rise of social media. I’m not slamming it, I just mean it’s easy to assume we know what’s going on in someone’s life because we cruise Instagram and Facebook and see a sliver of a fraction of something they CHOSE to post. I’m just sayin’, people don’t post their anxiety attacks, or the 6th marital argument of the week, or their recurring night terrors, or their own stressful toddler-induced breakdowns, or their bulimia, or their business failures, or their pile of skeletons in the closet. No, people don’t broadcast that. And I’m not saying we should. I just aspire to more; more honest and real connection and belonging. Instagram and Snapchat feel like Taco Bell relationships, and I want some Southern, home-cooked, organic, food pyramid relationships.
I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t have any answers, but I do think as humans, we all long for a safe place to shed our outer layers and be real. Like really real. But most of us don’t do it because we’re so afraid of being shamed and rejected. A dear soul shared some honest thoughts with me via email, and then admitted that her greatest fear of all was the people closest to her finding out, because they would shame her and she would become an outsider. God, I know how this feels. I have been shamed and made an outsider for my truths. Stepping into my truths; ALL of my truths (good, right, strong, brave, bad, ugly, wrong, scary and even the not-my-fault truths) stepping into ALL of them and pushing through has been one of the most challenging but freeing journey’s of my life. I’m this far in now and I’m not going back. I am proud of who I’m becoming and where I’m going. I want to be whole-hearted. I want to stand in my truths, own it all and write the rest of my story, myself! If we don’t own our stories – ALL parts of them – then we can’t author the rest. Yeah it’s true….you might lose some people and you might feel like an outsider. But the truth will set you free.
As Brene Brown said “You cannot transform yourself and not piss off other people. You’re not responsible for how they react. For every major change in my life, I leave a few friends behind.” She also said “I forged a relationship where I was constantly taking care of someone else, but now that I am choosing to take care of myself they can’t handle it, because my focus isn’t on them anymore.”
I believe we need a partner, a teammate, a posse that can sit with us in our full truths and aspire with us to whole-hearted living. If you’re looking for the same, let’s meet up. If you’re in or around Charlotte I’d love to do an in-person get-together. If you’re not in Charlotte I’m going to set-up a Skype group chat once a month. I think it’ll be good. All are welcome. Seriously – anyone. If this resonates with you, join in. Shoot me an email if you’re interested. TheCookieCult@gmail.com
What will it look like? Well, I’m not entirely sure but my goal is some cross of an AA Meeting, with A Poetry Reading? A safe place where people can share honest stories, share empathy, feel connection and a sense of belonging. The True True Posse! Hollah at me.
First Meeting – Monday February 22, 2016 8:30EST