Published author, leadership and organizational development mentor, inspirational speaker, advocate for cold noses as healers Architecting a social movement of unconditional listening one voice, one story at a time
Unlike others it was resting at half-mast, a symbol of respect to honor a life that has passed. I don’t heed the news to know who it might be, though I anticipate it is a silent story. For other flags aren’t lowered as if weeping; this one’s lowering seems to be unique to this community. A recent social media post communicated November was a month to honor military personnel and their families. Perhaps this one was paying that tribute; then again, it wasn’t yet November when this flag rested at its halfway point in the chilly breeze.
It’s timing to appear on my path “perfect” in that way every moment of life is not random if we choose to see. It is whispering “notice” to compliment the dear individuals I’ve been fortunate to talk with this past week. I know like a magnet we draw to us that which our eyes and ears are listening to best know, our eyes and ears the conduits of what lies in our soul. I suppose on one hand I should not be surprised that stories of hope – and the realities of its absence – continue to come to me. My heart yearns to reduce the number of individuals who have lost their will to keep going.
In that way we learn best, I find two more oppositions I stand between. I continue to have the sacred honor of listening to extraordinary stories. Narrations of individuals who have let their seed of will grow no matter the droughts, floods, and fires that tried to stop the seed’s rising. So many people who have utilized their pain and trauma to find purpose out of suffering.
Equally I learn of many who are guideposts for healing. Organizations and communities of like-minded individuals striving to aid others on their broken-spirited journeys. A collective wisdom of individual gifts for each unique need. For each person walks their own journey for what resonates as healing modalities.
On the other end is the search and seek. How do we aid those who aren’t heard or seen? Do we hold faith that the ripples cast towards them will eventually reach? Or is there a collective action that we all share in its responsibility? To hear that silence that hinder many in their ability to speak. I think of the childhood game of hide and seek, the fun of being the hider fooling everybody. I believe we carry that game into our adulthood, only more seriously. If one feels scared or anxious or not worthy, they retreat further and further into a shell of invisibility. Instead of the child giggles one stifles in a secret hiding place, their adulthood wills no one to notice or discover where they’ve tried to stifle themselves away. Laughter and joy have been replaced by wearing a mask or disguise across one’s face.
Among the dear individuals as messengers this week, one person shared how they reached a point they knew what they could no longer be. They could no longer be “a pillar of perfection” as they thought others perceived. In letting go of what they thought was a brave front brought a liberating release. The ones they had once feared would judge or not accept were the ones they inspired most with their now visible authenticity.
I can also still hear another dear individual say these words in the sharing of a story. As he talked of two communications he had received about a person looking for another individual who had went missing “the first one was he feared because a rifle was gone, too…the second one was that services were pending, details forthcoming soon”.
Opposition; one life whose will grew through the hard dirt and clay. Another whose will wilted, dried up, and could not be saved. How do we reach those whose will is shrinking smaller in proportion to their voice also fading away?
This I think about as the flag hangs at half-mast in the sea of vehicles driving by.
I can’t help thinking it starts with all of us noticing this flag was not flying high.