We arrive in this space in so many different guises, based on so many different experiences, throughout so many different phases of growth, immersed in so many different truths, tribes, testimonies, and tongues that we forget that just as much as we are different, we are the same.

We are born. We covet. We doubt. We sin. We fall. We fear. We wander. We desire. We complain. We regress.  We bless. We imagine. We love. We die. As time evolves, we realize that we are much more than the breath of creation.  Each one of us is a gift.

We yearn to see the universe’s face.  We hope it is different than our own.  But we see shapes, forms and different expressions of our own imperfections staring back at us. At some point, if we are fortunate, we know that we are not just here for ourselves.

The ultimate demonstration of our existence transcends material things or self-centered adoration.  Our accomplishments are merely guideposts, benchmarks to show us the ultimate gift: we are here to give, and by so giving−to serve, and by so serving−to be our best.

There are books but no manuals of how to properly perform the operation of inclusion, how to locate the seat of the problem, extinguish it, coordinate departure, and return for debriefing in a successful operation.  The challenges that we face to be more inclusive will not change overnight, nor can they be surmised in literature or study. Instead, we must bring all of ourselves – not based on the mere accomplishment of initiatives but also on the fundamental commitment to lead and exemplify for all the need to accept, respect and embrace the value of others.  This field will only be enhanced by the insight that each leader brings from their unique background, which provides them with the ability to envision, create and restore the unlimited arsenal that we need to honor our differences and celebrate the powerful gifts that each and every one of us brings to the table.

Our gifts are so precious and yet so tenuous they slide from our fingertips in a breath’s notice. We thought we were here for a neatly categorized occupation or the job we sought after college or what generations of family members did until we finally realize deep in our souls that we are here to serve a greater purpose.

Our callings have nothing to do with profession, paycheck or retirement.  Our various roles, which include but are in no way limited to glass maker, sanitation worker, electrician, carpenter,  plumber,  teacher, lawyer, clergy, fire prevention, engineer, architect, firefighter, emergency medical technician,  paramedic, nurse, doctor, soldier or caretaker, police officer, judge, or president is one of the many ways we clothe our soul’s true calling to be present for others.

No matter how much more we want, we eventually open our eyes and see that there is power in every single manner that each one of us expresses ourselves. Finding power within is the only way to respect the value of the power in others. Power is not indicative of how we rule, govern or assert strength over someone else, but how we find the space, time and commitment to demonstrate our own gifts and talents. The only way we can express our power is by being who we really are, by honoring our authentic selves.

Someone once encouraged me to adopt the belief that we are “one race.”   We are. And being able to express every aspect of our race in the unique manner that we as individuals experience and contribute to life is our true gift. The Ubuntu saying is “I am because you are.” This not only celebrates us as part of the team but gives us the true power of being one with others because we are able to be who we are.

If tradition attempts to limit us, it becomes a false idol and re-names itself “the past.” Everything around us teaches us that we cannot remain in the past any more than we can remain in a burning building.  Lot’s wife merely looked back at the past, and she could move no further.  We bring with us the power of the past being us as step into a future that defies the space of convention, one that can walk the water of new faith and courage without fear.

Where tradition excluded others, its toxic energy requires that it be cleansed, purged like any other substance that would kill. Exclusion is blindness. We cannot see what we refuse to accept as meaningful, important or real.

Where tradition welcomes who we are and uplifts our contributions, we honor it as the deliverer of all change and transformation.

The cocoon of conforming has covered us for so long that only a few of us dare emerge.  Yet, more often than not when we do, everyone admires the shapes, contexts and contours of the gifts and talents that only we can give to the universe.

Being there for others is an important way to show up for ourselves.

This entire blog site is protected by Copyright 2017 by Cecilia Loving
Images are for educational purposes only and are by George Redhawk

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