“Our human problems are emblematic of areas where we are being called to grow, to peck into a new paradigm.” – Rev. Michael Beckwith, D.D.
I wrote this post at 3am because it was a burning thought in my mind. An epiphany that would not let me sleep. In the last Foundations class at Bodhi Spiritual Center, Rev. Lola Wright said, “Your mess is your message”. I have pondered that statement for several days. It sparked several questions:
- What have you witnessed?
- What is your recurring life lesson?
- What do you have yet to learn?
- What have you learned from your experiences that can be of use to others?
I have figured out my mess and the life lesson I can impart to others: Self-Advocacy.
In an earlier post, I shared a timeline of my life which highlighted several moments of despair and disappointment. It would be easy to say that these incidents were all due to the irresponsible or insensitive adults in my life but as I completed the forgiveness exercise which asked me to consider the role I played in each devastating event, I realized my role was almost always the same. I assumed the role of victim and did not advocate for myself. I did not speak up. I did not fight. I did not even cry or beg for mercy. I just accepted the circumstances as they were with an odd mixture of pride and shame. On some level, there was pride in how much I was able to endure and still remain better than my abusers but I was still doing myself and others a disservice by remaining quiet.
We each have key roles in our lives which hinge on our ability to self-advocate — as children of parents, as employees in the workplace, as patients in the medical system. These are all key roles where we can be severely damaged if our best interests are not honored.
This is not an effort to victim-blame. I have had enough therapy to know that I was frozen by trauma but I also know that my life lesson is to learn how to stay awake. How not to freeze or disassociate or let things go unnoticed and unanswered. I am here to be an advocate for myself and for others.
My mess is my message. Be an advocate. No one will take care of your needs like you.
- Forgiveness Heals
- Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential
- Forgive and Forget Does Not Work: Try This Instead [Forgiveness Practice]