Inside: In a world that can feel scary and harsh I want to be the kind of person who keeps believing in better. Who doesn’t give up and who keeps on fighting, who isn’t too busy to lift up others. I often feel weak or afraid and like I have little to offer, but I want to be the kind of person who shows up anyway.
I want to be the kind of person who listens well. I want to listen far more than I speak. And when I don’t know what to say I want to shut up and be the kind of person who offers a hug and a homemade meal.
I want to be the kind of person who shows up at the emergency room when called. I don’t need all the details – I won’t make assumptions or make up stories – and I will hold your private details for you if that’s what you need. Or I’ll the rally troops on your behalf.
I won’t tell you just to pray more or cover you with shame when you have the courage to tell the truth or ask for help. I won’t suggest your loved one is “in a better place now” because I understand that you are left behind, hurting, and that matters.
I will offer compassion and tears because I’ve been in dark places myself. I’ve walked through seasons of depression, pain, and grief. And though I may not fully understand what you’re walking through, I have needed others to just love me through the valley.
I want to be the kind of person who doesn’t assume your child did something wrong when I see their face on a missing poster. And I want to be a person who lets you talk as much as you need to about the person you loved who you helped bury.
I will do my best to see you as a messy person like myself – gifted, worthy of love, imperfect and beautiful. I’ll be quick to forgive and slow to take offense. I’ll try to remember that I have much to learn and stay open to hearing from your perspective. I’ll be real about my struggles so you know you can be real too.
I want you to know that when you’re afraid you’re not alone. That when your marriage is imploding or you’re struggling with addiction or your child is in pain or everything feels like its breaking at once and you’re not sure you have what it takes to hold on, I will hold you up. I won’t pretend I have the answers or that I have any idea how to fix it, I won’t offer you unsolicited advice, but I will help hold you up.
When you need a safe place to talk I will do my best to hear you. I will practice holding space for your anger and rage, for your grief and fear and longing. For all your brokenness. And though I may not say this aloud, I will believe for you that light will come again. When you have no hope I will bear hope for you. When you have no light, I will share the tiny bit I have.
I will use up my breath and energy, my time and my talents, to call out the beauty and strength I see in you. I will laugh alongside you at all our imperfections, the ways we bumble our way along, and we can tell the truth about the ways we want to grow and how we’re learning to love who we are. I will speak up if you or other people talk meanly about you – I will have your back.
I want to be the kind of person who helps build a world that’s safe to live in. I will lift up rather than tearing down. When people offer hate and meanness I’ll try to remember that I always get to choose my response. I know I’ll make mistakes but I’ll pick myself up and keep a light on for your child who doesn’t feel safe in this world, for your friend who wonders if she is worthy of taking up space, and for you who are weary and heavy-hearted.
I will be the kind of person who believes in dialogue and that when we lay down our weapons and come together we build a stronger, safer, and healthier community. I will examine my beliefs and the thoughts that I have and alter course when I realize now I know better. I will hold fast in some areas but even then do my best to remember I only see in part.
In a world that can feel scary and harsh I want to be the kind of person who keeps believing in better. Who doesn’t give up and who keeps on fighting, who isn’t too busy to lift up others. I often feel weak or afraid and like I have little to offer, but I want to be the kind of person who shows up anyway.