Young woman, Precious girl

Young woman
Precious girl
I see you
I see your trembling lip
The uncertainty in your eyes
The small tear escaping
I see your strength
I see such courage
I see you
And my heart is breaking
My heart breaks every time I encounter you
because I know
I know exactly what you are feeling
What you are thinking
because in you
I see me
I see Young Woman me

Your life has been changed
in a moment
a moment you did not choose
a moment that robbed you of so much
of your innocence
of your trusting
of you

Young woman
Precious girl
I encourage you to stand strong
to speak out
as loudly as you dare
knowing that I stand
I stand beside you
to hold you until you are strong enough to stand
beside the next
Precious girl

Because I know
we know
there will be more
there are so many more
too many more
look around your friends precious one
the statistics tell us
that 1 of every 3 of your friends will be sexually assaulted before they are 17
the statistics tell us that living in New Zealand
the place we call Godzone
is one of the most dangerous places for you to be
Sexual assault in New Zealand is endemic
a far too silent epidemic
the silence is deafening…

Young woman
Precious girl
I understand your need for silence
in your silence you find normalcy
when something so heinous
so evil
so invasively devastating to your inner being
happens to you
you crave in anyway possible for everything to be ‘the way it was’ before

Precious one
if your silence is for normalcy
then be silent for as long as you need
be silent while you build strength
be silent and know that I am walking with you

But
if your silence is because of shame
then my Precious One
this is so NOT right
This burden
this shame
Is NOT Yours
Do you hear me?
I will shout this from the rooftops if I have to
Do NOT carry the shame of another
It is NOT yours to carry.

Young woman
Precious girl
be brave
take courage
knowing that we are walking beside you
we are breathing fire
as we fight for you
until you can breath your own fire.

Young woman
Precious girl
my heart is breaking
I love you

Becoming Woman – A Wild Warrior Woman

I’ve been exploring my wild self.
Learning about me
My inner innate self
Peeling back layers of societal constraint
Pushing myself out of my comfort zone
Questioning
all my pre-learned norms

Discovering that being a wild woman has nothing to do with
doing wild things
or stomping on male egos

It is about embracing your true natural self.
For one
that may be loud and out there – whirling through life in dervish excitement
for another
that is could be silent and contemplative
and everything in between
and maybe even at the same time

It is the woman who wants to break free from all the strings society has placed on her to find herself in the heart of love and compassion

A few days ago I experienced a sudden awakening
I know what happened…
…physically
that I will never ever forget
I have learnt how it has damaged me
…emotionally
…mentally
that I am recovering and healing from

But the light went on with a suddenness that kicked me in the gut
it was like a lightening bolt hit me
I saw with incredible clarity
As a child
I was completely Mind Fucked
My God!
It wasn’t my fault.
I knew it wasn’t my fault
I know it wasn’t my fault
But
Now
I
Know
None
Of
It
Was
My
Fault!
The release of shame
and guilt
and the burden
with that understanding
has been immense

I have been entrenching myself in this song
Soaking in the words
Whirling to the music
Unfucking myself
Claiming my Warrior Woman
And allowing this brave heart of mine to shine

“Warrior” – Aurora
I fall asleep in my own tears
I cry for the the world, for everyone
And I built a boat to float in
I’m floating away

I can’t recall last time I opened my eyes to see the world as beautiful
And I built a cage to hide in
I’m hiding, I’m trying to battle the night…

Let love conquer your mind
Warrior, warrior
Just reach out for the light
Warrior, warrior
I am a-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah
Warrior, warrior
I am a-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah
Warrior, warrior of love…

I stand behind the wall of people and thoughts, mind controlling
And I hold a sword to guide me
I’m fighting my way…

I can’t recall last time I opened my eyes to see the world as beautiful
And I built a cage to hide in
I’m hiding, I’m trying to battle the night…

Let love conquer your mind
Warrior, warrior
Just reach out for the light
Warrior, warrior
I am a-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah
Warrior, warrior
I am a-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah
Warrior, warrior of love!

Underneath darkened sky
There’s a light kept alive

Let love conquer your mind
Warrior, warrior
Just reach out for the light
Warrior, warrior
I am a-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah
Warrior, warrior
I am a-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah
Warrior, warrior of love…
Warrior of love!
Warrior of love!

Watch my rising….


My journey has at times been rather a ponderous hesitant walk.
I’ve staggered under burdens
of expectations
of abuse
of self imposed protective measures
of responsibilities.
Many parts of the road have been incredibly rough going.
Often times I’ve approached corners with hopeful expectancy only to be blind sided once again.
Treacherous valleys, difficult hills, swamps have sucked me in and nearly suffocated me.
My path this year led me over the blackest coldest mountain range…

I fought my way up those high peaks
I collapsed at the top panting with exhaustion
Completely spent
I could go no further
I was finally stopped
I let myself bleed
Let myself feel
I
Let
It
Go

I conquered the pain
I conquered the fears
I conquered the blackness

No longer will I run away from my dragons
I will fear them no more
I am embracing my dragons
They now work for me,
with me,
are part of me,
but no longer control me
The roles are reversed
And it feels
SO
Damn
Good

Pain – April 2013

I turn on the electric blanket to ensure the bed is warm.

I lie on my left side, with my back to the empty half behind me.
I read to fill the silence of the night.
But when my book hits the floor and I cannot keep my eyes open any more I turn off the light and try to go to sleep.

It is dark now.
Safe to turn over.
I can’t see the empty other half of my bed.
But my leg reaches out, searching, looking for what cannot be found.
It only feels cold sheets.
No warm body there to wrap myself around.
I toss and turn.
My stomach aches.
My limbs twitch and stretch, constantly searching.
Looking for arms to hold me.
Hands to caress me, love me.

I want to sleep, to forget.
But the ache is so bad.

The ache in my gut rises.
Up through my chest and into my throat.

Until I can contain the tears no more.
I give in and the sobs rack my whole being.
I cry, uncontrollably into my pillow.
The pain is so bad.
The loneliness is overwhelming.
The knowing that he is gone.
Eventually the tears drown me to sleep

The Last Time Ever I Saw Your Face

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the endless skies, my love
To the dark and the endless skies

The first time ever I kissed your mouth
And felt the earth move in my hand
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love
That was there at my command

And the first time ever I lay with you
I felt your heart so close to mine
And I knew our joy would fill the earth
And last till the end of time my love
and It would last till the end of time my love

The first time ever I saw your face, your face
Your face, your face

These lyrics are hauntingly entertaining me this morning. But in my mind I am changing them to ‘The last time ever I saw your face’.

And then my mind flits back to the first time. The first time I ever saw my Timmy’s face. I remember so vividly when he walked into my life. I was only 14. He was nearly 8 years older than me and I was smitten from that very first sighting. He was this tall Adonis – such a good looking, rugged country guy, with no pretensions. He was just Tim. What you saw was what you got.
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We were on a family holiday and there had been a horrendous storm. The next day Tim and his brother arrived over by boat, just checking up on the locals, as you do in times of trouble. I fell head over heels right then and there. For the next couple of years Tim would come by our house and hang out. I so loved those visits. He was so randomly casual and would turn up at all hours and make himself completely at home. It did make it easier that my parents liked him.
We would go down to Port Ligar for holidays, my poor mother must’ve been worried out of her brain when Tim would sit me on the back of his trusty old Norton bike and head up and over the hills. We courted on those hills, out of sight, but no doubt not out of my mother’s mind!
Then the my final year at high school we were an item. But then life got in the way and I left him behind and headed to the big smoke. I spent three years there trying to forget him. But I never did, and thankfully we had someone playing cupid so I returned to Port Ligar at the just after my 21st birthday and I never left.
At the end of that year I married my man, the man who for the next 34 years was the mainstay of my life. He cherished me, treasured me. Literally by the sweat of his brow, cared and provided for me.
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That beautiful lopsided grin of his just got bigger and better over the years. Along the way his hair became greyer, his face developed deeper and more interesting lines. They were not all worry lines, most were lines of laughter and joy as we shared good and hard times together, more formed as each of our children were born. I watched him weep with joy at the birth of each one. He wanted no more from life than to love & care for his family. He was content with his lot in life.
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And then I come back to the words twisting a knife in my heart this morning. ‘The last time ever I saw your face’.

The last day I remember so clearly. We were preparing to go to town. He had decided to head off a day earlier so he could help Graham gather food for his family. Before he left though he had work to do. While he waited for Sebastian to come he went down to the wharf with Azzan and they worked together conditioning ropes. My last photos of him were taken then. Then Seb arrived and they took off on the boat to do some mussel work. He arrived back, quickly showered and changed, gathered up all his things, his briefcase. All the while I was hovering nearby making sure he had what he needed for his journey and confirming our meeting times etc. He loaded crates in the back of the Safari, along with some bins of mussels. He hugged and kissed me goodbye and that is the last time I ever saw his precious face until I identified him the next day at the morgue.

Strength in the night….

This past week…
Wow!
What a week.
Trying to process it all has been huge.
The demise of the master.
Then the destruction of a masterpiece.
There were not too many Kiwis who will forget the time 00:02 and the date 14 November 2016.
The terror of being awoken by the ominous rumbling and the violent shaking and the darkness and the unknown damage being wrought around each of us.
For those of us fortunate enough to not lose power there was immediate and frantic checking in on Facebook and Geonet to see what was going on and ensuring loved ones were safe.
I was so grateful to have Eilidh here with me.
She and I kept each other company as unbelievably my children and pups slept through the whole night!
Texts, messages & phone calls flew between family and friends.
These vital connections helped maintain a certain calm amidst the chaos.

A sleepless night ahead as the aftershocks hit, the anxiety that any of these might be a bigger one.
In the few hours following we experienced 6 quakes larger than magnitude 5, and over the week since, 357 aftershocks over magnitude 4.
Reports unfolded as the morning developed.
And the reports have gotten worse with each daylight hour.
The enormity of the power released is unfathomable.
The east coast sea bed thrust up 2 metres with such force and speed that sea life had no chance to escape.
The GPS station at Cape Campbell was moved 2 meters north.
Towns completely cut off, isolated by huge landslides and destroyed roads, rail lines twisted and moved like cotton candy.
Two people died.
A miracle there were no more.
Many others injured and traumatised.

I managed about 2 hours sleep, then Mahalia unknowingly woke me at 6am cuz she knew I was planning to go to the gym.
Ah! The normality of life.
As Monday unfolded, unraveling of the disaster gave clarity to the desperation of the situation for the people on the East Coast.
Especially those in Kaikoura who were totally trapped.
Then Waiau, then we realised that pretty much most of the top of the South Island was not only isolated from the rest of the country but also from each other.
Then came the tsunami alerts.
The King Tides.
And then came the rain.
Flooding in Nelson, Wellington, more damage, more chaos.
I thought we had escaped pretty much unscathed but then the call came from down home.
Seb & Phoebe were evacuating by boat after watching a huge landslide flow down the hill surrounding the house & buildings and covering the road metres deep in wet slurry.
I was just grateful they were safe.
There have been many things to be thankful for in amongst all of this.
Thankful they had a home to come to.
Thankful for friends who provided emergency vehicles and household provisions until we can retrieve their things.
Now to add to the merry-go-round of my life I begin the EQC dance as we begin organising the clean up.

In the scale of the events, ours is but a small portion.
But in our personal lives it is rather devastating to say the least.
I have been standing so strong in the past months.
I have gained my warrior crown.
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I must admit that on this day it slipped.
But I am proud of myself, because I never let it fall to the ground.
I caught it and let it wash in the tears of the moment.
Then I set it straight and stood up and faced the moment head on.
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To sign off in true Kiwi style
Heres some humour for the occasion.
Check out this wonderful rendition by Jason Gunn.
Thanks for keeping us smiling Jason 🙂

Farewelling the Master

What words do you use to describe the loss of one who has had so much influence in your life.
One who’s words speak into the depths of your soul.
One who moved you so powerfully through all of your decades.
One who’s words and music soothed and loved you during the hardest time of your life.

I cut my teen teeth on this album.
Who doesn’t know ‘Suzanne’ and So long, Marianne’?
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In latter years Leonard came to New Zealand three times.
I so wanted to go to that first concert in Wellington, but it was on my birthday in mid January –  at a time of the year I thought I couldn’t possibly get away from the farm due to the tourist season etc.
Sadly I never even tried to make it work.
That became my biggest regret.

When he returned in November 2010 I was absolutely determined I was going.
I travelled to Christchurch and had my socks completely blown off!
He was so much more than I had ever dreamed of.
The only sad thing was that I was there on my own and had no one to share the absolute delight with.

Then, he became far far more intensely involved with my life.
I have always loved words.
As a writer words touch & feed my heart and soul, the ebb & flow of them between myself and other writers is what makes me tick.

When Tim was killed Leonard bathed my soul with all his songs.
He embraced my hurting heart with these two specifically ….
Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye‘ 
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, 
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm, 
yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new, 
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you, 
but now it’s come to distances and both of us must try, 
your eyes are soft with sorrow, 
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye. 
I’m not looking for another as I wander in my time, 
walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme 
you know my love goes with you as your love stays with me, 
it’s just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea, 
but let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie, 
your eyes are soft with sorrow, 
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye. 

I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, 
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm, 
yes many loved before us, I know that we are not new, 
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you, 
but let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie, 
your eyes are soft with sorrow, 
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.

‘Ain’t No Cure For Love’
I loved you for a long, long time 
I know this love is real 
It don’t matter how it all went wrong 
That don’t change the way I feel 
And I can’t believe that time’s 
Gonna heal this wound I’m speaking of 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure for love 
I’m aching for you baby 
I can’t pretend I’m not 
I need to see you naked 
In your body and your thought 
I’ve got you like a habit 
And I’ll never get enough 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure for love 

There ain’t no cure for love 
There ain’t no cure for love 
All the rocket ships are climbing through the sky 
The holy books are open wide 
The doctors working day and night 
But they’ll never ever find that cure for love 
There ain’t no drink no drug 
(Ah tell them, angels) 
There’s nothing pure enough to be a cure for love 

I see you in the subway and I see you on the bus 
I see you lying down with me, I see you waking up 
I see your hand, I see your hair 
Your bracelets and your brush 
And I call to you, I call to you 
But I don’t call soft enough 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure for love 

I walked into this empty church I had no place else to go 
When the sweetest voice I ever heard, whispered to my soul 
I don’t need to be forgiven for loving you so much 
It’s written in the scriptures 
It’s written there in blood 
I even heard the angels declare it from above 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure, 
There ain’t no cure for love 

There ain’t no cure for love 
There ain’t no cure for love 
All the rocket ships are climbing through the sky 
The holy books are open wide 
The doctors working day and night 
But they’ll never ever find that cure, 
That cure for love

And of course the absolute ultimate song which we played at Tim’s funeral.
‘Dance me to the End of Love’
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin 
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in 
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove 
Dance me to the end of love 
Dance me to the end of love 
Oh let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone 
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon 
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of 
Dance me to the end of love 
Dance me to the end of love 

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on 
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long 
We’re both of us beneath our love, we’re both of us above 
Dance me to the end of love 
Dance me to the end of love 

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born 
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn 
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn 
Dance me to the end of love 

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin 
Dance me through the panic till I’m gathered safely in 
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove 
Dance me to the end of love 
Dance me to the end of love 
Dance me to the end of love

Christian came down and spent his time creating a slideshow for me.
I was so busy getting the funeral organised that I never had time to see what he was doing.
Then the night before I finally caught my breath and asked him if I could watch it.
It was so beautiful, but the pain hit me so hard I crumbled and cried and cried and cried.
It was such a blessing.
If I hadn’t seen it then I would have totally lost it at the church and not have had the strength to speak.
I am forever grateful to Christian for making this video.
It is a real treasure for us.

When Leonard returned for a third time in Dec 2014 I was there with bells on!
This time I went with friends.
The best way to see a show is with friends to enjoy it with.
And this show was THE absolute best.
He was 80 years old and like a good wine he certainly aged well.
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As a poet, a wordsmith, a singer, a man.
You had such presence.
Leonard, you will always have my respect and a part of my heart.

Knowing I Will Be OK

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I have experienced a LOT of internal confusion and debate over the past 3 years & nine months as to how my future is going to pan out.
I know firsthand that life is incredibly tenuous.
For a long time I have felt uneasy and scared as to what my future might be like.

But I have finally reached a place.
Turned a new page.
A blank, clean page.
I have a freshly sharpened pencil.
I am about to begin writing a new chapter.

It is actually rather exciting to be embarking on a different journey.
It has taken me a long while to bury the hopes and dreams from my past life.
I have had to work through the grief of the loss of all of those.
It has not been easy but it has been a journey of healing and learning and discovery.

I now have the beginnings of new dreams and new ideas and new hopes………
Life is awesome and it is going to be even more awesome.
I am happy.
The darkness has lifted.
A new day is dawning.
I have absolutely no idea where it is going to take me but actually I don’t really care.
I just know
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Self care

Since I have moved to town and begun working with vulnerable & abused women I have been introduced to the notion of self care.
In our training we were taught that self care is vitally important.
After so many years of putting myself and my needs second, or third – actually probably more than 12th in line this was sort of a new concept for me.

I have spent so many years being strong, the one that everyone depends on, the one that gets things done, the busy one.
I didn’t realise until about 5.5 years ago when my brain said enough and I had a major breakdown.
I had no idea what was happening to me until a friend asked me a question.
Do you think you might be depressed?
Seriously  – me depressed!
I dont ‘do’ depressed!
I haven’t got time for that nonsense :-/
But, her question & concern stopped me in my tracks and I took the plunge and went to my Dr.
That in itself was a major exercise at the time.
Anyway, the upshot was, for the first time in my entire life I was able to tell someone about the extensive sexual and emotional abuse I endured for over 10 years of my childhood.
And from there I began my healing.
It has not been easy, it is never easy to open old and deep wounds and expose them.
In fact it is very scary.
I was, and am, a mother of many, and a wife, running businesses alongside my man.
Life was busy.
I had not realised that busyness is one of the ways that abuse victims ‘use’ to ‘forget’ what has happened to them.
Not that you ever ever forget!
Life didn’t get any easy with this disclosure, in fact it got a hell of a lot harder.
My journey of self discovery has been incredibly tumultuous.
I have discovered who my true friends are.
Part of my self preservation has been learning to close the door on those who can’t or won’t support me and to embrace those who can and do.

My therapist has been flabbergasted over the years as one historic trauma after another is disclosed as well as more stress and trauma that has occurred along the way since then.
She commented to me one day that my PTSD was incredibly complex.
I picture my traumas over the years as pieces of string, they have knotted together and through time have wound themselves into a very big ball of string.
Hence the name of this new blog 🙂
I am slowly unraveling and dealing with each piece, unknotting, unraveling,  and using them to weave a new garment.
My new garment is going to be stunningly gorgeous and of course the predominant colour will be Orange 🙂

So back to self care.
For me this has not happened overnight.
It has been quite a journey.
Slowly slowly, baby steps, three steps forward and one back, sometimes it has felt like four back!!

My self care began with mending my mind.
Learning how to process what has happened, how it has affected me and the way I deal with situations and then to relearn new ways, more healthy ways of approaching similar situations.
This takes time and I am ever so grateful to have found a therapist who has worked with me gently over the past 5 years.

Physical rest has also been important.
I have pushed myself for so long, the subconscious need to keep busy to bury everything sort of busy.
When Tim was killed my body stopped.
I was literally unable to do anything but go through the motions.
I stopped cooking, reading, listening to music, art……
I literally shut down and spent most of my time hiding in my room watching brainless movies.

Then I ran away.
I took my two youngest and we ran away.
It really wasn’t a conscious decision.
It just happened, but it was a good happening.
We spent most part of a year on the move.
We had some amazing adventures and did some much needed bonding and healing.
It was a very precious time for us all.
It resulted in us moving to town and away from my most recent pain of losing our main man.

One of the first things I did was to apply for a partially voluntary job with SASH Nelson.
It was pretty daunting applying for the first job in nearly 40 years.
But the cool thing was that I was accepted to be a part of the Crisis Response Team.
Becoming part of the team has played a huge part in my healing journey.
My team mates are the most awesome girls, they have become members of my new Village.
It was through this job that I have learnt much more about the importance of self care.
Plus I am able to help support others because I have an empathy and understanding with them.
And helping them is helping me – win win 🙂

And now to now!
Where am I at now?
Well, I am kickin’ arse.
I am so incredibly proud of myself.
I still have down days, days where the tears rule, where I hit the floor in a sobbing heap.
But those days are less frequent.
I have days where I am incredibly lonely, but I am learning to reach out.
I am in a much stronger headspace.
And being in a stronger headspace has given me the ability to focus on my physical being.
Living in the central city on the flat has allowed me to gradually build up my fitness levels.
Due to a lot of injuries both historic and recent my body has been rather battered so walking has been good therapy.
I have restored my soul by wandering around the river and roads with the puppy, discovering new places and friends.
Recently I felt in the right place & ready, so have joined up with a local gym & pool.
It is 10 years since I did any serious gym work.
I have really enjoyed going down there first thing most mornings and getting a good cardio session going.
The trainers have put together a programme for me in the weights room, and after just a month I am feeling so damn good.
I am not focusing on weight loss, just getting my body toned and functioning again.
Yesterday I was very conscious that all my jeans were getting very loose and quite baggy – not really the look I like – so I popped in to see the girls at JeansWest and they helped me find some new jeans.
Unbelievable – I have gone from size 14 down to size 11.
I haven’t been that size in about 28 years!!
This morning, I am feeling really buzzed from my Vitamin G(ym) fix this morning.
In fact I am feeling frickin’ fantastic  🙂
This self care stuff is actually pretty damn good.
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Daring greatly during difficult days

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When you think the absolute worst thing to happen to you has already happened, yet another curved ball comes from left field and totally blind sides you.

In my current emotionally exhausted melancholic state I look back over my nearly 60 years and can readily recall some of the largest curved balls that have smashed into me. In amongst them smaller balls which hit with slightly less aggressive force and their bruises are sometimes not terribly visible until a trigger prompts their memory.

These balls have battered and bruised me. Some have near killed me. But I have always picked myself up, reached down, picked up the ball and run with it. Trying to run with the weight of these balls adding up over the years have resulted in a medical diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder.

In recent times I’ve been pitched some huge balls that have hit me fair in the gut. Smashed the wind clean out of me. Left me wondering how on earth I can carry on.

But I did, and I do. My natural instinct has been to recoil inwards, hold my pain, cradle it tight like a precious child, protecting it, kicking out at anyone who dares to come near, fighting, fighting, fighting for……. fighting for what?

Fighting to protect my vulnerability. Fighting to prevent more hurt, more pain. Because after all, if you don’t allow anyone in then you can’t get hurt again. Right?

Wrong.

Brené Brown taught me that by exposing my vulnerability I gain strength.

How?

By exposing my desperate needs, my hurts, my pain, learning to trust, I slowly rebuild my village.

When those massive curved balls smash into you they break the protective walls that surrounded you, they don’t just batter you but they send your village scattering. Leaving only one or two of your tribe behind if you’re lucky.

It is then you make your choices. Run and hide, head for the hills, curl up in a ball, stay alone, protect yourself….

or reach out, find empathy, build strength, learn to trust, abandon shame, tell your story,

It takes a while to rebuild, to create a new village, foundation bricks are tested, ones who prove to be trustworthy and strong are added to the new foundations, the ones who are not are cast aside. You tentatively reach out, test the waters, learn who to trust, each brick in place adds more strength. A new village is constructed. Your new tribe rises to surround and support you. A tribe that is prepared to cover your back, to stand alongside, to encourage, empower, support, and no matter what, love you no matter what.

A tribe you can stand sweaty, strong & bloodied in the arena with – a tribe who will dare greatly with you!

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Teddy Roosevelt 1910