Beauty in the Breakdown

When you strip away the masks, we are more alike than we are different. I enjoy being in environments where people are open and authentic. I attend a lot of ceremonies and workshops, where people are asked to throw out their usual narratives, and dive into the depths of their selves. I truly appreciate when people are able to share from their heart. As a healer, it is a privilege to be present with others as they explore the deeper elements of themselves. I relish the inner truth of our souls.
Many people try to avoid turning their awareness to their own weaknesses. We live in a society where people are expected to be strong, to climb the social and professional ladders, to “have it all”. We are taught to always answer “yes I’m fine” or “its ok”. Many people only interact at a superficial level, rarely delving deeper even on their own. If we become emotional, too often the impulse is to clean up and apologize, as if we did something wrong.
When are we allowed to break down? When is it ok to weep at the tough parts of our experiences? When are we allocated time and space to sit with our own vulnerabilities? When can we admit our failures without shame? Why are we socialized to hide these parts of our selves?
The reality is that when I have the honor of witnessing other people in their moments of struggle, that is exactly when I am awed by their strength. I was in a sweat lodge recently, and as each stranger’s voice spoke in the darkness, sharing what they wanted to let go of, what they realized they needed to grow out of or into, I felt that we are all so much the same in the innermost sanctum of our selves. I heard my own truth in what each of them so honestly shared. I identify with their inner battles, and hear my own voice in their sobbing expression of their personal challenges.
When we admit our own shortcomings, when we speak out loud our self doubts, when we express our most private fears, we are actually inspirational. When we allow the walls we have so carefully built to crumble brick by brick, we worry that we will no longer be enough. We think that if we show our own darkness, that suddenly we are not loveable. We are concerned that if we say our failures, that we will be rejected, abandoned, that we will no longer belong. When in actuality, by being willing to divulge our most hidden broken-ness, we are showing others our beauty. It is in hearing the challenges others have been through, by hearing the painful moments they have survived, that we are amazed by their bravery. Instead of thinking of them as less, we are humbled by how powerful they are. We are shining a light for others to see what they have locked away. When we speak our whole truth, we are embodying the realities which so many others are afraid to make known about this human experience, often even to themselves.
I hope to facilitate experiences of open and honest communication. Of unabashed, all empowering moments of breakdown. I hope to guide others on this path of truth, of leaning into the uncomfortable edges of their experiences. I want to lead them to face their darkness and help them light their own lantern. I want to provide that permission for each of you to open up fully. I want to teach everyone that it does not serve you to hide in fear. I want to show you that by facing your weakness is how you find your strength.