Tuesday evening, the Peeps and I celebrated a new couch, good company and the upcoming new year with wine and Jeff’s local pizza. We also hashed out our 2019 words of the year via storyboards (you’re welcome), laughter, tears, courage and other confidential means.

At first we tossed out ideas as if we were Miss Congeniality reciting answers to “what is the most important thing our society needs?” Ours were honest responses, yet too safe to inspire these lion hearts toward action. Though my “Unleash the Krakken” had a lot of meaning behind it, I was challenged by these magnificent women to move past the snarky shallow end and dive to the depths of what bellows my frustration in this season.

Taking our cue from yoga, we knew our work was not in posed posturing or safe stances. Our work lay in the places where our egos, strengths, weaknesses and fears lie.

I also banned the word, “just” as in “just me” or “just what scares me.” Channeling Mark Twain, we substituted a confidential word each time we were inclined to say “just” knowing our internal editor need no longer keep us “acceptably” small.

Courageously – as is their custom – the Peeps began to talk about their greatest and darkest fears.

It could have been the wine or Jeff’s magic pizza or the expert story boarding that made this such a rich and life-giving adventure, but I think it was the durability of our relationships borne in sun and rain, confusion and clarity along many dusty roads. My eyes are welling in the writing as I think of these people who are love and family to me in so many ways.

I will not tell someone else’s story as if I own it, so I can only tell you mine.

What were my greatest fears?
Sh*t. I know I need to do this…write them here. I woke up knowing I needed to, but really Universe?

My greatest fears begin with a pervasive very early sense of being unwanted. Too much. Too little. Too Funky (and not in a good way). Being that bucktoothed feral and slightly pungent towhead who read or day dreamed too much, played too little and had a deep deep hunger to be loved. Someone who was not demonstrably worth love nor protection. (I am seriously dizzy just writing this.)

There is a certain aggression and a learned fear which causes me to still panic – draw a blank and start to sweat. You may have seen my eyes dart back and forth in a meeting or out-and-about as if I am a caged whelp looking for a place to hide. The aggression and fear still linger and I am seeking a career coach to help put distance and perspective between the stimulus and the response.

How to put positive momentum into such a lingering death?

“I need to dig into this, illuminate the origin of this broken record and the bad behavior which calls the fear forward,” I thought yesterday morning. “I will not back down from this bastard.”




I will illuminate the dark and dank places, reveal the ugly voices for what they are – banshees and boggarts of fear. I will submit to daylight’s examination to better clear out the dregs and specters of what calls me unwanted, hated, ridiculed and worse.

I will illuminate more of what I value and less of what endeavors to keep me small. 

I will learn – in this new light of day – to further advocate for myself rather than stay kind and small and still reveal how kindness is not weakness nor manipulation. It is part of who I am. One does not live in chaos and cruelty very long and ignore the futility of such a life over the long term.

Because I am not alone and I still want to live in a way that helps my adult children to have courage, too, I will work at this enough to fail, fall flat, bruise, lose a few teeth* and rise up.

The future is too big and beautiful to be kept small and in shadows.
We are too big and beautiful in our unique and imperfect ways to be kept small and in shadows.

I welcome 2019 and the challenge it presents.



2 thoughts on “illuminate

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