Principle #4: There is beauty and value in saying hard things.
One of my clients does deep, shamanic work with her clients. Part of her message is talking about what changes in life when you tap into danger, into wildness. “You can’t say that!” she was told by a business mentor. “People don’t want to hear that! That will scare people off!”
Sometimes that voice is internal. “People don’t want to hear how their worlds might get turned upside down when they work with me!” or “I can’t talk about my struggles with depression, clients won’t have faith in me.”
We underestimate the power of those “dark” experiences. They way they shape us. And they way they alter how we show up when others walk through darkness.
The work that comes through us is shaped by the challenging experiences we’ve had.
The places we’ve been laid low, the ways in which we have been humbled.
The ways in which we may have been ground down to our very bones, letting go of everything that no longer matters.
It’s not just that there is value in our speaking hard things.
There is beauty in our speaking hard things.
There is nourishment in our speaking hard things.
There is redemption in making those unspeakable parts of our journey part of the dialogue of our work.
I am NOT talking about the self-conscious, faux-vulnerable social media post designed to make you relatable. I’m not talking about a rags to riches story.
You don’t even have to share the details of what your journey was.
But allow the shaping force of those difficult experiences to change your course.
Being someone who has been to the underworld is something to be proud of.
Owning those experiences and making them part of who you are is hard work, but worth it.
Being someone who can stand with someone who is going through their own dark night is a rare gift.
Don’t mute your voice because what comes out might be dark, or hard, or tender, or painful.
To speak from loss, or trauma, or despair is an art.