Bearing witness to the journey

Last week, I was reading a zine by a friend of mine that spoke to the power of having another bear witness to the journey we take around this planet. He wrote about the painful realities of losing that person and how little the surface evidence shows the depth of connection.

Since reading it, something inside of me cracked open around bearing witness, around having others bear witness, the power that holds, and the ways that we do (not) bear witness for ourselves… and the ways that shame saps our courage to show up and tell the story of the here and now.

How do we allow ourselves to be seen, even to ourselves? Are we willing to be awake enough to let the truth shine through? Because sometimes, that truth isn’t all too pretty, but it’s the reality of our lives. I’ve been working with Mara Glatzel through e-courses this summer and earlier this week, she (re)posted a blog post that was about finding the beauty in our daily lives – including the rough edges – and the power of building community around that truth telling.

meditation cushionAnd that’s the clincher – the ways that people come into our lives and help us to see, understand, and experience the world with us. Even in their own versions of it, they may be able to be closer to that truth than anyone else. There’s power in being able to show up to our lives… how much more powerful to have someone stand in that with you.

Perhaps this is part of all of the practices I hold and try to create containers for… meditation, writing, art journaling, yoga, running. To find ways to build space to bear witness and allow the truth of life to bubble up, rough edges and all. If I can’t show up for my own stuff, how much harder is it to do so for others?

Recognizing that this act of showing up, being honest – this is bravery in action. And that that is the practice I practice for. Because I can’t do it out of nowhere.

I practice to bear awake witness to what matters in this world. Myself, others, good things, hard things. This is practice.

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