When I look back at my life, my largest, most all-encompassing gratitude (gratitude so big it sometimes hurts because I feel inadequate to properly express it) is for the people I have met who have shaped my perspective. Life is so funny and wonderful and strange in that it gives us people at certain points throughout to help us see the world differently. Sometimes it seems as though my brain is constantly churning through my experiences and way that I perceive the world to better understand why I am the way I am – my never-ending discovery and question to life. I’ve found that lately, it’s best if I relax into the world a little – this question is one that will never be answered, and the entire point of answering this question is to have more empathy for ourselves, and therefore, for others, too.
I’ve had several friends teach me the essential value of community lately. It’s more than the whole you are the product of the six people that you spend the most time with thing. When you share your goals or wishes for the future or whatever it is that you hold close to your heart with your community, they support you, put you in positions to help you succeed in whatever it is that you want, and most importantly – they hold you accountable.
My understanding works in circular ways. When I have a new discovery, I immediately add that discovery into my regular reflection and processing circulation so as to integrate that discovery into the overall bigger picture, because everything is connected. This idea to create a personal mission statement has continued to come up on a fairly regular basis, because lately, my biggest thrill has been clarifying what is absolutely important to me right now and being held accountable to that. I call it getting back to baselines. So, my baselines right now:
My mission statement: I aspire to create safe spaces for other, fellow humans of all backgrounds where they feel worthy of taking up space in their own, unique way.
My purpose statement: Social change is not a project that one group of people enacts for the benefit of another. My purpose is to create capacity for every human to participate in their own personal, economic, and spiritual growth for the betterment of all.
More and more, courage looks like the quiet persistence of doing what you think is right for you. Continuing, day by day, to work, be a friend, speak, and engage with others in ways that make you feel proud of yourself at the end of the day. I am constantly inspired by the people around me who put their values and mission statement first.