Vultures

One of ours has stumbled. Not quite fallen. But the cracks in the "accomplished" facade have opened up.  One of us has shown her human-ness; in all of its unbuffered, unedited rawness.  Seeing it makes us feel vulnerable. We feel fear. We realize that, maybe, were all closer to this rawness than we'd like to admit.  This uncertainty, this vulnerability, this is where the vultures live...

I see you. You hide in the shadows. You circle above. Watching. Waiting. Ready to come to the kill.

I know you. You see, you once waited for me. At one of my weakest moments, you were there. You grabbed on to my raw, wounded self. You picked. You prodded. You took my raw, wounded self and tried your damnedest to pick me dry. Left me exposed, dried out, beaten down. Like jackals chattering in the shadows, you tried to leave a legacy of rumours, lies, pain.

It worked, for a bit. I believed you. I believed that I deserved to be picked dry. I believed that I was all of those stories shared by the snickering jackals in the darkness. I believed the venom spread by your fear.  And then, one day, I stopped believing you.

Stopping took time. Easier to believe stories of weakness. Easier to believe others than believe in myself. But slowly, carefully,  I banished you. Slowly, the sun began to shine through the cloud of circling darkness. Slowly, my cracks started to close. With time, the scars began to heal. The flock of vultures thinned. Or maybe, they just realized that their power was gone. Either way, I became strong. I remembered me; and all of the parts that deserved-- deserved love, deserved friendship, deserved sunlight. I embraced my Human-ness. I remembered that I'm a package. There's strength, wisdom, feisty resolve, anger, sadness, awkwardness. I love it all. I embrace it all.

And now, it's my turn to help another in my tribe believe. I need her to know that even at a weakest moment, she can keep the jackals and vultures at bay. I need her to know that she is stronger and more powerful than them. I need her to remember the amazing parts of her that let the sun shine through. 

I'm  lucky to live in a place with many incredible, strong, women.  Last week, when gathering to celebrate "us" , we saw one of or own own fall. We saw weak. We saw vulnerable. My hope is that we can be the incredible, strong women that we are. We can take one of our own into our embrace and let her know that we understand Human. We understand that being human is not the same as being always perfect.  We can let her know that, even at her weak moments, we value her. My hope is that we can encircle her in our embrace and help her keep the vultures and the jackals at bay. My hope is that we can smother the voices of our own inner vultures and let our kinder, gentler selves shine through.

 

Vultures laying in wait... 

Vultures laying in wait... 

Karen Patterson

Muskoka Family Works, 55 Main Street West, Huntsville, ON, P1H 1W9