When I looked around at Southern Comfort Conference 2007, I saw all different types of presentations and positions, from young, angry & stupid to old, tired & resigned.
To me, though, the key measurement I ended up taking of people was simple: to what degree did they own their own expression, own themselves?
I saw people dressed in sharp outfits, but their faces told me that this was still just a costume that someone helped them with, not an expression of self.
As he was getting another drink, I asked Mrs. Bob Davis if he knew what the ultimate tranny surgery was. He averred that he didn’t.
“It’s pulling the stick out of your own ass,” I said.
The bartender responded, “That sounds painful!”
“Not half as painful as leaving it in,” I explained. The bartender thought that made sense.
Who here had pulled the stick out of their own ass, I wondered as I watched people flow by.
To me, as the old Wounded Healer I am, I was looking for how people owned two things; their vulnerability and their power. I saw powerful people kicking ass, but who didn’t have the tenderness of being open, and wounded people struggling through, but who didn’t have a sense of their own transformational energy in the world.
Power & Vulnerability. In my experience, it is how we alloy these two pieces that allows us to make magic in the world, bringing together adult responsibility and childlike openness that both connects and creates new. The hardest thing we can do as those who need change, is to hold open the space for others to change, but without that space, we can’t claim our own transformation.
I felt this strongly as I saw the people I was connected to at SCC; Holly who has felt flashes of her power on the last year, preaching & leading circles, but often covers it over; TBB who feels the loss of her past, but not yet the open and engaging power of her future; Lola, whose open heart charmed so many on film; and Terry whose open smile warmed my heart and whose powerful words filled my inbox this morning.
This amalgam of power and vulnerability, of wounds and healing, was reinforced by the way I saw signs line up to take me to SCC, from plane ticket to paddle balloons to hair, to Mari G. And it was sealed by Vickie Davis, a reader of this blog, who I found as we were in the parking lobby about to leave, and who includes this quote in her sig
If you are not working to integrate your life
you are working to disintegrate it.
I was there at SCC to remind others, and myself, of the magic of owning our own lives, the power and the vulnerability of walking in this world as one who reminds others of our “continuous common humanity.”
How do we integrate our frail humanity and essential divinity to own our center in the world?
It’s a question worth working on, at least to me.