Do you know what triggers you? Not just an, “Oh I’m frustrated about this or that”. More. Bigger. Feelings that incite your blood to boil; intolerance; an internal outrage. (Aka: the inner mama bear.)
If you start taking note of scenarios that scream “violation!” within your heart, and if you let them burn for a bit, you will discover that which you are instinctively passionate about. So I’ve been at it. I made a list of specific occasions and I let it burn until I began to see a thread.
What I discovered is that I hold a high regard for people. It explains why, when I witness leaders treating people carelessly, I ache.
For example, I was part of a staged production where we were asked to share extremely vulnerable life stories. Then, we were asked to kneel during each “show”. One woman was eight months pregnant. She explained that she could not kneel for that amount of time, and asked if she could have a chair. The young male leader responded, saying, “the most impactful expression of the event is the pregnant woman humbly kneeling“. They convinced her it would be fine. She agreed. My heart burned.
I wonder why she did not insist on a chair. Or why her husband did not insist; or why I did not insist! If I could go back I would have said something in the moment, and if anyone would have asked for feedback, I would have shared. But that’s the problem with poor leadership: no one is interested in inquiring or learning about your experience. They consume what was given of others, exhale with contentment, “good job!”, and sit back in delight of the work they have done.
I believe leadership can, sometimes, be messy. And I believe grace reigns. But to remain messy, without any active intention or desire to improve – is called sloppy. And it is sloppy leadership that infuriates me.
Poor leadership sends messages of value and respect back and forth among those who lead, yet messages of carelessness and inconsideration towards those they lead.
(BTW: great consideration is dominant characteristic of feminine energy – which explains the broken and sloppy government of patriarchal religion.)
Today, I am quicker to spot it. I take notice when the flame in my heart arises. And I let it burn.
If I can be a part of helping establish a more thoughtful and considerate culture within an organization – I will. If my efforts are welcomed towards creating a more thriving environment for all people – I will abide. My presence is my yes and my amen. I no longer offer it without first thinking critically.
But, in honor of who I am – if my extended hand or inquiring voice are not received with caring or willing hearts – I gracefully waltz away. Dignity is a dazzling gift.
If we dare to inspire our daughters to persist – so we must first be willing to waltz it out within our own lives. This is the dance of a Matriarch. This is true legacy.