First let me thank my ultimate motivator who has no problem calling me out on updating Under Her Brim. What can I say, I’m an organized mess and it still takes a village to nudge me along to keep my mess organized. So to you I say Thanks! – I hear you and appreciate you (and all of the Under Her Brim followers!!) here…. have some Skittles.
Let’s talk about Tattered Brims. Last week or so I did something that scared me. I wouldn’t admit it as I prepared for it in fact, I was surprised at how afraid I was. I wrestled with facing the fear or not accepting the source of it. Typically I am an adventurous one who has adopted the mantras: “Well behaved women, seldom make history” – Laura Thatcher Ulrich and “Get busy living or get busy dying.” – Andy DuFrain, The Shawshank Redemption. Talking to people is not difficult for me at all but talking about me – is. To allow someone into my world and open up to them about anything deeper than a safe topic relegated to casual acquaintances- is easy like sports, the weather….a nice pair of shoes. Like many of us, to share my innermost feelings is not easy at all. There needs to be trust and that is something which is not handed out freely.
So when I was called out by my friend at In His Eyes Outreach to get out of my do-nothing and get back to speaking about domestic violence, I was petrified. Another villager calling me out. I didn’t tell her about my fear but I thought of every excuse as to why I couldn’t do it. She volun-told (not volunteered) me to do it. Not because I’m the best there is but she knew that I needed a nudge to get off of my do-nothing & get back to the work/ministry that led me to start Preciouslyfe (now My Tattered Brim).
I vacillated between if I would do it or not gripped by the fear of judgement. Speak to 20+ women about my personal, painful and even embarrassing experience while encouraging them to live their rest life as their best life. To live without apology or shame for being a victim but to stand boldly and declare that they are more than conquerors, they are survivors. I finally decided to do it and I am so glad that I did. The women were more of a blessing to me then they know. We had an honest conversation, took a look at our fabulousness and as we ate there were more stories that they shared with me. I realized that I needed to be there, not just for them but for me.
Out of respect for them I’m not going to say where or mention names (they know who they are); however, let it be known it was an honor to meet them. Sending these women (and the staff) my sincerest Thank You for having me.
Women carry guilt for things & the choices of people in our lives that we have no control over. As I stood there telling them not to apologize to anyone for being their awesome selves, I was reminding myself. No statistical figure can capture the impact of their Tattered Brims. We can talk stats and figures about DV but the damage that is not captured in quantifiable data is seen in the faces of DV survivors everywhere. For me the impact was that I was done participating, could care less about being a well-behaved woman who wouldn’t making history – I just wanted to get by quietly. I didn’t want to teach, meet new people or do new things. Forget about dating, I didn’t have it in me to share any more pieces of what was left of my heart I just wanted to ‘be’ for my kids. My Tattered Brim is worn, beaten and dirty but don’t let the looks deceive you. I have found it to give me the strength to speak-up about ME! My wants, needs, desires, permission to have standards, will-haves & won’t haves. It’s tattered because it’s not sitting on a shelf the way I wanted to, it is active and present in the world. My tattered brim is strong and a reminder of what I’ve come from to where I’m going. A bold statement of who I was to who I am now as I look at the world from Under my Brim.