This past weekend…I had the honor of “holding space” with eleven of the bravest people I’ve ever met.
Ann Davant Crehore, Angie Mattson Stegall, Nelson Stegall and I led a Red Boot Guide Training.
After several “getting on board” activities we hunkered down into the real..the gritty…the honest and the vulnerable.
We had our first Red Boot Meeting together.
I read the script that included walking everyone through the “rules” on how we share in Red Boot Meetings.
We always start with Step One.
Step One: We came to see that, despite sometimes feeling helpless, angry and even apathetic about the current course of human events, we each play an essential role in our communities, our families, and our lives. We matter.
I shared our “questions to ponder.”
“Why do you matter? How do you know you matter? Who do you matter to? How do you let others know they matter?”
And just like every other “first” Red Boot Meeting…we sit in silence for a bit. An awkward, beautiful, messy, soul-exposing silence.
And it’s the silence I honor this morning as I write to you.
The recognition within that silence that somewhere the free-spirited little girl who I once was…who danced “just because” and loved for no reason and cried when she felt like it…began to measure her “mattering” by other things.
Mattering because I was sexy or pretty or someone’s girlfriend…or not mattering because I wasn’t.
Mattering because my children were proper and pretty and handsome and well-behaved…or not mattering because they weren’t.
Mattering because my home was neat and beautiful and decorated oh so nicely…or not mattering because it wasn’t.
Mattering because the program I had started grew to numbers that far exceeded my expectations…or not mattering because I no longer worked there.
Mattering because I won running races…or not mattering because I didn’t.
“Why do you matter?” Seemingly such a simple question.
We sit in the room together and silently dig our way through the layers upon layers of life and doing and winning and resumes and degrees and fears and shames and eventually come to the center.
Someone begins. “I matter because I am here.”
And then like the crack of first sunlight that peeks just above the horizon…the others begin.
And it is beautiful and it is sacred and it is love.
And the room…oh the room is filled with it all.
Why do you matter?