I have always known this to be true. As a single mom I needed and welcomed the village to help me raise my beautiful boy. My sisters were absolutely second moms to my son.
There are really no words to describe the help and support my parents gave me. Suffice it to say they were there every step of the way, from the really big things to the small everyday tasks of dad picking Tony up from the bus stop and mom making sure he had after school snacks. Their home was where he felt safe and loved, supported and held, as if it was his own.
That is what a village does, it surrounds you where you are, creates a greater space of love and support to hold you, a space for you to grow.
Today this proverb holds new meaning for me. When I hurt my foot, I was sure that it was just a bad sprain. Broken? My mind said ‘no not that’! The fear of my independence being challenged and even taken away felt excruciating. Thus, I protested ‘I think it is just a little hurt.’ I now know that much of that denial arose from the thoughts ‘I have no one to help me . . ., ‘how will I . . . ‘- fill in those blanks with the many things I knew I would not be able to do.
I often speak about releasing our limiting beliefs. Those constricting beliefs are strong and resilient, very powerful. Mine so much that it took a break to release their grip, a break to create an outlet to discharge the pain they held. A short time before the break I became acutely aware of a limiting belief I was holding on to – my ‘fiercely independent’ stance in the world. I began to observe how it was not serving me, how it created walls and defensiveness, an “I got this’ attitude. I believe in the power of intention. As I become aware, willing to let go, ready to be awake, space is created for the manifestation of that intention. Thus, that intention set in motion a momentum, an impetus to begin the release. The energy flowed, much broke open, the support entered. My village arrived!
The village of my Wednesday night class surrounded me, supported me and encouraged me to see a doctor about my foot. They held me in my fear. The collective concern and care for me helped me find the courage to engage with the truth. Yes broken. No weight bearing. Seven weeks. I trusted. I softened.
You, my village, entered in that space, surrounded me in ways I could not imagine, came in and raised me! You watered my plants, drove me here and there, brought me veggies from your garden, changed your plans to help me be of service. You brought me food, took me to the grocery store, took me out feeling I may be getting stir crazy. You called me, texted me, emailed me to see how I was. My fear dissolved in the arms of your attention, your thoughtfulness, your protection. Every single way you cared for me was precious, life changing. Waiting at the door of the studio to make sure I was taken care of, sweeping the floor, knowing what I needed and reaching out your hands and hearts to provide it. All the ways of attentiveness – amazing! You gave me a tangible experience of the power of the village.
My vision of ‘the village’ has expanded immensely, is newly spacious. I have been shown love in a new way. It is fresh and simple and dedicated and incredibly pure. Surrounded by that love, I stand a little firmer embracing my place in the world. Held in all directions, I have a new way of being fierce, an enlivened definition of independence, one that supports me more fully to be who I am.
I am forever grateful for this experience, for you my village.
In this season of love and togetherness, my wish is that your vision of ‘it takes a village’ expands. The invitation is here to join me in releasing old beliefs, deeply held patterns, so that in any and all moments of your life you receive the blessing of your village. May you open to accept all that it will offer you.
My foot is healing, I no longer need all the help I did.
My heart is healing too. There I need you more than ever,
as my village,
to be by my side, to raise me and
walk with me on this effervescent path illuminated before us!