The 3 A’s

Teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my intuition, my inner knowing,the senses of my body, the blessings of my spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my sacred space and love beyond my fear and thus walk in balance with the passing of each glorious sun. ~Lakota Prayer

That prayer is very meaningful for me. I found the quote on a notecard in a small gift shop over the weekend. The words struck a chord on my heart.

I am having trouble with my 3 A’s – Authenticity, Authority and Autonomy. By trouble I mean questioning my ability to trust who I am and where I stand in my sacred space. How does my sacred space create reasonable boundaries for interaction with others, allowing room for the sacred space where I stand and that in which another stands? Whenever I feel this way, it is easy for me to default to the messages I have heard, from myself or others, since childhood. These messages are ones I have memorized and can deliver to myself in a nanosecond, without hesitation. But today is different. I am resisting going to those familiar messages. They are not true for me any longer – at least not at this minute.

I am not going to share a list of what is found in those messages. I trust that if you have traveled down any spiritual path, or entered into any kind of therapy, you know what nature and voice those messages represent and the damage they can inflict. Instead, I want to share the insights I recognized in a relatively short time this week – but with great effort.

Dictionary definitions are helpful, but not always insightful for integration into life. Merriam Webster has the following definitions:
Authenticity: real or genuine : not copied or false
Authority: originator, a quality that makes something seem true or real
Autonomy: the quality or state of being independent, free, and self-directing

When it comes to integration, here is what I am thinking today.
Authenticity is being tuned into what I bring to each moment – whether by myself or with others. Paying attention to how my heart feels when I am in conversation. Slowing down to listen to my heart and having compassion for the people in my circle of life.
Authority is being real – confident in the knowledge that I am enough for what I need to accomplish today, in this moment; not bending my real nature to accommodate someone else’s without being aware of what I am doing and why.
Autonomy is being in control of how I respond to life’s circumstances. I may not get to chose what or when change occurs in my life, but I do get to control what I do with the change. “Yes, this has happened. And now what?”

One of my precepts for life, and a key component in my message, is that change is inevitable. Change is relentless. No sooner have you accepted something in life when something else happens. Your hourglass is overturned again. Sifting through the new arrangement in your sand, you find the possibility for moving forward – there is still room to live. Life is a story. Your story is determined by the significant moments – the narrow spots – where something happens.

Everything is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together, stories and compassion. ~Barry Lopez

When we tell a personal story out loud, we discharge some of its danger and darkness. Visiting an experience through story is like shining a light into a dark closet. Narrative is part of our human nature. We live it, hear it and create it each day. Stories connect us to others and help us process, heal, problem solve, express feelings, remember and celebrate.

Being free to be me – to live and tell my story – is a challenge. When I find myself being drawn off course, needing to correct and redirect that course so that I am being true to who I have grown to be; I look to the resources I have sifted out from my sand. I set an intention to move forward and learn new things about myself and others in an honest and open atmosphere.

Today I claim my sacred space and set the intention to walk there more often. Thank you for listening.

I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and great fear of shallow living.
~Anaïs Nin