Conflict is difficult for me. I like to agree in conversation, and confess to being somewhat of an approval junkie. Many years ago I was introduced to what were described to me as “The Four Lakota Rules”; show up, pay attention, speak your truth and let go of the outcome. The first two are quite easy for me, the third begins to be a challenge, and well, the fourth is the troublemaker.
I have spent much of my life feeling compelled to be motivational, encouraging, supportive, charming and entertaining. The genesis of this drive is somewhat of a mystery to me. I never want to leave anyone with hurt feelings, or God forbid, a negative impression of me. As life shifts and I leave behind many roles, daughter and caregiver to name two, (I will always be a mother!), I find a resistance to my former patterns, even though the desire to please still echos. Can it be that authenticity is now becoming more important than approval? Evidence points to an affirmative answer.
“Speak Your Peace” evolved as I tried to process a recent disappointment. The lips in the center are placed prominently over a peace sign. Hearts surround and support the message. Six candles light the way through the darkness. There is a path beyond a portal, or archway, indicating a new passage in life. Smoke rises up from the candle flames and circles back to the night sky. More lips surround the piece, some are obscured while others are directly visible. The background for the lips is contrasting, very dark purple and very light yellow-orange, symbolizing polarities. The background of the mandala is the same deep blue-green that sets off the center design.
The message for me is clear, it is time for me to apply the third and fourth Lakota Rules on a consistent basis in my life. I am releasing my craving for the fleeting sweetness of approval, which of course is always followed by the need for more, and beginning to savor the joy of living and speaking authentically.