March 21, 2019
One of the things I love about Bridge of Hope is that we expect everyone involved in our program, not just families, to be transformed. The emphasis is on opening our eyes to see anew, opening our hearts to love like Jesus, opening our hands to offer tangible support, and opening our doors to make new connections.
Transformation can be an uncomfortable process for the one being called to transform. Many people resist the discomfort. But take a moment to reflect on how much discomfort dispossessed people experience day in and day out. As neighbors, I believe we have a responsibility to transform for the good of all people. When we stop to think about it, transformation is simply an invitation to grow, to deepen our agency, and to live more fully in this world. We GET to see things anew. We GET to love more authentically. We GET to offer tangible support. We GET to be a resource for others. It’s actually amazing to consider the inner and outer ripple effects of transformation.
I write all of this just to say how much I appreciate how a friend of mine recently offered me a new set of lenses – flight goggles to be exact. She alone is parenting her young son, and she offered me a window into her inner process. In response to an email I had sent to friends celebrating International Women’s Day, she replied, “I appreciate the bird symbolism and taking flight from the cage. I think of my role at home as parenting or *flying* solo (a la Amelia Earhart), which I find empowering, vs. the culturally-loaded, debilitating, judgmental phrase ‘single mom’.”
What a gift for her to share her lenses with me and help me see her reality anew! I paused to think about how often I give my elevator speech about Bridge of Hope and use the term ‘single-moms’. I see how this can feel like a negative underscoring of the absence of a partner. And I, as much as anyone, should be poised to celebrate the diversity of family structures and partnership as I provide leadership to an organization based on a Neighborhood of Support for families. When you put on Amelia Earhart’s flight goggles, you get a sense of just how strong the agency is for those flying solo.
I’m still working on editing my elevator speech, but I’m grateful for the process of transformation that is happening in me.