Hard and Holy Things
To be honest, the most requested blog topic is about Mission 108. My team told me to start this blog as an extension of Mission 108 and to express our goals to the community.
Two women that work closely with 108 told me to write it all down and share it with others. All the things I’ve seen and heard. All the stories I have experienced. What I’ve felt in my hands and in my heart. I have over six years of international travel experience and exploring cultures all over the world. My worldview has expanded and elevated. What a gift I can offer those who can’t or don’t want to travel. I’ve written most of it down. Pen to paper. But I can’t bring myself to give it to this blog.
My readers, there are few of you and that’s the way I like it, you are kind and gentle, passionate, and fierce. And I love you. Every single one of you. My fear has never been offering my stories to you. I know you hold them close. My fear is offering it to the Internet. The internet is widespread and murky. It has hidden trolls and cowards that use words to kill. There’s a special place in Heaven for those that aren’t kind.
For those of you who have followed my journey for a while, you might remember the campaign I did in 2012 that pissed some religious people off. Religious people can be brutal. Ruthless. And I never wanted to revisit that.
Until now. Until I asked myself if I was showing up to do hard and holy things.
You wouldn’t believe it but Robbie and I are very private people. Aside from what you see on my Instagram story, I don’t share a lot about what breaks my heart and why I created Mission 108 to heal the hearts of many. I gave a talk last weekend about how pain is often the birthplace, and the catalyst to beauty. And how no one tells you that growth requires stretching, an actually stretching of the mind, body, and soul. And that stretching doesn’t always feel good. What you see on the internet, is often the beauty, the end result, the bragging rights of a person’s story. It is very seldom the birthplace, the womb, or the darkness that first inspired them. Think about a womb. From the darkness of a womb, births a child. Births life.
I created Mission 108 because I was angry with my own complacency, and even more angry that we are more concerned with Kim Kardashian's butt implants than we are that women, girls, and boys are living their lives in slavery. I was pissed that my very privileged school taught me that slavery, racism, and gender inequality were a thing of the past. The moment I stepped out of my bubble, I learned that I live like less than 1 percent of the rest of the world. That people die because they don’t have water to drink, and sometimes they die because the water they drink is full of disease. Mission 108 was birthed in the realization of the darkness of the world and my attempt to add some light.
I’ve feared sharing that because how in the world do you do the 99 percent justice. And out of respect for those that we call “voiceless” knowing that no individual breathing on this planet is voiceless. That everyone has a voice. A thumb print. Everyone’s life speaks volumes into the existence of the Universe. I met a girl in our safe home in India that doesn’t speak. She is mute. Likely because of the trauma she has endured. She is 11-13 years old and doesn’t know her name. But when I met her, we communicated. She used signs and body language to express what she wanted and needed. And despite the darkness she had lived in, she survived and thrived. And her life is important.
It is hard for me to tell those stories because they aren’t my stories to tell. And for women and children who have been exploited their entire lives, over my dead body would I take something from them, that was mine to take. Even if only something as small as sharing their story.
But at the beginning of the week, I had this realization that those fears were only fears. That I have had the permission to share Mission 108 stories from the beginning, that exploitation isn’t in my DNA, that I have ownership and responsibility in story-telling, and being an innovator of thought. That I wouldn’t be doing the tribe justice if I didn’t continue to tell these stories, talk about real things, and lay everything that Mission 108 is on the table. I am giving a talk in a couple of weeks and it will be themed around this question:
Where are the people willing to show up and do hard and holy things?
People tell me all the time that India is too far, too scary, too unknown, too this, too that. And I often think, where are the people willing to do hard and holy things? But every judgement is a mirror of the subconscious speaking to yourself. Because I was asking that question of others, I knew there was something hidden inside that I wasn’t showing up for.
What was hard and holy that I wasn’t requiring of myself?
Mission 108 is my baby. A labor of love. Something I created from the ground up. Writing about mission 108 and my experiences feels like sending my baby out into the cold hard world just hoping she won’t get bullied, or worse judged.
Somehow I can talk to a room filled with people about what sounds like a very vulnerable topic, somehow I can fly all the way across the world and meet with pimps, and prostitutes, somehow I weezeld myself into rooms with very important people that do very important things, somehow I control my nerves when my husband pitches in front of 50,000 fans.
All of that seems hard and holy, but the truth is showing up here is way more hard and way more holy. If I am being honest, baring my unedited, far from perfect soul is the hard and holy work of a lifetime.
So that’s it. That’s my battle cry. Write this on my tombstone if I succeed:
She showed up to do hard and holy things. Amen.
I ask my people to do hard and holy things with me every day. So this dear readers, is me practicing what I preach. Showing up.
To do hard and holy things.
Are you going to live your whole life not showing up? You can’t. You’ve come this far. You’ve landed here. It’s all on purpose.
What have you asked of your people but not done yourself? Isn’t what we demand of our tribe the very thing we’re secretly demanding of ourselves?
I’m so thrilled to be on this journey and to have you on it with me.
Do something hard and holy this week.