Finding purpose at Target

When do you get involved?

I was gallivanting through my local target store, decked out in a Southern Belle costume, including a wide brimmed straw hat, lace fan and short gloves. There are two ways you can travel when dressed like that.

A gallivant and a stroll. And I was running too late to stroll.

A man stopped his friend and pointed at me and said, “Now, that’s class.” I logged it in my memory forever–it was hilarious.

I only had two items, the lanes were full, I spot one down the way that seemed to be moving faster and then I hear, in a furious male voice.

“You don’t FUCKING listen. You don’t EVER fucking listen.”

And my heart skipped a beat-I look down the lane i was just passing by and a man has a young boy (around 12) by the neck, face down on the counter top. I stopped–and then consciously plant myself behind them. He does it again. The kid behind the counter is shaken but trying not to get involved, answering this guys questions about his cartwheel app. Very nonchalantly for someone who is also manhandling a human being. He was an expert.

I saw Target employees looking–pretending to busy themselves nearby, their eyes shifted in his direction. Have you ever been in the presence of something so intense, it feels like no one breathing?

This boy was autistic. He was also calm. He wasn’t throwing a fit. He was reaching for M&Ms-like my 1 year old does. The only word he said was ‘fuck’ with his face pushed into a conveyor belt. I watched the dads hands grip into his skin through his t-shirt. Even when he was perfectly still the dad had an iron clad grip on him-digging through his clothes to reach his skin. THEN, he has the audacity to look at me and say:

“Sorry for the wait.”

My face twisted in disgust. I know I can’t hide my feelings-so it was clear how I felt.

THEN, he did it AGAIN. At the top of his bleeding lungs.

“MICHAEL, YOU DON’T FUCKING LISTEN!” And twisted his fingers into his back.

“Is he okay,” I asked. I couldn’t take it anymore.

“He’s fine, he doesn’t fucking listen.”

“You’re leaving red marks all over his body,” I pointed to all the red splotches on his neck and arms. “It’s making everyone–me, it’s making me so uncomfortable.”

And this guy lost it. He is looking at me dead in the eye, red faced and again as loud as his voice could get:

“GET IN LINE LADY. HALF OF AMERICA THINKS I’M A SHITTY DAD! THE OTHER HALF THINK I ABUSE MY SON. HE’S GETTING KICKED OUT OF SCHOOL BECAUSE HE DOESN FUCKING LISTEN.”

His frustration was palpable. He was shaking. I was shaking. No, I can’t imagine the daily patience needed by parents of children with learning disabilities. But, I can imagine how you wouldn’t deal with it.

“When you do this in public, you make it everyone’s concern,” I eked out. He took of with his son and I could barely count my money out. The teller asked ME, if I was okay. Yeah dude, I’m fine.

I have a history of domestic violence. I can absolutely NOT watch someone be publicly humiliated and walk by like they’re not a human being themselves. I mean, should any of us? Turn a blind eye? We don’t know people’s situations-does that mean we shouldn’t question the bad things we see?

That morning I spent time at the Open Door Mission where I learned that 50 percent of women and children placed there are escaping Domestic Violence. It was a morning full of tragic fact and wonderful hearts and hope.

That night at my fundraiser, I saw a man I sent to jail over domestic violence 8 years ago. A man who violated me, while some people stood by silently and others came to my aid.

What is this theme? I believe in things being put in front of you for a reason. If it is part of your purpose in life, to take it on and make a change. Even when you would prefer to choose another cause.

My husband reminded me that he wasn’t there to protect me. He asked what if that guy had turned around and hit me or worse. I didn’t consider that in the moment.  He said that “these things happen around you and you soak them all in, you can’t take on everyone’s problems baby.” He’s right. And I get that. But if it happens in front of me, is it still not my problem? I have no definitive. Just questions, unresolved.

On the flip side, I wondered if I made it worse for the boy. If now, out of his own humiliation, the Dad would take it out on him. Take me, out on him. And the cycle continues.

So, I’d love some insight. The truth is in hindsight, the day was so full of dichotomy, coincidence, reality-it was sobering. (Despite the fundraisers free beer)

It felt like purpose.

Off thinking and praying,

Beaufield.

 

 

I contact.

Eye contact.

It is stressed to be one of the hallmarks of effective communication and connection with another person. Eye contact can flirt. It can harm. It can show respect, disrespect, it can wage a war.

“Look at me when I’m speaking to you.”

“Don’t you dare look at me like that.”

“When he looks at me, he can see my soul.”

Even animals have mastered (and communicated to humans) the lexicon of looks. Person makes eye contact with bear, bear mauls person.

Really very simple.

(I’m a wildlife advocate, I think it may take more for a bear to maul you-but it was my first example. Hippos may have been a better choice.)

I’m thinking about all of this eye contact stuff BECAUSE I’ve been considering the trust in my life. The trust i have in others, the trust others have in me.

I’ve been reexamining my relationship with trust when it comes to trusting myself. My own gut and heart–and how I feel I’ve probably led myself astray more than I have any other human out there. I’m a bad, unconvincing liar. Although I really used to try it. There are a few things I still lie about-and I find myself slapping my wrists and rinsing my mouth out with (figurative) soap, wondering why it was hard for me to just be honest in that moment. To just be free. I’m so unabashedly open with everything else, but there’s just those last few things-that I haven’t come clean on. They don’t really affect anyone but me, but where I am affected I may infect others. And that is no good. I am beginning a practice of staring at myself in the mirror while I repeat these lies to myself and then replacing them with the truths. I don’t know if that will be helpful, but i don’t mind experimenting on myself.

I’ve realized I cannot-physically am not able to-look someone I am not good with in the eye. We can be in the same room, with mutual friends, they could be talking directly to me and I absolutely will be looking at a spot over their heads. (Thank you theater training) Or occupying myself with something else to avoid it all together. This has occurred to me with people I have had falling outs with, with people I do not trust/respect, with people who annoy me greatly. That I have not expressed my disdain, anger–whatever my thing is with them. These are generally people that I am not close with, but may have had some sort of friendly relationship with at some point. When I am confronting someone, it is a completely different story. I look them in the eye hoping they can see my heart. This-isn’t that.

I felt it very palpably this past week-sharing space with someone I truly do not care for. I noticed a few attempts on her behalf to partake in a  conversation I was a part of and I completely shut down.

I didn’t want to share any part of myself with her. I didn’t want to “be fake.” Ugh, that makes me shudder, I have to take that fake person I am being home with me. And I don’t want them in my space. So I retain my cordial indifference by keeping to myself. Not giving them a thing. My eyes cannot lock into theirs-we will not share souls-we won’t connect. I can’t be honest with me, and make contact with you.

This isn’t a practiced way of being for me-just something that occurs naturally and I’ve allowed myself to go with it. A true gut reaction.

But I know I can’t ALWAYS be surrounded by “my people” so I am open to suggestions if there is a better way.

What do you do when you are confronted with dishonesty from yourself or others? Is it hard to admit to yourself when you lie? Is it hard to be around people you don’t trust? Do you think that just because you are a trustworthy person, other people should naturally trust you?

Lots I’m thinking about!

The truth is out there,

Beaufield

 

Firestarting and Magic

Holy shit-do I feel on fire!

Which is awesome-because we are currently snowed in with the possibility of losing our power and we may need the heat.

Okay-my book was supposed to be completed and out in the world by now. By last month-and it’s not. My children’s book was supposed to be done by now and it’s not. I was supposed to have 500 likes on my writers page and I don’t. I was supposed to have double the Twitter followers and I don’t.

BUT IT IS ALL OKAY.

I am WORKING. I am back at my desk–(with my new keyboard because Shine poured coffee all over my last one. Mea Culpa for thinking a toddler, a computer and a full mug were okay to walk away from)

I am on fire because I’m aligning my strengths with my passions with my family life with my hearts desires. And it may not happen overnight. I may not meet all of my deadlines-the world may interfere with my proposed momentum–but I am here-showing up. And THAT alone makes me so elated.

I have a LOT of work to do yet. And it IS work, but it’s also not. It’s also the easiest, truest thing I could be doing.

I’m not at a point where I am confused about what my life’s purpose is. I KNOW what it is. In all of it’s big and small forms. I know what I’m good at and what I am not good at–and I am DONE with trying to fit into things that I will never fit into. Things you DON’T want me doing: solving your mathematical problems, doctoring you, remembering things, getting you home on time, getting pretty much anywhere on time…and it does go on from there.

I just started Damielle LaPorte’s come to Jesus sit down with the self-“The FireStarter Sessions” and YES! Within ONE session-she reminded me just how on fire I am about what I’m doing right now and where I’m going. I WANT that extraordinary life–and she reminded me that not only can I have it, I already do.

If you’re into that self awareness, awake your life, kind of thing-I urge you to grab the book and get the downloads. Because I’m stoked to go on this journey and discover all that I can and I’d love that for you too.

Also, I just finished Elizabeth Gilberts “BIG MAGIC” and it’s an absolute must read for anyone out there questioning their creativity, worth, life, choices–such a powerful affirmation for those that live creative lives in all capacities.

I feel so inspired by these women I can ALMOST ignore there’s a cranky toddler yelling at me right now.

“If it doesn’t light you up, you’re not the right person for the job.”

I have to go.

Off reading and dreaming,

Beaufield