I love the quote from Tara-Nicolle from todays prompt. It is so easy to get caught in the trap of “Use it or Lose it” thinking. To go so long without using a gift or talent that I discredit any idea that I can regain the ground I lost while leaving it dormant. It is easy for my mind to believe that other people are right about my inadequacies and let their discouragement keep me frozen. Frozen – that tends to be a standard fear response for me. Like Elsa says in “Frozen” I just need to
“Let it go,
Let it go,
Can’t hold you back anymore.“
It would be so much easier if my standard response could just be fight. Not against those who discourage me, I have nothing to prove to them, but to fight against freezing and becoming dormant.
One area that I have allowed to become dormant is advocacy. I used to love advocating. From as soon as I learned about Civics, I was the one who would write letters to the President, Congressmen, and other government officials. I wrote a letter to Ronald Reagan, although I don’t remember what it was about. I just know I got a letter from the White House and felt so excited. I wrote letters to my State Representative about the War on Drugs, just as he was being appointed as the Administrator of the DEA. I would write letters to the newspaper and was frequently published in various formats.
When I got into college, I absolutely loved going to Capitol Hill for Advocacy Day. I could have sat in there for hours listening to the banter back and forth and talking with the staff. I was less passionate about it when I was in Missouri, but I still loved it.
I loved writing on hot topics and researching things that I felt needed to be changed. I have a way of getting people on board if it is something I am really passionate about. Sometimes if it is something that someone else is passionate about I can drum up the energy to get others on board.
I have a love for policy and law. I mean LOVE! When I worked for the state I was all about policy and law, and have continued that in every job. I was that one person who knew what the policy said, where to find it, and when it was updated. I would absolutely drive my superiors crazy when they would try to implement new things that were against policy – policy always wins out! Sometimes I don’t even know why I retain the information I do. Sometimes it puts me on a fighting side of a battle against many, but policy and laws are usually black and white. If they don’t like it, they have to change it. If it is gray, there is much room for interpretation and implementation of personal beliefs – I like the gray areas too.
I would speak for different organizations and raise awareness of community problems and potential solutions. It didn’t matter to me if I was raising awareness or raising funding, I loved to do it. I have spoken for about seven different organizations to raise awareness, funds or both. over the past twenty years and have helped raise well over a few million dollars for them between fund-raising and grants.
It has kind of just been set to the side over the past three years. It has not been part of my job duties, and I have not wanted to attach myself to a single cause because the last one I was attached to hurt me deeply. I was on display for the community when I was taken down, and it was personal. It was also a spiritual attack. As a result, I scarcely put myself out there.
I still advocate policy and law in my job, and have seen quite a few updated. I even had a bill presented in the House at my suggestion. It was shot down, but it was presented. I get to be included in some meetings with leadership regarding policy, law and advocacy which is energizing.
I am not sure what it will take for me to get back out there. I still lend the knowledge I have to those who want it. I learned so much through those experiences and certainly don’t want to lose the knowledge. However, I also know the longer I am out of it, the more connections I lose and the more things change. It is not something I have been keeping up with unless it is tied to my current job.
I suppose when I find a cause worthy of that risk I will jump back out there. If I find something that stirs my passion and I can not ignore, I will get back in the game. If I see a need and feel called to speak out for it, I will have to get back in the game. There have been several things that have sparked my attention, but none that pulled me in so deeply as to stand up and take action personally. Yes, I will still rally support in my circle, but I haven’t found anything that will get me cause me to step out again. I suppose when I step back out of the adversity that I faced, I will arise a new creature.
This post is prompted by Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders.