Over the last weeks I had the privilege to support and facilitate a couple of conversations that reminded me why I do what I do.
The groups that travel long distances and gather to see where they are , what’s new, how can they continue the work and see the change in the world they been all working so hard to make it happen.
Usually this conversations happen in a language that is not your own, so either you have an interpreter or you are living in that part of your brain that dreams and jokes in a different lullaby.
All participants make an effort to be there, to be present, to connect, to plan, to come forward and share what is scary and what is inspiring, and what was unexpected. Talking about unexpected, I was facilitating day number 3 and the session about Security was next.
The regionwhere the meeting was being held, is one of the toughest for any one that wants to change reality. Environmental Defenders, Human Right Defenders, Indigenous Leaders, Communities representatives face death threats on a daily basis. So talking about security is very personal.
While they were in discussions, one sentence kept on coming up: “We need to be able to take care of each other. We need to be able to take care of each other.” Suddenly I started remembering the friends, colleagues that are not here anymore, the ones that were murderer, while we are still asking for justice.
I had tears in my eyes. When you are creating a safe place for conversation and connection, it is not advisable to have a mini meltdown as a facilitator. I wasn’t sobbing, but a few tears came down. Participants need to be able to focus on the talk and not on the slightly red nose face in front of them.
So I made a decision: when the expert finished, I did the content recap and shared my own input: “sometimes we remember our friends and also our hearts and emotions”. I had to accept my own vulnerability and how some issues still break my heart. It wasn’t the end of the world, people actually knew one more reason why I do what I do.
So this is my note to self this week: embrace your vulnerability, sometimes the human in you will take over. And people will be there with you.