Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Total Loser

Ok, I'm not, I know. But you know those experiences that just leave you wondering if you are really as functional as the rest of the world? I had one of those.

Remember the non-profit org I was slowly getting involved with a few months ago...to empower women and help build confidence in women who have gone through some sort of trauma or crisis? Well the founder invited me to be on the board so I went to my first board meeting yesterday. I was sitting there in a room of 10 women....all strangers except one. All were very nice, but also strong and powerful. All had served on various "committees" and volunteer positions in their churches and communities. One in particular was filled with good ideas, was very forthright in what she would need in order to carry out her volunteer position as fundraiser and she just had so many intelligent things to say! These women talked about "demographics" and various community organizations and clubs that they could contact for contributions. I would rather step in front of a truck than do that job!

I was quiet through out the meeting and told my friend that I would think about what job I could commit to and would get back to her later. I left thinking things over....feeling like I could quite possibly BE one of the women needing the confidence building workshops that were being discussed!

I had to remind myself of what I have to offer. Positive self-talk speech to follow:
 I might possibly have a repoire and a certain skill set with people these women wouldn't know how to relate to....aka the dying, the elderly, and young drug addicts. It is ok to be a behind the scenes person. Everyone can't be a leader. I am more a listener and will convey, "lets figure out together, how we can meet your needs." I am more of a "come alongside" and let me walk with you type. I am not a bull-doze-over kind of person...unless its my own kids, and even there I am getting better. I have no interest and apparently no skill, in the business side of things....I love dealing with the clients. I am honest and straight forward.

 Someone in the meeting made reference to teaching these "on their path to health and wellness" women that they too can be "women of excellence." That grated on every "Christian cliche" nerve I have. Most of these women are trying to survive, trying to stay clean and keep their kids, they could be leaving abusive and oppressive living situations.  They just want to pay their bills, and learn how to be a good mom and their own person. I think imparting to them their worth and their courage in overcoming the obstacles that they have faced is obviously vital, but lets be real and not use cliche phrases.

Let me be clear here...there was nothing wrong with anyone there. This was my deal. My insecurities coming out in all of their glorious color. I waffled between my positive self-talk speech and feeling like my world is so small I can barely function outside of my comfort zone. What am I to do?!

Jump in I suppose and offer what I can.

Annette


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You were invited to be there for a reason. That reason is probably not related to any of the women in that room. My guess is that it has to do with the "elderly, the dying, the young drug addict." Enjoy the journey while waiting for God to reveal your purpose:)

Anna said...

I think you have a lot to offer.

Signe said...

You're like a close friend I have who has gone through a lot because of the addiction in her family. She has been to AA, therapy, and learns from her experiences. She excells at unpeeling that onion you've talked about. I don't think a lot of people realize that all of this growing and 'empowering' can't happen until the inner healing as begun...you know that stuff. You can see the signs of enabling. You can hear the words of confusion. You can understand when someone is still in that fog. I think your place in this group trying to help women, is vital. You've been there. Volunteering on a committe and knowing catch phrases is helpful in the mechanics of things. You understand the heart of the matter. I completely believe that your place will evolve into a position that meets the emotional needs of the women that will strengthen them so that they can follow through with the other options. This is exciting!

Dawn McCoy said...

You could explain to them how incredibly insulting to these women they are being....I actually have sat on many boards like this. 90% of the women have no clue what their 'target population' actually lives through every single day.....

Sheri said...

What you have to offer is invaluable! Maybe you are not "business minded" but you are very "heart minded". Jump in Annette, you've got what it takes!

Barbara said...

Yep. Been there done that! I was invited to be part of a very well known group of mothers based out of Los Angeles. The common goal - bring awareness to addiction. I was so freaking out of my league - I had to remind myself exactly what you reminded yourself. I admire those women for what they do and am very glad we were all born with different personalities and gifts because somebody has to be like them, and somebody needs to be like us :)

SoberMomRocks said...

I know exactly how you feel. I am often left with that feeling of...what do I have to give. But then I try to take stock, give myself one of those pep talks and soldier on.

I have to agree with you about the women however - it's a hierarchy of needs thing. How they can worry about something like self-esteem when they don't have a roof over their heads or food to feed their kids because they left an abusive relationship with the clothes on their back.

Let's teach them to stand before we ask them to run.

Sherry

beachteacher said...

Very good point Dawn !

Syd said...

You have a lot to offer. I'm glad that you are a listener and not a "mouthpiece". It's okay. Perhaps this isn't the group for you or perhaps you can bring to it something real and not a line on a resume.