Indigenous Ministries

Stand Alone with your Spirit

May 23, 2014
Indigenous Ministries

I have been a devotee of Brene Brown for almost two years now. I share with all leaders, the importance of being authentic and the strength in being vulnerable. It’s so important in all aspects of life, but especially for leaders.

We are entrenched in world that is combative with leaders. People with pre-conceived ideas and expectations of others…when you can’t live up to their idea of perfect, you are hit over the head with attacking words. I cannot tell you how many times people come to me with their stories of how they were hurt by attacks from those they most wanted acceptance from. Whether it was an elder, priest, friend, family member, boss or tribal leader… I tell these people you need to follow where the Creator is calling you. I tell them, most often these people are hurt and angry. Do not react in kind, but be the person you were called to be.

My hope is that every person, but especially those in leadership roles, seek out healing for themselves. This comes in a variety of ways:  pastoral care, White Bison, Wellbriety, traditional spirituality, spiritual direction, therapy, etc. Whatever works for you. The idea is to be able to be honest with yourself and others. Be imperfect. Be authentic. Be vulnerable. Be you.

Brene Brown calls vulnerability, “The courage to show up and be seen.” She says, “If you’re going to lead a courageous life you’re going to get your butt kicked. Faith is the organizing principle in my life.” Probably would surprise you to know she’s an Episcopalian.

The other faithful people I know as I travel to various circles are tribal leaders and spiritual leaders. I am honored to meet those with deep faith, when I least expect it. They will tell me their prayers when they hear of my job. Recently, I sat next to Cherokee Medicine Elder Crosslin Smith at the Reservation Economic Summit. It was the most moving 15 minutes of my time as he reinforced the lessons I’ve been learning from vulnerability. He shared a piece of his opening prayer for Reservation Economic Summit, “Stand alone with your spirit. Stand as a creation, not a race. When you accomplish this, you have become one with the strongest thing ever in this world. The spirit that lives in your body. The spirit will communicate for you. It will go back from which in came. In that interchange you will receive a divine blessing and a divine sense. Once this divine blessings is bestowed upon you, you should be a very proud creation. You should be very happy.”

To stand alone with yourself in honesty and truth, is to be vulnerable and is the ultimate form of courage. Brene Brown says, “I am faithful to courage. I will live in the torture chamber of the question. My mantra is:  if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, then I’m not interested in your opinion.” I agree. Heal yourself. Then tell me what you think in respect, love and truth.

The Rev. Bradley Hauff

Missioner for Indigenous Ministries

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