Take off your Shoes. Our Stories are Hallowed Ground.

The words in this image ring so true for me...

My life in 2009 was not a story I was happy with. It wasn't a story I had much respect for. It was bereft of dignity, ownership and pride. I had written myself into the role of someone defined by conflict, oppression and heartache. Why?

Because I didn't believe I had the power to change it.

However, some part of me had envisioned a better story for my life. And no matter how much I resisted, she would not rest.

So in September of that year, I gave her permission to begin writing a new draft. She knew she had one chance to impress me. So she sat her ass in the chair and she got to work. And she did.

She convinced me. So I too, took up my pen.

I'm proud of the story we've written together since then. My little writer saved my life. Now I am her and she is me. I am devoted to this work and I am living this wonderful new story.

I stand in and for my story. My story is my life. It's all I have and I will defend it. This work, the work of active, conscious, personal story writing, is now sacred to me. 

It is my contribution to life. 

Here's the thing though, to cross over the boundary into and criticise my story, JUDGE who I am in it and demand that I be different, however much you believe that to be true, or helpful or honest... is to oppress on the basis that you know better.

Don't make the mistake of thinking your story is *more* sacred, gospel.. and therfore by comparison, I'm 'doing it wrong'. If you are invited into another's story and asked for feedback, fine... do so with ownership and care. If you are in that space uninvited, you are desecrating holy ground.

And that, storytellers, warrants protest. As we see is happening at Standing Rock, those to whom the ground in which the story is SACRED, will not stand by while it is desecrated.

If how I am honoring my story is getting in the way of your pipeline, don't expect me to just move aside and let you through. Your pipeline is not more important than my ground.

And I'm not afraid to stand my ground. I'm willing to take a hit on the front lines. Because nothing hurts as much as the wound at the core of my being. And nothing is more important than my devotion to a healing of same.

It has never been more clear to me, I have never until now been more aware of what it means to have a sense of duty and devotion to what is sacred.

I understand now, the anger in me that arises when faced with oppression of that.

I am overwhelmed with the display of dignified and peaceful resistance being demonstrated right now in Standing Rock and that's what I wish to mirror in the world. To honour and resist like *that*, is what I want to learn.

To stand on and for sacred ground and to protect it in a way that also sustains the dignity and integrity I wish for it to represent. To not incite further suffering by doing so.

I hate war. I hate fighting. It causes only suffering... equally, I hate oppression.

Now that I'm aware of this, I will learn the skills required to tend to this gap.