Dear Courageous Creatures…

Dear Courageous Creatures,

At the Courage Conference, I was nervous to meet you. Nervous not to be enough. I was afraid to be – to bring my body not just my soul to you. And there you were – altogether lovely and smashing.

While the offense of abuse is multifaceted, it is against the body, that the offender breaches. To have a body, to wash it, to nourish it, to dress it, and to show up with it… is sooo crushingly vulnerable for me. Perhaps it was just me, although I suspect not.

To have known some of you through your written word; to have loved the souls from which your words have sprung; to sup with you on sorrow; to drink to you with joy as we grow; and to mend with you, has been a deep source of joy and connection.

To have beheld your face, to have seen your strength, to have hugged you hard has been not just a harbinger of hope for me, but also for my husband. You are beautiful souls, dare I say immortal ones, in bodies breached by abuse. The immensity of your courage makes me weep.

Today I am quiet, as I become when I feel deeply. Today I must care for me, for this precious soul, this body broken but beautiful, this sacred skin. As I slow down and remember, the sweet softness of your sorrow-based-strength rolls over me like a blanket of mercy. You are beloved. And when I remember your face, your stories, your hope in the midst of heartache, I cannot help but ardently admire you all.

To commune is to consume – to sip on sorrow laced with love. It costs. I gladly pay. As sojourners we must we wary not to run a deficit. Care for yourself. Cocoon in ways that infill, give back, and restore your immortal soul inhabited in this mortal body. I will too.

Peace, courage, and hope,

Lori Anne

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