I am a Lion
Growing up, my dad was a lion in my mind. I admired the way he took care of us - and at the same time, I felt too controlled. I saw his dedication to the family - even when it was broken - even when it continued to fray. I saw his tenacity. I witnessed the way he held space in groups. The way he held sway at his job. His bigness was obvious.
He was scary. He was also warm and cuddly. He was a lion. He was big.
My mom was a lion. She took her power in the 70’s and she owned it. She divorced my dad and started her own pride. It was small, but mighty - and I was a part of it. This tiny woman from a country town in South Carolina created a life that brought her all over the world. I witnessed the way she held her own. The way she pushed back and claimed space. Her bigness was obvious.
She was challenging. She held me in her arms. She was a lion. She was big.
I’m feeling that bigness in me right now. It’s a very different bigness. I’m a very different lion. This small body takes up space in a different way. And I am still feeling the ground under my feet.
My lion is looking out. She’s present. She sees what’s in front of her and engages with new people when they seem receptive. She reaches out to her pride/tribe when she needs to - they usually respond. She is surrounded by a loving tribe that spans the globe. And she also walks alone.
She keeps her heart open even if it means she might get hurt. When she gets hurt, she doesn’t carry it like a badge of honor. She used to. She doesn’t now. Well, she tries not to now. Changes take time.
She notes in her mind what her partner says and she lets it flow right by - “like clouds on a windy day.” She notes in her mind what her partner says and she smiles: “Who gets this? WE DO!” She notes in her mind what her partner says and she digs deeper. She laughs. She thinks of looking into his eyes and her eyes - all of their eyes. She’s surrounded.
I am unsure and scary and challenging. I am warm and cuddly and I hold you in my arms. I am a lion. I am big.