After a month of working with EcoFaith, I can already say that I’m more uplifted and empowered in my vocation than ever before. What a refreshing realization that also stirs up internal conflict and growing pains.
In full transparency, my work prior to EcoFaith has never felt authentic or significant to me; rather, a role I “must” perform. As an autistic adult, I often feel outside of the greater conversation in work and social settings. I never know when to jump in, let alone if I can jump in. And if I do so, will it matter? Will whatever thoughts arise in my mind not translate into the spoken word? Will people dismiss me and brush me aside?
To be in a position now where my contributions go toward a greater good—healing our world and recovering from destructive tendencies—is ground-breaking. So much so that I’m digging into the soil and planting roots where I once felt like a tumbleweed passing through. Every voice matters. Every being has a gift to offer. And, perhaps, I’m not excluded from that.
Reaching within myself and projecting it outward in a professional environment feels quite frightening. It’s a raw, vulnerable action. Brene Brown’s message resonates in this situation, beckoning forth bravery amidst our personal doubts. Funnily enough, I have no qualms about sharing my story as it unfolds, but offering my presence among seemingly more qualified leaders in a meeting? That’s another matter entirely.
This internship, and any new opportunity, embodies growth and learning. So often, we demonize mistakes to the point of alienation (Again, speaking from personal experience here!). That simple yet complex risk of simply speaking up in a meeting or any conversation could lead to a multitude of consequences. We may fall down once and cling onto that pain body like a security blanket. Assumptions arise, painting fantastical worst-case scenarios until you’re left mentally and spiritually blocked.
If I learn anything from EcoFaith, it’s that you do have a unique purpose that the right people will value. There is grace for learning as both a lifelong student and teacher. God will lead you to the lifegiving waters where you take refuge in your sacred truth.
As Brene Brown so eloquently says, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. The land where you’ll cultivate your purpose and gifts will require a trek through dense overgrowth and treacherous mountains. But the closer you get, the more often you’ll feel peace and taste a satisfying sweetness on your tongue.
I still have a long journey ahead. I may never really know when the “correct” timing in a conversation. Doubts still pop up with each creative thought I have. However, I’m grateful to have a space for patience and understanding. Regardless of our stage in life, we each deserve that space to allow God to speak and mold us into our truest selves. May we all breathe air into our past wounding as we boldly step forward with courageous, sacred intention.
- Allie Knofczynski
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