I feel like her--inching forward, reaching for that which I behold, struggling little by little with every bit of my strength to get where I'm going.
With her, it's a down-on-the-ground, whole-bodied struggle. With me, it's a battle raging within me over a single, burning question: whether or not I qualify as a leader.
(Weird inner battles, I'm good at them.)
I'm not an alpha female. I know women--amazing women--who are alpha types. I admire them, but I'm not one of them, nor do I have any desire to be one. This obviously precludes me from assuming any role of religious (ordained) leadership.
I still hear this call to leadership, though, which makes my eyes cross. Come on, Goddess. Non-alpha types don't make leaders. The whole notion is absurd. How can I be a leader when I'm the one who's always been in the background, observing more often than herding? When I've been told to my face that I'm not a leader? Leadership roles in my case seem (as my medically trained hubby would say) contraindicated.
Conveniently, I've never had to grapple with this before, because I've always belonged to a tradition in which I would never have to take seriously (or be taken seriously regarding) my call to religious (i.e. ordained) leadership. Now I'm about to be received in a tradition that does, and I'm flailing like my infant daughter. How am I supposed to get where I'm going if I don't have the juice to do it?
For fun, I decided to humor my Lady Goddess and google "characteristics of a leader." I found this list.
I am/do all of those things when it comes to something I care about and am deeply invested in. So...
I'm not an alpha leader.
I'm a servant leader.
I lead by example. I'm dazzling and inspiring in a different way. Folks don't generally want to be me--they want to be around me. When I live out my (rather awesome) ideals, I am at the service of others, rather than in charge of them. That's how my leadership manifests.
I've just never formally thought of leadership, especially religious leadership, like that. Now that I see it at work at St. Augustine's, however--a context which has become my context, rather than remaining someone else's--it makes a surprising amount of sense.
Tune in again soon for more from the M. Kate Meets Her Vocation show!