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Keeping My Promise to My Self

by Giles Carwyn

Last Monday there was another men’s group meeting at Earthaven. And I didn’t want to go. I wanted to hole up in my cave and indulge in one of my favorite mindless distractions. I wanted to stay safe and warm and small. But I dragged myself out into the rain and across the Village Green to the Council Hall. I did it because I promised I would. Because half of life is simply showing up.

When I got there, something began to change. A circle of men gathered. We built a container from myth and smoke and words. We went around the circle and shared our truths. We dug deep to touch the shadows that drive us to break our promises to ourselves. We guided each other into dark places where our gold is buried beneath a lifetime of fear, anger, grief, and shame. We stood witness as another man fought the inner voice that keeps him small and silent and asleep. And then we blessed our work. We honored each other in ways that I desperately need, but too seldom allow myself to give or receive.

When the circle was over, I went home to my regularly scheduled life. My to-do list, my struggles, my shortcomings had not changed. But I had changed. I was a different man, a better man because I hadn’t stayed in my cave. That is why I show up. That is why I live in community. That’s why I’ll be there again a week from Monday 7:30 PM at the Council Hall.

I would be honored if you would join us.

Giles Carwyn is a 41 year-old novelist/screenwriter/construction superintendent/lingerer between jobs who has been living at Earthaven off and on for the last four years. After much hard work, has managed to simplify his life to the five things that really matter: being a writer, a father, a lover, a brother and a friend.

circle, council hall, meeting, men's group

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