Vision: Start with why

Let’s start with why. Simon Sinek style. If you don’t know Simon Sinek you should. He does an amazing Ted Talk about his concept the Golden Circle. Inspiring leaders start with why they do something, how they do it, and what they do to achieve it. Instead of the reverse, which is how most of us do it. He says it waay better so check out his TedTalk and in his book

When I first started Wari Tumas I tried to start with the golden circle, but I still worked backwards (ssshhh don’t tell Simon Sinek). I wanted to start a blog (What), (How) through storytelling and putting my words down on paper (or more literally on a computer) and (why) to break the chains of silence around my heart and my life. 

But I didn’t really have a why. Why do I want to break silence? Why do I want to share my story? And why do I want to start a blog? 

I didn’t have real answers. Not to start. And I’m still trying to figure it out but it’s a journey, a journey that I hope you will take with me.

Starting with Why

So why create Wari Tumas?

My Vision or My deepest desire for humanity is to: 

Build a Generation equipped to mend our communal and individual brokenness through authenticity and vulnerability. 

Wow rereading it, it sounds like a huge feat, almost impossible. And after I posted it on social media, I got really down and struggled to get out of bed the next day. I was insecure because I shared my deepest desire and I felt inadequate to even attempt to achieve it. 

And I don’t think that I can achieve it. At least not on my own and not without divine intervention. And as a person of faith, I think and hope that God is in this vision. That it’s His and not mine. 

But before we dive into the what and how of achieving this vision, I want to further break it down to understand what it means and how to accomplish it. 

Build a Generation

This one is crazy. And probably the part that I’m the most worried about. I am no one to build a generation. I struggled with including it in my vision because it’s a feat someone like Martin Luther King Jr can accomplish. Not me. I am not inspiring enough to build a generation. Not alone. 

My plan is simple,  first by starting with me. Starting with family, a spouse or significant other, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws. You name it. And then we’ll pass this vision on to the next generation by teaching our children about authenticity and vulnerability. So by practicing this vision, by living out what I preach hopefully others will practice it too.

I don’t think I can start a movement by going out and trying to build a generation alone. But if I start with me, and those around me. I hope I can impact lives and build a community.

Why build?

When I first started this blog, most of my conversations with my closest friends, some of my best friends, went along the lines of “I didn’t know you were going through that.” 

And that’s no one’s fault but my own. 

I was scared to be honest and vulnerable about what I was going through even with my closest, dearest friends. I wasn’t honest with them because I wasn’t honest with myself. 

Building a generation starts with building a community around you. Being authentic and vulnerable with the people you surround yourself with daily. But, for most of my life, I held everyone at arm’s length. Because then I didn’t have to be honest with myself about the hardest parts of my story. But building a community and surrounding yourself with people allows you to be authentic and vulnerable and helps mend brokenness. 

Build a generation. 

It starts with me. It starts with me and Jonny, our marriage, then it needs to seep out to our family, our friends, our church, our community, and beyond. And I really hope that it starts with you too. 

Equipped with Authenticity and Vulnerability

This one is crucial. And why I started this whole concept. My daily goal this year and every year for the rest of my life is to choose into authenticity and vulnerability daily. And that is hard. 

The week after the election, I went to see my counselor, someone that knows my deepest darkest secrets, even things that I don’t want to admit to myself. And as we talked about the election, I danced around my feelings about the president-elect. I was worried I might offend her by sharing my (I’ll be honest here) relief and excitement specifically about the VP elect. (Side note: Someone who looks like me, as VP, that alone is something worth rejoicing over regardless of your political party!)

She, my counselor, was not going to judge me regardless of my opinion or thoughts one way or the other. And I have been very honest with her in the past but this particular topic, but that conversation right after the election – it was too vulnerable and too authentic. Even with someone that knows me best (Expect of course my husband, love you, Jonny!).

And I went home and kicked myself because I wasn’t vulnerable which meant I wasn’t authentic. 

We can’t have one without the other 

As part of the mission, I want to redefine authenticity because I think you have to be vulnerable to be authentic. Let me say that again. You have to be vulnerable to be authentic. 

For most of my life, I’ve struggled with the need for perfection. I thought that if I was perfect no one would see how broken I was inside. And I thought I was being authentic because I was being myself, friendly, outgoing, and let people in (slightly). But I was just protecting myself from being vulnerable. Because vulnerability is hard. 

After a year of counseling, I realized I can’t hide under the cover of perfectionism. Being perfect isn’t authentic. Being perfect allows me to be comfortable and hidden. Real Authenticity forces me to be exposed and what’s that word? Vulnerable. 

I’ll repeat. You can’t have one without the other. 

Ironically striving for perfection is easier than authenticity and vulnerability. Ask Brene Brown. One of my heroes by the way. She’s the expert. So please check out her books, her podcasts, and her TedTalks. I-N-S-P-I-R-I-N-G and scary!

Equipped. Why equipped? 

We have to be equipped with vulnerability and authenticity. Because it’s a choice and an action. We can’t just be authentic or vulnerable we have to choose it. In the Bible, it says to put on the armor of God, equipping ourselves with the tools we need to fight spiritual battles. In the same essence, we need to equip ourselves with vulnerability and authenticity. (Disclaimer, not trying to commit heresy by adding it to the scripture 😂✌🏼) 

Build a generation equipped with authenticity and vulnerability 

I don’t have proof yet, but I believe that if each individual was equipped with the tools to be both vulnerable and authentic daily it would radically change society and humanity for the better. 

To mend communal and individual brokenness

Let’s define brokenness first.

Merriam Webster dictionary describes broken as:  

  • (1) Violently separated into parts; shattered
  • (2) Damaged or altered…
  • (5) Not complete or full 

And I want to adopt all of these to explain what brokenness means to Wari Tumas. What brokenness means to me. Being broken means to be damaged or altered, to not be complete, and to be violently separated into parts. Because if you are broken you cannot be whole. And not being whole is violently painful. 

Let me repeat it slowly. Not being whole is violently painful. 

Individual Brokenness

We are all broken. In some shape or form. We aren’t whole. I’m not. I’m trying to become whole, I’m on the mend. I struggle with depression, I struggle with my identity as a mixed-race woman living in America, I struggle as a third culture kid with multiple ethnicities, backgrounds, cultures, languages that all contribute to who I am. And as a person of faith, I’m a sinner, broken because I don’t always love, I don’t always like people, I take offense, I get jealous, I get angry, and I could go on and on. 

My brokenness has shattered me into pieces. I am violently separated into parts. My race is a part, my depression is part, my relationships that are broken are a part of the pieces that I so desperately want to mend. 

I’ve identified several important parts of me, parts that are broken that if mended will help me feel whole. 

  • Culture (upbringing, family history, the culture of your community both past and present, the countries you’re from, the languages I speak, etc)
  • Faith ( spiritual journey, my beliefs in God, and my calling to love unconditionally)
  • Identity (physical appearance, race, upbringing, personality, and so much more) 
  • Mentality ( mental health, emotional health, mindset, intelligence, the way I think and solve problems) 
  • Relationships (marriages, loved ones, family relationships, relationships with friends, with authority, with communities, with people that are different than you)

I’m on a journey to mend these parts of me. And that’s the original why behind starting my blog. Because I left that if I was honest, open, vulnerable about these broken parts of me, I would continue to mend my brokenness. But my why quickly became more than just about my brokenness. It became about us, collectively.

Communal Brokenness 

We also have brokenness that we share as a community. 2020 was the perfect example of communal brokenness. In the United States, we have been divided for most of the year on topics like race, politics, and how we handle a global pandemic. And these are just examples from this year. We share brokenness with our community and on a global scale. 

Right now, as a part of working on my own brokenness, I am working through communal brokenness in Papua New Guinea that was created and continually perpetuated by colonialism. The rules that we follow in Papua New Guinea even to this day, were made by colonists, to suppress the local people and benefit themselves. That story can be copied and pasted throughout the world. The details might change, the problem might be different, but communally we are broken. And we hold a broken history. And it’s something that I want Wari Tumas to address and work through. Because communal brokenness shapes our individual brokenness. 

Let’s not forget about family

There is one last brokenness that I want to talk about, familial brokenness. Family pain and trauma can be passed down through generations without knowing it. The wounds that you have as a child shape your identity. And there’s so much more research and practice in psychology that will better explain familial brokenness. And I promise we will get there. Understanding familial brokenness can mend an individual and a community to live authentically and vulnerably. 

Build a Generation equipped to mend our communal and individual brokenness through authenticity and vulnerability. 

This is our vision. 

Does any of this resonate with you? 

If you believe in this vision, I would love to go on this journey with you. I don’t know what I’m doing, or how. But I know why. And I want to start with why. The how and what, well we’ll figure it out together. Won’t we? 

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