Waking Up or Getting Up?

Don’t just get up, wake up to the truth that you are a sacred blessing, miracle and gift. Vision begins within. The true vision of love extends outward in healing. The distorted vision of fear projects outward in destruction. 

Until someone can see you as a sacred blessing, miracle and gift, they cannot see you.
Until you can see yourself as a sacred blessing, miracle and gift, you cannot see you.

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Why Do You Do It?

After more than a few injuries and too many 15-20 hour work days to count facilitating interventions in my full time job as street outreach crisis counselor, someone asked me why I put all of myself into the full time work we do with the youth and young adults we serve. Well …

Because it’s not work or a job, it’s a calling. Truly a calling from God. There were many situations that called me to this work, most of them were extremely challenging situations that God used to cultivate deeper love, respect, honor and compassion. One of many experiences was when I was homeless and walking through a neighborhood during the Christmas holidays in Michigan. 

I was wandering around with no particular destination other than wanting to get to a 24 hour store or restaurant where I could warm up and take a nap. It was snowing and as I was walking through a neighborhood I looked across the street and saw a house with a huge window, and through that window I saw a family eating dinner. They were passing food around the table, eating, laughing and talking. I remember sitting down by a tree in the snow just staring across the street, watching the family enjoying life and each other’s company. I don’t know how long I was there, but I remember what I was thinking. I was thinking, how the fuck did I wind up in this situation? I’m not stupid. I have talents and abilities. I know my life is supposed to be more than this. I feel so lonely. So lonely. 

That feeling of loneliness was so intense that for a little while I forgot about the cold. Loneliness can make us numb. When our needs are frozen, literally frozen, we become numb to so many things. And when God sends someone into our lives to bring God’s warm light to thaw our needs, meet our needs, and show us a better way to think and live, it is a miracle so intense that all you want to do is be a vessel through which that miracle is delivered to others. 

If it’s partial or conditional, it’s not love. And if it’s not love, then I wouldn’t dare refer to it as a calling.

Resisting Healing is Resisting Our Truth

Our children don’t have to grow up and become something or somebody. They’re much more than some “thing” or some “body,” they’re sacred blessings, miracles and gifts. We all are. 

The resistance I receive from some when I facilitate gang intervention training, or any other youth development training, is from those who want to hold on to the idea that there is such a thing as a “bad” kid, but there is no such thing. I’ve met hurting, deeply wounded and traumatized children, but never a “bad” one. 

Others who give resistance in my training and workshops are those who want to hold on to the view that labeling and institutionalizing our youth is a solution, but it’s not. The school to prison pipeline is child trafficking. 

Those who give me the most resistance in the training and workshops I facilitate, are those who think that transformation isn’t possible. People who truly don’t want a paradigm shift, because that would mean they’d have to make internal changes, mindset adjustments, and begin working within the causes of the challenges our youth are facing – pain, loss, trauma. And since many are unwilling to go to this space within themselves, they’re surely not willing to go there with others. 

The youth are the solution, not the problem. The challenges our society faces is not the fault of our young people in society. The challenges that the youth face in our society is a reflection of our society within the youth. 

Healing, true transformation is possible. I’ve witnessed too many miracles to be a skeptic. But it comes with and in love, compassionate correction and guidance, not punishment, prescriptions and labels. 

I was once asked, “Don’t you get tired of working with gang members and hard-to-serve populations?”

Through my laughter, I responded, “If that’s how I saw them I probably would.”

~ Walk In Beauty,

Anthony Goulet