I have long understood that one of my unique gifts, one of my superpowers if you will, is to clean up messes.
For most of my life, I saw this gift as a weakness: as a sign of my needy desire to be liked, to fit in, to get a gold star. I saw it as a product of shadow.
So even though I cleaned up a ton of messes, I also kind of resented it. I’d get mad at the maker of the mess; I’d think, why should I be the one to take care of this? What is WRONG with people??
But I couldn’t help it.
If I saw a mess, be it spilled milk, scattered dog poop, the kitchen sink, or someone in need, I’d step in and take care of it.
Of course, this explains a lot about me: in my career as a Public Defender I clean up spectacular and tragic messes, and I am very good at it. In my co-leadership of bEEcHARGE!!!, our Burning Man camp, I am willing to be the last one on deck. In my family, I am willing to stay present and loving in the face of occasional conflict and disconnection. When a friend calls me with a problem, I am willing to help, and I get called a lot!
I persist in showing up and take care of business, no matter how onerous or difficult; and I absolutely love a dirty job!
Thanks to the work I have done in MKP men’s circles with masculine archetypes, I have come to see that my penchant for cleaning things up is not just a case of mild inherited OCD, or an example of my inner rescuer running my show, but is indeed an essential power and responsibility of the King, of the Sovereign energy.
Sovereign energy shows up in holding space for conflict and facilitating justice; in taking responsibility for the realm and all it’s inhabitants; in developing and communicating vision; in serving as a steward; in giving and receiving appreciation; and yes, in cleaning up messes.
And so I have come to embrace my role as King:
I accept my personal and shared responsibility for the future of humanity and the Earth.
I accept responsibility for problems, and take action with others to create solutions.
I accept responsibility for my own choices and the impact of those choices, both intended and unintended.
I live a life of mission and purpose.
As an example, seven years ago I decided that I was going to rid my neighborhood of crap: dog poo, cigarette butts, bits of paper, and my most targeted focus, plastic bags and wrappers that will otherwise wash into the Bay and then the ocean.
Once or twice a week, you may see me making my rounds with a trash bag and a picker-upper. It takes me an hour to circumnavigate Bernal Hill, where we live. Pretty quickly, I began noticing that there was less detritus. I found the spots where the wind would collect litter, and I would keep them neat.
I feel great satisfaction in doing a tangible job that can be finished quickly. Immediate gratification! By contrast, in my legal work, there are few quick transactions.
My neighbors started noticing too. People are always thanking me, and sometimes I see them pick something up too. A number of excellent conversations have started this way, and I have made many friends on the hill in my walks.
Connection, appreciation, mindfulness, and love, all unleashed by a simple act of service to the realm.
And here’s the really good part: it’s not like the old days, where’s there could be only one Sovereign.
Nope, we need a lot of Kings and Queens and Czarinas and Emperors: we need the Sovereign energy in this world in a BIG way.
My invitation to you is to consider stepping up and taking your seat in the Sovereign. It doesn’t matter so much what the action is, it’s about the intention and awareness of acting in service to something larger than oneself.
You are needed. You will make a difference. And you will be filled with joy and blessing in your service to the realm.
Have a wonderful day brothers and sisters!
King Bee, Fire-Tender