Monday, January 12, 2009

Shine your Darkness...

I know many of us are familiar with the Marianne Williamson quote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..." The theme of which being that as we shine our lights, we inspire others to do the same. However (and this is a follow-up to the two previous posts), I've experienced that being a beacon of light sometimes draws it's opposite - the dark is drawn to the light, seemingly to try to tear it down, but ultimately perhaps in order to destroy itself.

So I propose another theory/addendum: not only is it valuable to shine our lights and inspire others, but it's crucial to also be transparent and honest about our darkness, our shortcomings.

I've witnessed over and over again afraid we are of our shadows - afraid our negative thoughts might be "crazy," afraid our creative explorations might be "ugly," afraid afraid afraid!! And so often I have seen that shame dissipate simply by saying, "oh yeah, I have that fear sometimes too." Or, "I hear you, I never know if my offering will be appreciated either - it's always scary to put a piece of art out, but I do it because I have no choice - it comes from my heart." Or, "I've made that mistake too, maybe we can help each other with it!"

We've become afraid of being vulnerable with each other, of revealing that we haven't got it all "figured out" yet - as if we should have some magic formula that was born in the bubble of our own minds at the time of birth...

It may not be our "deepest fear" that we are inadequate, but it is one that we hide too well - tucked away into our shadow pockets of shame, all the while subconsciously wondering if we're "crazy," "depressed," or if something's just "wrong" with me??

I feel lucky - I was raised to see the 'normal' world as crazy - and encouraged to explore new options. Because of this, I have fearlessly journeyed deep into the underworlds of the mind. In my dreams I've walked through bloody, charred battlefields - knowing that these devastating scenes are the wounded parts of my own psyche. In life, I've wailed for hours alone in my room, sobbing and singing like a madwoman - knowing full well that this is healthy. I've felt the fires of jealousy, rage, and sorrow burn deep through my soul. I've spent days, weeks, years on end tied up in fear - what if I don't succeed, what if I'm not good enough, what if I can't pay the next month's rent...?? I've sat with all these fears and confusions - and sometimes they still arise - but life has always gone on. Unexpected miracles come when I most need them, times of 'want' fill me with spiritual riches, a friend or teacher comes when I am most alone...

And through it all, a new, truer voice has emerged, remembering that I am an innocent child of God. I don't need to have it all figured out - so long as my heart strives to love, and to share from a place of authenticity, that is enough.

So I propose: let us show our insecurities, share our fears, unveil our wounds. We will likely find that we offer one another relief as we allow each other the space to be human!

And yes, let us remember to shine also - to keep sharing our gifts, perhaps more fearlessly as we remember that they don't have to be "perfect" - authentic and from the heart is enough.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Marianne Williamson)

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