It’s a common enough phrase ‘I finally figured out who I am.’ I even heard it in a conversation with myself. You know–the kind we have quietly inside our own thoughts. But even as it subconsciously drifted through my mind, I felt a simultaneous questioning of whether or not that’s really true for me.
You see, it feels like we’ve for so long been focusing our attention on peeling layers to find our true self. And while I do agree with the benefit of processing to release what is no longer valid in our lives, in our selves, I’m not sure I believe that’s led to me finding this mysterious Jackie hidden underneath. What feels more authentic for me is that the commitment I’ve made to living as a whole, empowered human being has led to me accepting Jackie. I’ve been me all along. I’ve just been apologizing for that in the most subtle of ways. It’s absurd don’t you think–to not be ourselves because someone else might not feel ok about it? I have a very beloved friend with whom I can talk on the deepest of soul levels. We just ‘get’ each other in that place. She for so long carried guilt or shame about being a very fit and attractive woman. Family members made comment about ‘how nice it must be to be that small. I can’t ever remember being that little.’ My friend felt sorry that she was making others feel badly about themselves. All for just simply being. It wasn’t by any effort on her part–she just was. Why do we so naturally feel compelled to make ourselves ‘small’ in order to be ok?
And so it’s about fully accepting ourselves for who we already are rather than striving to become something else. The mystical nature of transformation is that it occurs all on its own, regardless of our efforts. When we surrender into the grace of our already-present and beautiful beingness we open to all possibility, we radiate gratitude and exude the true essence of what it is to be joyful. We feel the abundance in our lives, we see that same element of divine presence in others that we are feeling so fully within ourselves. And our world begins to elevate, rising to meet us.
Rather than asking and searching to answer the question ‘who am I?’ try instead breathing into the statement ‘who I am.’ Much love my friends. xo
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, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were 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
There are times I feel strongly the desire to express through writing, but the words escape me. This morning I decided to pick up an old journal from the middle of 2007 and seek out some of the poetry I had written a few years ago. Reading those lyrics that seem such a short time ago in my life, I was instantly aware of how far I’ve come and how much has been released over the last 3 1/2 years of this journey. The shift within myself was immediate, bringing about a clearer perspective on who I am TODAY. Uncertainties, doubts, worries about where I am on my present path vanished as I began to read the words of a woman who had no voice. Searching desperately she implored God, her soul, her self to step into the light, into authenticity.
“What’s there in my soul, hiding out in the dark? Flames would burst into fire – just give me one spark. Let me just get a glimpse of this delicate space. Step out of the shadows, show me your face. Something within is calling to me – I can’t quite hear its voice; it’s barely a whisper yet it feels like a scream. Crying out in great pain, begging me for its ease. ‘You’re not making sense’ comes my reply. Though your lips move, neither words nor sound can escape. What is keeping you mute, can’t you see, don’t you know? Why can’t you break free from this master of your soul? You want to, I see desperation in your eyes. The message seems clear – this is now ‘do or die.'”
As I look back upon the growing pains of developing my own voice, becoming an authentic expression of who I truly am inside–I can both feel her pain and at the same time feel the love that has grown in its place. This woman had to want it. She had to need it, desperate enough to risk all her comforts to find it.
And through her eyes, I can now see how much I have healed the holes in my spirit. She has a voice now–and sings beautifully her heartsong.
Don’t judge where you are in your journey. Allow yourself to feel what you feel, experiencing what you must in order to release old wounds and burdens. Beneath all of that breathes a vibrant, extraordinary spirit, just waiting for your permission to BE.
We each have our own heartsong. Its sweet sounds can be heard when we honor who we are in this very moment and take the time to listen…..to the whispers of our hearts…..
Intimacy. A few years ago in a women’s group, we talked about being intimate with yourself. At the time I could barely imagine what this could mean, especially in terms of our cultural perception of what intimacy might be.
But it has just occurred to me – what it means to be intimate with oneself. Becoming intimate with Jackie has meant so many things, beginning with giving her permission to be herself – to feel what she feels, to use her voice and her expression to be Jackie – however that may look or be received.
This has required – and continues to require – tuning in to my own channel; filtering out the content I do not wish to view or absorb into my being. Self-judgments, negative opinions of others, harmful media – and yes, even an awareness of how I eat and treat my body. All are run through the sieve of my own heart’s desires.
I’ve had to “sit on the shelf,” feeling the full emptiness of my inability to find value in who I am. And from those experiences has blossomed an appreciation of the simplest – and the greatest – pieces that are ME.
Intimacy with myself equates to listening to my own voice, standing in the mirror and taking in the whole of what I see. And it has also taught me to listen to my heart, and believe in what it tells me. Being intimate with Jackie – as Jackie – means I know her, trust her instincts and allow her emotions. She is honored and loved by me.
The road that leads to intimacy within ourselves – and with those whom we most love – is to listen….to the whispers of the heart……
From The Book of Awakening for today, January 16:
I say yes when I mean no and the wrinkle grows. ~ Naomi Shihab Nye
There have been many times that I said yes when I meant no, afraid of displeasing others, and even more afraid of being viewed as selfish. I think the first time I decided to get married, I said yes when I meant no. Young and inexperienced in being myself, I agreed to be a fish out of water for as long as I could, so as not to hurt or disappoint or displease. Not surprisingly, it all ended badly.
And how many times, once trained in self-sacrifice, do we have the opposite conversation with ourselves; our passion for life saying yes, yes, yes and our practical guardedness saying, don’t be foolish, be realistic, don’t leave yourself unprotected. But long enough on the journey, and we come to realize an even deeper aspect of all this: that those who truly love us will never knowingly ask us to be other than we are.
The unwavering truth is that when we agree to any demand, request or condition that is contrary to our soul’s nature, the cost is that precious life force is drained off our core. Despite the seeming rewards of compliance, our souls grow weary by engaging in activities that are inherently against their nature.
When we leave the crowded streets and watch any piece of nature doing what it does – tree, moose, snake or lightning – it becomes clear that the very energy of life IS the spirit released by things being what they are. And those of us committed to love must accept that care is the inner river flooding its banks. Yet if the soul’s river can’t be fed by its source, there will be no care.
~ Sit quietly and meditate on the last time you said yes when you meant no.
~ Breathe steadily and surface, if you can, why you didn’t say no.
~ Breathe deeply and identify the cost of not saying what you meant.
~ Inhale slowly and invite your spirit to speak directly the next time you are asked to be other than you are.
I was thinking this morning about relationships and what is unseen. It’s taken me several years and several “layers” to appreciate a beautiful synchronicity between my husband and me. Mind you, the appearance of it is not quite so stunning. It goes something like this: I’m aggravated because he seems to be preoccupied and isn’t “present” in our interaction, whatever it may be. My aggravation makes itself known by saying something directed at him like “what’s wrong with you?” Or a sentence that begins with “you”….”you’re not present, you seem upset, you’re a little tense.” And I SO want to put it on him. That he seems a bit “off” and is responsible for my aggravation.
But really – it’s me who’s feeling something. I’m not feeling loved or I’m feeling distant from him. I’m the one who has the aggravation and for him it’s like an ambush when I say “you seem upset?” Rather than share with him what I’m feeling, I feel aggravated, rejected – and put it on him. It must be that he feels something unpleasant and creates a blip in our screen of love. Whether he is preoccupied with another area of life may or may not be true. But if I’m coming to him and immediately projecting my feelings onto him, I will never know the true answer. And I rob us both of honest and intimate communication.
Jenny McCarthy said of her breakup with Jim Carey that she took out a piece of paper and wrote down all the “negative” things she felt he’d done or not done in their relationship. She then went down the page and crossed out Jim and wrote “I.” Whatever she believed he had made her feel was all her own doing. I love Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote: “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.” My husband cannot make me feel unloved, unappreciated, unnoticed. But I sure can. I’m solely responsible for how I feel and how I see myself. People and situations may come along that are upsetting, but then it’s up to me what I do with that experience.
And THAT is the beautiful synchronicity. Just when I need to see myself clearly, appreciate my own value and know within who I am really am, I begin to feel my husband doesn’t. This is God’s gift to us all. We are paired in our lives with spouses, children, parents, siblings, co-workers, friends and loved ones with whom we share a contract to help one another grow and heal the places we are broken.
Truly, what I most need in those moments of aggravation is to listen to my own heart whispers. For when I do, I understand the language of love that prompts me to cuddle up close and let love flow with my husband. Even when I’m not feeling loved, I can always find within myself the desire to love. It pulses with life and shines an exquisitely shimmering light. I have only to pause long enough to listen….to see…..to feel.
This is my wish for you today. Pause long enough to hear your own heart whispers of love.