Monday, November 9, 2009

Let it Shine

The love that you withhold is the pain that you carry. Vissaeus
In a world of wonder, there is war. In a world of beauty, there is pain. In a world of laughter, there are tears. Perhaps it is as the sages suggest, the one cannot exist without the other. We cannot experience laughter without having known pain. We cannot know joy without having met sorrow.

Buddha said, "Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it." How do I give myself to the world when my heart is carrying pain?

Life is the made up of dark and light. Our journey is to find our light within and 'let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine.'

I wasn't shining very much over the weekend. Mired in thoughts of scarcity and lack, I trampled through my psyche, playing my self-defeating game of confusion. Angst ridden, I searched for the path into the light and kept finding myself in dead end alleys.

It started with a throw-away comment from C.C. on my tendency to ask questions. "You're constantly asking me how I'm feeling, what I'm thinking," he said.


I wanted to stop right there and scream back. "No I don't!" I didn't. (Scream back that is. I must deserve a gold star for my restraint.) Regardless of my outer restraint, however, my inner landscape kicked into high gear, running as fast as it could from a comment that triggered deeply seated grains of truth buried within me.

Harummph, my willful ego whispered. I don't 'constantly' ask. I ask because I'm interested, concerned, looking for information, seeking insight...

The litany of rationalizations, excuses, making sense of nonsense talk flew around like sharks zeroing in on their prey. I was abuzz with justification. My discord hid behind my smile as my psyche lazered him with pointed ripostes replete with razor-like wit, scathing rebuttals and shining insight into his faults and my 'rightness'.

Looking for order in my disorderly thinking, I headed to the back yard for air. I scooped up dog poop, raked leaves, stuffed them into bags and pummelled them down to make room for me to step into the garbage can and jump up and down in a furious dance to drain every breath of air from the stack of the leaves in the bag. If I'd had a vat of grapes, I'd have made a potent wine! But I didn't need the wine. I was heady on my indignation. After three giant bags of leaves, I headed into the kitchen to make parsnip soup. I cleaned the bathroom and threw in a load of laundry. And through it all, the monkey chatter in my mind kept stirring up a great big vat of angst.

I do not.

He doesn't understand.

He's just.....

He won't...

He doesn't...

He can't...

See the problem? My ego-driven thinking was all about what he was or wasn't doing, and wasn't giving any room for his comment to exist without my taking umbrage to their content. In my angst, I was withholding love and carrying pain as I focused on refuting his comments -- I wasn't interested in his truth -- I was interested in making myself shine in a better light.


Give his words room for air.

What am I avoiding? What is true for me here?

There is a cord of angst tied to the past in his observation about my tendency to ask -- and honest, I don't do it constantly! :) The key for me is to unhook from hearing what he said as 'my truth', or 'his truth about me', and accept it as an observation. A piece of information on how he feels about being questionned about his feelings.

In my reaction to his comment, I was connecting to something deeply buried in my psyche. A thread of feeling less than, not good enough, not perfect, not wanted, not needed. It is a voice that resonates from childhood when I was a curious child looking for answers in a world I didn't understand. It underlies my core tape. The lie I tell myself when I am feeling afraid: I am helpless.

The truth about me is: I am a fearless woman touching hearts and opening minds to set spirits free.

Speaking truth is always a frightening thing for me -- especially when the truth is about my feelings, my needs, my wants and desires. Especially when the truth counter commands the lie, "I am helpless."

I did a lot of work this weekend. Inner and outer. I dredged and pulled and raked and scooped and trampled through to come to a place where I am clearer on what is mine to fess up to.

I am afraid of speaking my truth. It is a truth that lays heavy on my heart -- not the words I need to say, or even the feelings that inspire the words -- the act of speaking my truth is a dark secret I hold close to my heart, shielding it from the light. To be real, to be authentic, to be my most magnificent self, I must break through my fear and shine my light on what lays heavy on my heart. I must speak up.


What if he gets angry? What if they get upset? What if he/she doesn't like me? What if...

The what if's for me are endless when I give into my fears.

The possibilities are infinite when I step through them.

I stepped through my fears and spoke up. "I am feeling..." and I told him how I felt. It was a long conversation. Sometimes awkward. Sometimes jangly. Sometimes scary. But we kept talking. And in the opening up of truth, more truth arose. More openings appeared. More honesty was revealed.

It was a deep realization for me. I am not acting with integrity when I hide my truth behind my fear of speaking up.

This morning, the cloud has lifted for me. I am feeling balanced again. Hopeful. Open. Trusting and, in love. In love with this little light of mine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

The question is: Will you shine your light on the darkness within to bring it out into the light of day? Will you let yourself shine?


Anonymous said...

maybe it's not about you, but about him?

clearly you reacted - did what you needed to do

but what about him? What's wrong with him being uncomfortable being asked, by his partner, 'how he is feeling and what he is thinking?' ...what's his problem with that, even if it is frequent?? your whole piece today, I think you'll agree that it is part of a script for a great one-act play ....


yeah, a one-act play .. yours

happy monday!

M.L. Gallagher said...

LOL -- a one-act comedy.

HIs response is all about him.

Mine is all about me.

And between the two -- I can only focus on me.

One thing I am learning...

I don't have anybody else's answers. And sometimes, I struggle to find my own!

I love the idea of a one-act play though.

Must get writing.

Wonderful Monday to you too!


Maureen said...

You wrote for me again today, Louise. By the time I finished reading, I had the answer I need to the question I've been carrying in my heart and gut all weekend.

IMAGO teaches us dialogue, a way to speak to our spouse or partner or significant other in a safe way. The conversation starts with appreciation(s) of and for each other; moves to whatever the topic is, with the listener mirroring back what the speaker said, asking "Did I get that right?" and "Is there more" and continuing with the conversation that way, then summing up and validating what's been said, what's been heard, what it's like to imagine and understand the other person's feelings. The process can be eye-opening for a couple, helping them to see each other's reality and hurts and joys with new eyes. My husband and I have gone back to practicing this, needing to practice the art of dialogue. You and C.C. are practicing it. It took you far this weekend.

What you note to Anonymous is what IMAGO teaches. The lessons can be tough. The rewards are so positive.


M.L. Gallagher said...

Hi Maureen -- thank you. I love the synchronicity of finding truth in each other.

I will have to check out IMAGO -- there is a process in Choices similar to what you write of. The challenge for me is always to stay out of my ego state and listen with my heart wide open in love and respect and caring.

sometimes -- that's easier said than done!



Joyce Wycoff said...

Louise ... How do you do this? Once again you have taken a piece of my life, dusted it off, polished it and handed it back to me in a way that I see it, and myself, more clearly. As a child I got very adept at monitoring the moods around me and blending in with them. It has become second nature to "take the temperature and see which way the wind is blowing" before committing myself. Maybe it's time to truly speak up. Thanks again for a great post.

M.L. Gallagher said...

I think it's the draw of the kindred spirits on the journey of our lifetimes Joyce. I see you. You see me and we create a space to see ourselves in loving eyes.