The other day, I used my "Get Out of Jail" card and boarded a packed plane to California for a highly anticipated family wedding.
I didn't have a stitch of anxiety during the journey, but upon meeting those gathered for the event, I noticed myself freezing up a bit. Words didn't flow easily and I felt a bit like a stranger in a strange land...
This awkwardness was more than a little surprising, because in The Before Times, I was extremely comfortable getting to know new people. So, why was I stumbling around so much? I sat down to give it a deep think...
It didn't take long for the frying pan to land on my head - Duh! Simply put, I am not the same person I was a year ago. I just didn't realize how much I'd changed until I was amongst other people again. Turns out, I've been irrevocably altered - as have we all.
So, naturally, to show up authentically now will obviously look and sound differently than it did before.
Why is authenticity so important?
Because it is the first rung on the ladder climbing to a spiritually-oriented perspective. And complete acceptance of oneself, warts and all, is how that rung is achieved. For many years, this has been my practice.
But who am I now?
We've all been through a painful time that has altered us to the core. On a spiritual level, I believe this has offered opportunity for a huge evolutionary step for our species, since I'm sure you will agree that there were too many deeply rutted ideas and attachments that had to be revealed, reassessed and discarded for us to grow into more refined versions of ourselves. The hard shell of the seed husk must be broken open for new life to emerge.
What once was important, no longer is; what once occupied our time, no longer does; what once rang true, no longer sounds right.
This is a good thing.
We've been hard fired in the kiln and reimagined to such an extent that the potential is there for a fresh vision to arise from the ashes, not in spite of our struggles, but because of them. But only if we investigate and stand tall in our new selves.
I suggest that as we begin to reconnect with each other, we're facing a precious and crucial moment and, however tempting it is to put on an old shoe, it would be a mistake to fall back into the old ways of engagement.
This is our chance to take our individual changes and apply them to the larger world, to show up authentically as who we are now so that a new system has a prayer of emerging.
This means heading back to the lowest rung again with gentle patience as we discover our revised selves. This is where the humble learning begins again...
Careful attendance to what now rings true in our widened hearts while keeping a slower pace will surely bring us to a newly imagined landscape.
I hope we all will be patient as as listen to ourselves, the ones who wish to show up, warts and all, to stand tall in a landscape ripe for growth.
"Dare to declare who you are.... the way is deep. You must not only walk there, you must be prepared to leap.” – Hildegard Von Bingen
Have a beautiful, authentic week!
Please join us for our weekly free Monday Meditation tomorrow night at 7:30pm EDT!