|Image From My Current Altered Book|
I've been hearing a lot about shining my light into the world lately. And I get it, it's needed in a huge way right now. What I don't get, is how easy some folks make it sound. Love instead of hate -easy peasy! Just slather some light on that shit and call it good.
To me, shining my light means to bring myself fully into the world, carrying a lantern brilliantly lit by my personal brand of light - truth, love and compassion - to help illuminate a dark and swampy terrain.
Here's what I find to be the tricky bits:
Truth: MY truth - has felt difficult to fully realize, especially right now. And yet it is the ONLY truth I can rely on. We are all gifted with amazing internal guidance systems at birth. However, it seems to me as if they were given to us without an owner's manual. So working to know what is mine to do and who I really am hasn't been easy, nor am I finished figuring it out.
Love: I believe real - organic from the inside out - love is born from loving myself just as I am. I would say authentically doing this is one of the hardest things I've had to do in the last 48 years
Compassion: I believe compassion is a product of self love. When I love myself to the truest and best of my abilities, honest and spontaneous compassion happen naturally. For most of my life, I found kindness and empathy for another to be easier than loving myself... until I became curious about my thoughts and feelings around my compassion. When I started digging into the intentions fueling my compassion, I found that much of the time, strings were attached. And a messy truth - when my actions weren't received in the way I wanted them to be, my kind compassionate heart would do a 180.
Shining my light has more working components than I thought it would, it's a package deal. However, moving from this place is sustainable and when it happens, it's truth driven and natural. So I practice the art of voice recognition - my own - by becoming quiet enough to recognize the sound of my true voice. Learning to listen to this voice is the spark that ignites the fire for all the rest and is why I create.
Creating settles me into the space of my heart where my voice resides. Working with images and color can happen almost anywhere without pomp or circumstance. It just unfolds when we let it, because creativity is vibrantly alive in us all and can look like a million different things and happen in million different ways.
Letting my light shine as I can is a work in progress and something that could take the rest of my life. Growing up in a world of I want what I want when I want it has made it feel like it will never happen, even though it is. My light grows stronger each time I return to my heart and create from the space within. I can feel it's working when I go for a walk, look my neighbor in the eye and smile. Not because it's the right or polite thing to do, but because I want to genuinely connect and it feels good.