Friday, December 18, 2009

the way to be.........

"Each person has his secret and mystery, his particular journey, his vocation to grow. Certainly, many people never achieve full maturity, but each can make a little progress toward establishing his identity and becoming open to others. The important thing is not that we should acheive human perfection -- far from it -- but that we should set out on the road toward it through acts of openness and love, kindness and communion. Every person today, in whatever situation he finds himself, in his home or at work, can perform such acts. "

Jean Vanier, Essential Writings, One Heart at a Time.

We are all born with potential. My potential may look very different and feel very different than yours because we all have own our uniqueness. What we share and what we have some empowerment over, are the conscious choices we make as human beings. Who we become is based on the values we want to live by, the friends we choose to connect with, the vocation we choose to stretch ourselves in, where we establish our foundational roots and whether or not we choose to accept the responsibility of playing a role in the life of community. These are based in reality, not in a life cupped by illusionary dreams.

We strive. We strive to accept ourselves for who we are and for who we are becoming. Its tough to remain open and honest with secrets tucked underneath the blemished freckled skin that encases us. Its not an easy thing to love ourselves, warts and all. We want to eradicate the freckles, lose the wrinkles, hide the grey hair, get rid of the lumps and bumps. We spend precious time waxing and plucking and shaping our outer skin as a means of avoiding a good long look at our secrets. 

The problem with this approach to life is that if we choose not to wrestle with the serious frightening side of who we are, we forfeit the opportunity to learn about our gifts. If you've never allowed yourself a chance to create something with your own canvas, how will you ever know the kind of artist you are becoming?

What a waste of a lifetime to be constantly resculpting the outer shell......wearing masks to avoid taking a good look. Our capacity to grow deepens if we become more honest with ourselves because it is then when we can be open to accepting those around us.

In his always inspirational words, Jean Vanier writes......."the dangerous thing for human beings is to want to be other than who they are, to want to be someone else, or even to want to be God. We need to be ourselves with our gifts and abilities, our capacity for communion and co-operation. This is the way to be happy."

So often we shrink away from sharing who we really are for fear of being rejected or feeling insignificant. These are fears we bring forward in our own psyche......from past experiences of being unloved, neglected, abused, treated poorly. We may have been bullied. People may say mean things to us over and over to a point where we begin to believe the words, the descriptions of who we are. 
If this wound is left to fester inside hidden behind a mask which covers up our true selves, it impacts every single choice we make with respect to our relationships… impacts our actions and reactions. It tackles our ability to think and feel effectively.  There is nothing more affirming that to be accepted as the hairy, lumpy bumpy freckled beasts we are because it allows us to carry our secrets, our uniqueness with a sense of acceptance and belonging. It also feeds our curiosity to ask others to share with us.

If we are ever going to make the much needed shift in this world… work towards a semblance of solidarity instead of a competitive judgemental hierarchy where winning is always the goal; if we are ever going to recognize the fundamental sameness of all…..vulnerable human beings, needful of love and acceptance…..we must begin by peaking under our own skin, by exploring the realities and the  mysteries, not simply as regrets, but as gifts of learning. Golden gifts to mine….and to share.

Much of life is predetermined……how we share it and whom we share it with isn’t.


Twain12 said...

lovely words and a lovely face :)

Marja said...

What a gorgeous photo Dana, I felt an urge to come here and very timely. Things are going fast here An oppertunity got offered to me I accepted and was happy but fright
starts to get me. After reading this I feel a bit more peaceful.
Thanks It's probably very cold now over there

Barbara aka Layla said...

Incredible words to live sad that not many people seem to. So much fear and shame.

You, my dear, are beautiful inside and out and one of the most insightful people I have ever "met".

Anonymous said...

Love it Dana
Insightful as always . You are beautiful, shine on.


Selma said...

You have inspired me all year. Your blog is a gift. You have warmth and good cheer in your face that I just knew would be there. Thanks for everything.

Gypsy said...

Just look at that adorable face filled with kindness and friendliness.

We should all strive to just be who we are. I'm far from perfect but I've become fond of my flaws or at least I accept them.

awareness said...

Twain... why thank you.

Marja. It is quite cold here. In fact we just went through a cold snap. It got as cold as -35. Unusual for this time of year. We normally get a couple of weeks of those ridiculous temperatures in January. The winds have been howling for a week now. By Christmas Eve, we're supposed to be a balmy -1 C.
New frontiers for you? How exciting! They are scary, and we often don't have all the facts or answers to our questions in time to impact our decisions and have to rely our intuitive gut. I'm glad this post was timely for you.

layla.... thank you. I love blogging because it offers me a place to seek out answers while writing. I've always found writing to be the best learning venue for me to delve deeper into a topic. It slows me down and forces me to be more linear in my thinking. I tend to have a thousand ideas and thoughts vying for attention at the same time. Writing forces me to pick one and go for a ride with it.

awareness said...

Mavis....Hope all your festivities this Christmas season have been an adventure! I'm sorry I missed the service at the Community Kitchen. I heard it was really touching.

Selma. I'm so glad we found one another this year through Gypsy's blog. It's been a delight to read your beautiful writing and to feel such a connection with another human being who looks at the world in a similar way.

awareness said...

Gypsy...I thought I better "walk the talk" if you know what I mean and post a photo of me. It was taken two years ago, and I dont like it at all. I rarely have my picture taken because they don't look like me. What a hypocrite eh? For some reason I'm not very photogenic. However, I plan to get Martha to take some more recent pics over the holidays.