We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. ~Brené Brown
As I take stock of this past year, it’s clear that for me 2014 has been very much about transcending old belief patterns that are no longer serving me.
One of those is a persistent pattern of seeing myself as less than others. And hence I keep finding myself in relationships with people who treat me the same way I see myself.
Like so many things we need to heal in our lives, healing for me with this has been a process of peeling back each of the layers. And with each layer the pattern becomes less extreme.
I’ve already done a lot of healing around this issue, and these days this pattern is showing up in my relationships in a much, much, more subtle disguise: friends who can be really caring, and who have in many ways been a great gift to me, but who nevertheless insist on a pattern in our friendship in which they are the more evolved guru, and I am the less experienced or enlightened one in need of their guidance. The guidance would only go both ways just enough to keep the pattern from becoming totally obvious. Just enough to keep me confused.
I’ve struggled with how to address this pattern, and, as I often do, I asked the Universe for help.
And, not surprisingly, I got it.
Some events have transpired in our lives that have made it irrefutably clear that these emperor/guru friends have no clothes. And I don’t mean that as a put down to these friends. What became abundantly clear is that, even if these people have more wisdom, or insight, or experience than I do in a given area – and in some areas they do – there are other areas in which they obviously have less. The scales are perfectly in balance.
I did an Oracle reading around one of these events. One of the messages in that reading was it was time I stopped acting like I needed to be healed and start acting like I am already whole.
I am whole. Human, yes. But nevertheless whole.
And yet, that’s my part. I keep showing up in relationships as either better or worse than, but mostly worse than. And yet I feel like the Universe just gave me a loving but insistent bitch-slap and demanded an answer to this question: Why do I keep participating in these relationships like I’m less evolved? I’m not.
Well, Universe, here’s the answer: Because showing up as neither less than nor better than, showing up on an equal playing field, is an incredibly hard thing to do.
Because that means showing up with both your gifts and your defects. But not your ego.
Indeed, another of the gifts of 2014 for me has been the long-last recognition of the powerful gifts with which the Universe sent me into this world. Gifts which I can use to serve my fellows in truly meaningful ways. But in recognizing these gifts, at times it has been hard not to go to the other extreme.
However, the extremes are exactly where the ego resides. And my friends are not the only ones to blame here. They’ve been willing to show up in our friendship with their gifts, but not their defects, while I’ve been showing up with my defects, but not my gifts. Showing up whole is clearly just as hard for them as it has been for me.
Showing up whole takes tremendous courage. It’s a tall order to own both our defects and our gifts while showing our ego the door.
But I am hereby committing myself to doing just that. It is my 2015 New Year’s resolution to show up in the world whole. In my relationships, in my health, in my spirituality, in my business.
And that is my sincerest wish for you in 2015, too: showing up whole. Wholly human. Wholly gifted with the divine. We are all both.
You see, if you’ll forgive me for channeling Oprah, one thing I know for sure is that there is a… shit.. ton… of power in showing up whole.
If you’ve ever seen anyone do it, you know it’s a compellingly poignant thing to experience. I’ve never been in the presence of someone in that place and not been profoundly moved.
And that’s why I wish that for you, too. We all have important work to do and we need the power to do it.
But clearly, I’m no guru on this subject. The only thing I think I know about showing up whole is that we probably can’t do it alone. Not consistently, anyway. I’m pretty sure that takes a village.
Many of you know that Twelve Step programs are a huge part of my own personal and spiritual growth. And if you’ve never read them, the first word of the Twelve Steps is “We.” It’s one of the most powerful words in those steps, IMHO.
So, because I don’t always know how to do this, I’d like to invite you to share in the comments: what do you do, or could you do, to support yourself in showing up whole?
Owning all of ourselves can be terrifying at times, particularly in situations where we feel like something important to us might be on the line. It can’t be done in isolation, so let’s build that village in the comments. As you can see below, I’ve gone first.
I look forward to hearing your experience, strength and hope. Until then, let’s all raise a glass in this coming new year to the power of showing up whole.
Wholly, humbly, human. Wholly, gloriously, gifted with the divine.
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