I wonder when it is that most of us stop or dull our shining?
At what point in our journeys do we decide that it's safer and/or easier to blend into the background?
When we get the message that our shining invites pain into our lives?
When we get the message that our shining hurts others?
When we are fooled into thinking we don’t have anything of value to offer the world?
When we get so preoccupied with surviving that shining becomes an unexpected bonus prize?
I have to be honest. Something about the past few years of my life has dimmed my light.
Unexpected challenges and changes.
Grief and deep pain.
Experiencing a loss of control over how or where we live.
I have spent a good portion of the past year waking up from a foggy haze, realizing that I have shrunk back from myself, my gifts and my life, that I have been in hiding who I am and what I can TRULY bring to the table in service to others.
Realizing that it's been so long since I indulged that shining part of myself that I’ve almost forgotten who she is.
Tracing my steps back to the moment or the series of moments that I determined it would be safer, more economical and less painful to stand up or stand out.
I am not 100% there just yet.
A dear mentor and teacher recently posed this question to our class:
“How much energy would the sun have to exert in order to hold back, dull or hide its shining?”
“How much energy are YOU exerting to hold back, dull or hide yours?”
I have spent a good part of 2020 thinking about a story in scripture about three servants, each bestowed with treasure to care for and how each of the three managed what was left in their care.
The least faithful of the three is described as being paralyzed by fear and in a state of panic, hides what he has been given from himself and the world so that when his master returns it is perfectly preserved.
His treasure is safe.
But it has not seen the light. It has not faced the scrutiny of others. It has not risked anything. It has no sweat on its brow. It has never had to be brave or dig deep for its courage.
It is safe.
But no one has been inspired by its beauty. It hasn’t leveraged its value to create value for another. It hasn’t been enjoyed or admired.
It is safe.
But it has been covered in dirt and darkness.
It is safe.
But it’s keeper was found unfaithful.
I need to confess that I have been that keeper. I have been hurt, felt betrayed and afraid and I took everything I had and I buried it.
But I commit to the excavation process.
I commit to digging deep.
Dusting myself off.
And shining my light.
Scared out of my mind.
What will they think?
What will they say?
Is it enough?
Will it hurt like it did last time?
But I commit to shining.
I return to the deep wisdom of Marianne Williamson, and I invite you to return to it with me…