Here is the essence of what I have learned from my 56.5 years on this earth. The nugget. The kernel. The gem. The only hope for finding peace in this life – not comfort, but deep abiding peace – is to be insatiably, fearlessly curious about myself.
Not just the attractive parts – my kindness, compassion, wisdom, generosity and humor. It is important for me to acknowledge the good things, but not enough. I need to be endlessly inquisitive about all of it, especially the unattractive parts – my insensitivity, impatience, obsession, bitterness, anger, anxiety and despair. I have grown the most – found deep abiding peace – only by embracing the ugly parts of myself as well – appalling thoughts, speech and behavior. It all matters, must all be considered in the mix – good, bad, pretty, ugly. All courageously, compassionately, lovingly blended to represent the entire package that is me. This is what it means to be human.
We are all capable of the full range of human motivations and behaviors – none of us are exempt. Refusing to see any part of it, lulling myself into oblivion by clinging to an incomplete, distorted Pollyanna self-image, has always been my undoing. The greater and deeper the denial, the longer and harder the fall. Because that which is denied will wreak havoc. Maybe not today or tomorrow. But the longer we look without seeing, the longer we hear without listening, the more we stand to lose.
The great irony is that the only person fooled when I deny the full truth of who I am is me. The world already knows all of it. I broadcast it 24/7. Through what I say and when I am silent. Through the actions I take and the times I fail to act. Through what I cherish and what I reject. Through what I long for and what I fear. I am the only one kept in the dark by living a life of denial.
The greatest gift I can give anyone is having the honesty and courage to see and share myself fully so that we both might benefit. From our shared insight, compassion and good humor. Failures, resilience, victories. We are here to help each other grow by sharing without reservation the only thing we have to give – our hearts.
Dear Ones, Know that you are loved and loving, blessed and a blessing. Every day, whatever you do or leave undone, say or leave unsaid. Every part of every one of you is precious and essential to all of us.
Give without reservation. Namaste.