“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”
~ Marianne Williamson
In February, I vowed that I would unearth all those parts of myself I most reviled, I most was ashamed of, in order to learn to love them. My meditation had showed me that this journey was necessary if I wanted to let in love from the rest of the world. And I did. Oh I so did.
So my journey began with a single question, “where do I go from here?”
I had no idea how to undertake this journey, I just knew I wanted to do it. That was all I needed… that’s the first step for any journey, after all, the vision of it forming in your mind and heart.
A few days after I wrote the blog post, I was in Borders (bye, Borders!) scanning the personal development section, as usual, when I caught an author’s name – Debbie Ford. She had been the one to lead the meditation in which I first discovered my monster! The book that caught my attention was called, “Dark Side of the Light Chasers”. Intrigued, I checked the back to see what it was about:
“Why do we find ourselves disproportionately angry with the selfishness of a friend, the laziness of a coworker, the arrogance of a family member or even the rudeness of a stranger? Why do the same old things get to us so easily, and so intensely? Our ‘same old things,’ Debbie Ford explains, are clues to our dark sides – and to the emotions and traits that we fear most in ourselves. In this enlightening guide, she explains how – consciously or unconsciously – we hide and deny our dark sides, rejecting these aspects of our true natures rather than giving ourselves the freedom to live authentically.”
Really?? A few days after I’d decided I wanted to learn to unearth all the parts of me I rejected, I found a GUIDE to help me find them? Thank you, life. It was the *perfect* book, and I’ve given myself months to work through it, going meticulously and slowly through the exercises, giving myself lots of space in between each chapter and/or issue as it arises.
I also had the help of dreams. One dream notified me that if I didn’t learn to love my body, then the man of my dreams (literally lol) wouldn’t be able to show up in my life. You hide what you don’t love about yourself, and it tears at your confidence every time you feel you have to hide that part of you – the greater the fear and the hiding effort, the greater the effect on your psyche (with or without your knowing). Don’t believe me? What do you hide about yourself? How would you feel if that guy/gal you have the hots for found out about it? Feel that? That’s what I’m talking about.
I also had the help of friends, some without their even knowing. As described in the book, I looked to what triggered me, as I observed it in others. What I discovered was incredibly liberating. Every time I realized that the reason why person X was making me SO angry, was because I was projecting onto them something that I didn’t like about myself… it was like I was suddenly able to breathe better.
Of course, I wouldn’t stop there. I’d reclaim that trait, finding the “gift” in it; in other words, I’d come to see what my life would be like if I stopped running away from it, and instead learned to love and embrace it. One of my rejected traits was “arrogance”. It ticked me off to note arrogance in another.
Where did this come from? In high school, I was in an English class, at the front, reading to the students. I got really into it as I imagined that I was reading to little kids – I *love* little kids, I love teaching, I love enthusiasm, and I love… well everything… lol. My point is that it was an expression of love. One student, however, got very upset and called me arrogant. I was shocked and terribly hurt. I, of course, didn’t know at the time that I was triggering her with what could be a rejected aspect of her own self… hence why she got so upset.
I had no idea that anyone thought of me as arrogant. And I so terribly wanted people to like me. I asked a close friend if she thought I was arrogant, she responded, “Yes, honey, but I know you don’t mean it.”
I suppose that was the moment I decided I did NOT want to be seen as arrogant. I tried my very hardest to show that I wasn’t, including significantly downplaying my intelligence, beauty, gumption, etc. I downplayed my light in order to not trigger others, so that I may be loved. Story of your life, as well, right? 🙂
So I forgave myself for dulling my light in order to reject this beautiful quality of mine. I’ve had to discover its beauty in order to embrace it again and stop downplaying my light. I’m still learning to. The beauty/gift of “arrogance” is sweet, beautiful pride in myself, in my journey. Without this pride in myself and my journey, I wouldn’t be on here, sharing it for all the world to see. We hide what we do not love. This, I love about me. My ability to use anything as a learning experience. My ability to see the good in others, no matter what. My ability to share my heart, mind, and soul with others. My ability to use experiences such as the one described above to be a healing mechanism for myself and others. This is the gift that “arrogance” brings me, if I stop running away from potentially being it.
It’s a difficult concept to grasp, even now, but I do know that running away from anything is a surefire way to let it beat/use you. I don’t want to be who I am because I’m trying to not be something. I want to be who I am because it feels great and authentic. That’s my goal, and it makes me feel oh so …. great. lol 🙂
So, here I am, seven months after my initial meeting with my monster. I love my body more than EVER before. I actually see a thing of growing beauty now, for the first time in my entire life. I’ve opened myself up to learning to love some pretty huge disowned aspects of myself: selfish, arrogant, negligent, aggressive, and loud/obnoxious, to name a few. Each time, it takes me a little less to see what I’m hiding from, and going from hating the quality to seeing what gift is in it.
I’m not at the point yet where I completely embrace these aspects within myself, and yet… already I am seeing a HUGE difference in my life. Since I love myself so much more, and am hiding so much less, I actually let in more love. Mentors have popped up left and right, a job awaits me tomorrow, a wonderful new place welcomed me into its abode this month, and my friends are more wonderfully loving than ever before.
I’m learning to love my monster and already the world is showering me with its magic, with its joy. This feels INCREDIBLE.
I’m SO excited and so grateful, as I wait and see what life has lined up next for me, as yet another expression of its love for me. 🙂 Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
So much love,
Reflective Challenge of the Post (RCP): I guarantee that if you get this book, or her other book, “The Shadow Effect” and commit yourself to unearthing those parts of you that you most reject, you will come out a completely different person, one who allows him/herself to actually be HAPPY and tap into their true potential, without any self-sabotaging. I guarantee you’ll be incredibly happy you did. For now, close your eyes, take a few deep, slow breaths, smile, and ask yourself, “what do I most need to love/heal about me?” What have you been taught is “bad” to express, in such a way that you feel inauthentic not expressing it? You’ll know it when you find it. Cover it in love and gratitude. You are who you are because you had to survive. Time to go way past surviving, and into thriving. 🙂 You deserve to be happy. I guarantee you that, as well. 🙂