Thursday, December 22, 2011

Letting Our Light Shine

Before I left on vacation, I was feeling a bit of the sophomore slump that you can feel in the middle of the semester when you are studying for mid-terms.  Just feeling like I was trundling through the mill a bit and a bit of woe is me.   I'm wasting my life etc.  Oh, and a bit of, "Why Can't I Just Be Like Everyone Else?"  I went to school with some people who have achieved phenomenal things;  some of these folks are, like, in the newspapers.  And where am I?  Kind of a bit stuck. 


Then, it occurred to me that, like Lady Gaga says, "Baby, You Were Born This Way!"  A lot of this stuff would have been caught in the school system these days and I am making up for lost time because I have to.   But I don't have much of a choice.  I was born this way.


However, life is not so simple.  It is very easy to mope a bit and focus on all the deficits.  Because, well, therapy is designed to identify and patch up what's wrong.  But, that's not the whole story.  


I think because I just didn't develop the way that other people did that I ended up finding other talents along the way.  Unfortunately, many of these talents don't lead themselves to a mainstream life in corporate America.  I just couldn't talk about the things that I discuss in this blog.  Heck, I couldn't talk about the vacation that I just had other than to say, "I had a nice time in Italy.  Ate a lot of Pasta.  Saw the Coliseum"  Change the subject to "And, how are your kids doing?" "How's your latest house project?".  And never mind talk about safari.   To many of the outside world, I think I will just say something along the lines of "Saw a lot of lions and elephants. It's not as far-fetched as all that.  It's a big Business down there.  You can do it kind of like Yellowstone Park with lodges and minibuses". And Change the subject again to Your Kids. Your House Project. 


In short, do what is called "masking" in autistic or "gifted and talented" circles.  Hide the things that are important to you.   Put on the social mask. Mirror and Reflect.  But, masking only goes so far.  It gets you through a cocktail party but it stops short at real membership in groups or friendship.  At some point, people catch on and move on to people who they feel a genuine connection.  So for all the hiding that's been done, what does it really buy you?   Not a whole lot more than the ability to get through a casual conversation.  


So, what I am wondering if it is not better to show your gifts and look for the gifts in others.   Or, maybe the other way around is better. Look for theirs first, get people to understand that they are truly appreciated for what they are and what they can be if they let themselves go, and then reveal yours.  


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's 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're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3])-- from wikiquotes


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