We cannot see anything which we do not already possess within ourselves.
A doctor, however, can have a subject placed before her and say, “Ah yes, that is most definitely, definitively, a broken clavicle bone,” and not have the same fated brokenness.
And I could name many examples along these lines, but this is not where I am headed.
You cannot see someone’s light, nor their darkness, their charisma, nor their manipulative nature, without possessing these qualities within yourself. We all know this.
It’s a matter of what next.
How we journey alone or together.
It can become so easy to fear “the other” because the reflection could feel so frightening to claim it as part of ourselves. So easy to turn away rather than face this truthful “gift” standing before us, staring us in the face.
I believe that healing happens by taking ownership of the smallest and largest pieces of who we are. So that we may become fully integrated human beings.
So that whenever someone names you whatever they name you, you know that you can hear the reflection and know you can own your own shadow parts because you have brought them into the light and you can speak about them and wear them on your face without being afraid to be vulnerable.
It takes courage and steadiness to be vulnerable. A deep knowing of who you are. A standing in a deep and full honoring of yourself.
No one gets to decide for us who we are. Or who we are continually in the process of becoming.
Each of us has the power to bring our shadows into the light. No matter how long the process takes, we each have it within us to do this. We can stand tall, knowing fully, that we needn’t choose to be or see only that shadow part of ourselves as all of who we are. We are always more than the sum of our parts, but we must claim all of our parts in order to be whole.
Mary Oliver wrote:
“Someone I once loved gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.”
Embracing the fullness of who we are is part of the practice and gift of being human. Denying it, is not. So the next time you feel the tendency to comment... take pause and see if the quality you are commenting on is one you can wear on your own face and have a good laugh at first.
Embrace it all. No matter how long it takes. I stand beside you.