Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Voice of Holes

I have suffered (as most of us do) in my life from the belief that perfection was real. I think we live in a society that wants to pretend that such an absurd illusion is actually true. And thanks be to God we are continually shown that perfection is, in itself, full of holes and flaws. 

What we consider to be a "perfect life" often crumbles, like a cake that has been left out on the counter too long. In fact, the press and reality TV continually tracks down imperfect perfection and exposes it for what it is. In some ways, celebrities (whether of Hollywood or Wall Street) remind us that the things we regard as 'perfect' simply are not. There is tremendous grace in knowing this truth. There is a profound gift their glass house lives offer us.

I have decided to love the holes in my perfectly crafted imperfection

In the past, those holes spoke to me in a way that kept me small and isolated from others. Their voice sent a message to me that I was somehow not enough. When the voice of perfection became too loud I would attempt to puff myself up hoping to plug those holes from the world.

 That only left me feeling more isolated in a darkness that felt smothering. Darkness should be sacred but for me that kind of darkness was frightening. I did not for a minute really believe the “puffed up” version of myself. It was toxic for me and for those I cared for.

So I have learned to unblock the holes and instead become accept me and all my imperfections as a lantern. 

The light of wisdom collected from the many years of imperfection actually serves me now…well, at least if I allow it to serve me. It seems that life is always eager and in no hurry to take away the challenges. In fact, the more holes I “unplug” it seems more challenges show up. 

That is the beauty of life. It is always asking me who I am and what I want. It is always handing me a paintbrush and saying, “Please, STOP, and paint your own masterpiece from the beautiful pallet called your life.” Life graces me every day in this very simple way.  

All those imperfections I avoided; all those holes; they were drilled through the crust of my false ego with the intention to shed light on my own life’s path

All those human mistakes and the living of my life have now become priceless gifts. I can now see myself a perfectly imperfect lantern full of holes that has been freed of its need to be perfect. Now those holes shed light and help me avoid the dark alley ways I used to unconsciously walk down.
I don’t know what the road ahead holds for me

All I know is, regardless of the darkness, I now have a light available showing me the way. If we can all unplug the holes in our illusory perfection, just imagine how light the world would become.
As Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream……”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Voice of Layers

The Voice of Layers

I always wonder who is thinking for me…who is the puppeteer behind that conversation I just had? 

You may have the same conversations. It’s when I hear myself saying something that contradicts my core but I keep talking anyway. Hindsight always asks me: Was that my mother, father, aunt, uncle, distant 4th cousin’s voice? Or was it a fear born one day when my heart was breaking? Then I wonder if it is the media advertisement campaigns or early influences from my peers. Sometimes I feel like a hijacked airplane, being taken off course in a direction I never wanted to go.

We all know the voice that creeps up and takes over our brain. It is not the voice of discernment or wisdom that reacts; it is the voice of fear and confusion. It is so easy to default to that state of mind.
I am learning that my core authentic voice cries to be heard in the silent moments I spend with my thoughts. We all keep those private thoughts quiet (even smothered) when we allow the outer world to give us our voice. We become blindly conditioned, personally contradicted. It takes conscious awareness to peel those layers away so we can find our true authentic voice.

Facing down those embarrassing moments have been a humbling experience, often achingly so.
Once I learned to lick my wounds and soothe my aching soul, somewhere in that darkness I found wisdom. Not the kind of false wisdom that dismisses another person, minimizing my own responsibility in the event. But rather the kind of wisdom that wakes me up and keeps me aware so I dodge that dark alley in the future. 

Like layers of contact paper piled one upon another, it takes time to peel away that which smothers our authentic voice. I remember hearing a teacher suggest that instead of being against war, to be for peace; instead of warring against drugs, be for freedom from that comes from self-care; instead of being at war with our spouse, our neighbor, our family, be compassionate toward their humanness

The real truth is that the outside world only tells us how we are thinking. I am quite certain that the world outside of me can only change as I give my authenticity a chance to speak. Perhaps that is the gift that our fear and limitations leave at the doorstep of our hearts. 

Sometimes those gifts collect dust, never being opened. But each gift is our call to personal freedom. No greater wealth is found than when we discover the freedom that is sparked from a deeper sense of knowing. I wish everyone the opportunity to open those gifts that are meant for you and you alone.

I really wish for your authentic voice its own melody…I do believe that we CAN learn to sing in perfect harmony!