Of course there is a need for going out into the world and helping others, sharing resources and donating time. AND there is an even deeper need for each of us to “do our work,” that is to say - learn about ourselves, where we go unconscious, where we shut down, where we hide from ourselves.
Growing in self-awareness means growing in our capacity to offer and accept love.
I like to think of it this way: There is a lantern that lives in me that holds the flame of who I am. Love is like oxygen that helps that flame to burn brighter. The more I can truly be who I am meant to be, living into my strengths and acknowledging my vulnerabilities, the brighter the my light will shine.
The stuff that gets in the way, that causes me to live from a place of fear and scarcity is like the soot on the lantern’s glass. The glass grows darker when I play small, when I buy into messages about my place in the world, when I doubt and judge myself harshly.
My light can shine so much brighter when I can clean off that soot. And so, I do the work of self-exploration, of recognizing my triggers, of examining my limiting beliefs, of practicing self-compassion.
I guess it is a type of rolling up my sleeves - it can definitely get messy. I remind myself - just like I remind my clients - there is no getting it wrong. There is only learning and more learning.
I imagine myself walking out into the unknown with my lantern held high. It is like going on a bear hunt - through the field, through the mud, through the snow, through the dark forest. It requires curiosity and resolve, compassion and courage.
It is a solo journey, and yet I meet all sorts of fellow travelers along the way. Some smile encouragingly, others keep their eyes on their own path. Sometimes I meet someone who stops to share a sandwich.
It is the journey of learning more about who you are and how you are meant to shine your light even more brightly.
Are you willing to embark on such a journey?
Imagine how much light we could shine upon the world with all of our lanterns ablaze.
Jessica Curtis is a professional coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.