Ready to Change the World (or Just Yourself)?

What stops you?

 . . . . from saying what you really think,

 . . . . from contacting that potential client,

 . . . . from letting them see you cry,

 . . . . from signing up for that class, posting that flier . . . .

What stops you from showing up in the world as your authentic self?

If you’re like me, you light up when others show you who they really are. Last week I listened to someone giving a talk about lessons he’d learned that changed his life. He was honest in a raw sort of way. Frank about his mistakes, he let us see who he is – who he really is.

When the speech was over and people were invited to comment, there were high points they could identify with. They liked his version of spirituality through connecting with others. They liked the hope of growth and change. They liked his willingness to face up to his mistakes.

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

~ Marianne Williamson

But as I sat there in that room, feeling the responses from the audience, what was clear to me is that they loved that they could SEE him. By looking in his unshielded eyes they could feel compassion, find trust and they could see themselves.

For me, the biggest obstacle to my longing to help others heal is my fear of being completely visible, exactly as I am today.

I don’t think I’m alone.

In fact, I think most of us long to share ourselves with the world and to varying degrees keep parts of ourselves safe and hidden.

Most us us can be our true selves with a few select people. 

Some of us can be really open with a little larger community.

The really lucky among us are willing to risk it all and let the whole world see who they really are.

Maybe they’re not lucky. Maybe they’re courageous. Or maybe they’re afraid just like the rest of us, and simply willing to take the risk.

I try to spend time each day shining a light on old beliefs and discarding what doesn’t fit any more. Today my “if I’m visible I’m in danger” got replaced by “if my authentic self is visible to the world, my inner critic is in danger.”

The evidence surfaced days before as I sat in that presentation and felt the love, respect, and camaraderie of witnessing another as he shared openly of himself.

As I let this more accurate reality settle in, a little voice in the corner of my mind whispers, “Make no mistake, this is how we change the world.”

Let’s make the change together.


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