I was listening to a woman, the other day, talking about a certain variety of lily and how it cannot take root and bloom until parasites come and eat holes in its stem.
Okay, you cannot tell me this kind of stuff isn’t interesting. Fascinating, really!
The point she was illuminating was pertaining to the choice of being the one who nourishes or the one who takes nourishment from another. Being the host or the parasite, but also the way each comes together for the benefit of the whole.
Alan Watts, the famous British writer who helped to popularize Eastern philosophy for Western audiences, said about the bee and the flower, they are “one organism” based on the way they work together synergistically.
Timeliness of stuff always tickles me, as I had recently been discussing these points with a friend.
He had called to share a dream. I shared with him my belief about the two sides of human nature and the importance each plays.
We have all, in our lives, been both “victim” and “perpetrator.” We have been on the receiving end of injustice, and we have been the ones to deal it out.
The base truth of it, I feel, is not about focusing on or identifying with one role or the other . . . hero or villain . . . as much as it is about recognizing that it takes the experience of being both to be a fully realized and integrated whole.
Light & dark
Good & bad
Yin & yang
To walk in the shoes of another . . . each one of the other . . . gives us the full 360 degree perspective.
To be sure, it is important to challenge our “dark” or “shadow” side, but also to look deeper within our “light” or “hero” moments and capacities, as well.
To embrace and self-realize both aspects of our nature is to see that each has something to teach us. Each is a part of us and there to add contrast to the other which, ultimately, allows for greater awareness, depth, transparency, balance and a sense of wholeness.
Self-actualization is truly about embracing all sides of who we are and making our goal the acceptance of the entirety of ourselves and not simply the parts we have been conditioned to bring out into public and proudly display on social media and elsewhere for the world to see.
Social researcher, Brené Brown, talks about shame as “an unspoken epidemic and secret behind many forms of broken behavior.”
The question I’d like to ask is this: where might you be polarizing your own personality and making it difficult or impossible to embrace your full, authentic identity?
The brilliantly unique person you came here to be needs to shine, and in order to do so, you must let in, listen to, communicate with and learn from every single part of who you have been and who you are.
In our lives, it’s crucial to allow ourselves opportunities to serve and to be served . . . to feed and be fed, in order to feel true fulfillment.
Otherwise, we might find ourselves empty and hungry . . . constantly searching for what will “fill us up,” but never really feeling fully satiated.
It takes courage to look in and to see and honor the value in all aspects of who we are. As a client texted me a few days ago, “this is hard, sometimes sad, lonely and sometimes scary work.” As I texted back, “so, that makes you very, very brave.”
What I can say is that the benefits of looking in far outweigh the cost of admission. We cannot fully accept and honor others and what the world is here to bring, show and honor in us until we can do so with and for ourselves.
Here’s to deep diving!