while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others.” ~ David Whyte
Aha: to be human is to become visible! How many others beside myself are deeply, tenderly, vulnerably working this issue of visibility? In relation to fully showing up to give what we’ve come to give, to share what we’ve come to share, to shine what we’ve come to shine~ through the unique and imperfectly human being that is US? Surrendering, in the midst of our own painful shyness, or our self-doubt and self-critique, or our genuine humility and distaste for self-proclamation, or our real exhaustion, our sense of financial constraint, our discomfort with technological expression, our fierce dedication to integrity and authenticity, or our sincere terrors and unresolved dichotomies? The work of surrendering to “becoming visible” in the presence of our human hope AND fear of truly being seen?
I believe, as a soul, I’ve tended to prefer invisibility. Not invisibility as in the sense of deflation or hiding inside an egoic sense of smallness or unworthiness. No~ (and, for better or for worse, it’s hard to hide as a 6 foot tall blond woman, with a statuesque, archetypal presence, golden wings tattooed to my back, and an enormous field of presence that calls a lot of attention to itself!) What I mean by preferring invisibility, is that I’ve definitely preferred to hang out in the inhuman aspect of myself, in the silent vastness of God’s delicious embrace, the spiritual sweet-space of no distinction, the open sky of emptiness. So much easier for me to relax inside that sacred space of nothing and everything, one with all creation, than to fully incarnate, and deeply inhabit and embody this individual human woman, and shine, here, as and through this little person.
And yet, I have been thoroughly and consciously dedicated to this path of holy descent, of fully incarnating, truly embodying and embracing this messy human life, surrendering my resistance to the gravity of this realm, since I was a very young woman. The challenge I’m facing now, when it’s really time for me to extend, express and deliver myself more fully through this individual life, to broadcast this sacred intimacy with the invisible through the visibility of my personhood, are the new and distinct flavors of discomfort, resistance, fear and aversion I bump up against in this process.
When I really inquire into the essence of my resistance, I see clearly that to become visible is to risk ultimate annihilation, to risk stoning, judgment, being killed for transparently shining in a large way. That seems to be the biggest, most primal fear, right? How many lifetimes have we been killed for shining largely and generously in the unapologetic gifts of our truth? How many bright leaders have been slayed for bravely rocking the boat of life? I fear failure, too; that my medicine is not relevant or skillful enough. But right alongside the fear of annihilation, I also notice the counter-intuitive fear of enormous success, of being adored, of losing the comfortable refuge of anonymity, the fear of being worshiped, of belonging to the world more than I belong to my own self, or these beloved human children I am devoted to.
I was listening to a podcast the other day with Brene Brown, best-selling author of “Daring Greatly” and she was talking about how when you step out into what she calls “The Arena,” playing it big in the public broadcasting of our hearts and wisdom, you undoubtedly get your ass kicked, just in a bigger way! And so there is good intuitive reason for hesitation in this work of becoming visible! I remember Gangaji said to me once: "You will be absolutely hated, and you will be unimaginably loved, and you must know to not take either one personally."
Then, there is that interesting balancing-act between surrender and action, and the many SKILLS it seems are required in this day and age to develop the actual ART and business and delivery system of visibility! I certainly feel way behind in this delivery system, as a 40 year old woman who spent my college years studying psychology, religion, dance and poetry, and my 20’s devoted to spiritual awakening: studying the hands-on healing arts, apprenticing with energy healing masters, being initiated by shamans, traveling the world as my beloved Gangaji's personal assistant, developing a healing practice, and then my 30’s diving into my human womanness, becoming sacredly tethered to our world through the grace of motherhood, giving birth to babies and raising young children~ to now find myself waking up to the next phase of my incarnation, facing this profound expectation from the world, to somehow know how to be technologically-savvy in extending my heart’s truest expression!
How to traverse the ever-evolving realms of multi-media web-design and social media, publishing and blogging, designing on-line courses and figuring out how to podcast~ in other words the present-day ACT of visibility? I feel fairly cultivated in confidence as a soul who can shine, a voice who can speak and write the radical truth, hands that can channel healing, love than can walk with bold generosity through life… But this work of technological translation, which really is where it’s at right now in terms of becoming visible in our current world, is a HUGE growing edge for me~ daunting, overwhelming, and in rare moments undeniably exciting, as well.
And so between balancing the vulnerable growing edge of technological learning, and the deeper spiritual resistance to both success and failure, and the human stories of resistance, like "not enough money", "single mother", "the world doesn't want what I have to say" etc... as well as the clear component in all this of the Great Mysterious play of grace, luck and synchronicity, there are plenty of opportunities for deep breaths of SURRENDER. To simply bow, again and again, with a humble prayer of self-offering, towards this which wants to make deep use of my life and heart, and an absolute willingness to allow this to occur in any way that must. Not because I want to be “somebody”, or have an illusion that any greater fulfillment can come, no~ to the contrary, because it is my deepest growing edge as Nobody, to let the invisible become visible; because I am compelled by a mysterious inner command that cannot be denied. Not because I am driven by desire for fame or fortune, wealth or recognition, but rather because it is the most courageous, self-annihilating and generous gesture of surrender I can muster, to offer my whole life to Love’s service.
I take a leap of faith to write this way to you, and then post it. I take a leap of faith in exposing the honesty of my questions and concerns and vulnerable growing edges. I might not yet know how to become visible in the biggest, brightest way my own sweet humanity earnestly and ruthlessly commands of me, but I do know how to tell the raw and vulnerable truth. And that is where I have to start, and return to, again and again: extending this truth-telling with all my heart, to you, in hopes it might find some useful resonance and relevance in your own life of being.
Love in all directions… xo J