Today I had the experience of awakening suddenly to the faint light of predawn in my room. My alarm had not rung but I was wide awake. Panic set in. What day was it? What time was it? Why didn’t the alarm ring? What was I supposed to be doing? Going to work? Attending Saturday court? Taking up Board or practitioner duties at CSLT? Just then the alarm rang, and I finally tumbled to the conclusion that it was Sunday and I was going to CSLT. My new day, however, was already marred by anxiety over things I needed to accomplish.
This is the season of the winter solstice, the rebirth of the sun. I considered the anxiety my forebears felt during the long winter nights wondering if they had preserved enough food, so the elders and children would survive until spring. The return of the sun at solstice was, for them, a literal celebration of life. In my life I may not depend literally upon the sun for my survival, but I asked whether I was celebrating my life day by day. Was I living from my core or was I simply “doing”?
With divine synchronicity, Rev. Janis’ reminder talk addressed this very topic. She spoke about how we can accept our own magnificence, acknowledge our light and find our own unique way of shining that light. Thinking back to my experience of the morning, I realized that I spend a lot of time stressing about things I should be doing and not a lot about just being present for my life. The things I stress about are not even necessarily things I chose for myself. Many times they are “shoulds” I inherited from other people and from that nasty bullying voice in my head that is always ready to berate me.
In her talk, Rev Janis asked, “how do we become self-aware?” How do we find our unique light and expression apart from the “shoulds”? She said the answer would be different for everyone. As I sat with the idea I realized the answer, for me, was self-love. I am very skilled at bullying myself about what I should be doing. I hide the ball from myself about what I want. I build defenses. In so doing, I shutter my own light. In a moment of radical acceptance, I broke open to my own lack of self-love. I saw a way to live more authentically.
My authentic Self wants to express It’s unique light. With a self-loving intention, I can be my own friend, be on my own side and tell the bullying voice in my head to shut up. Being there for myself I can discover who I am at my core and exercise sovereignty in my own life. I can be honest about what I want.
As a Practitioner, I already see the light in others with love. For these last long nights of winter, I am doing the same for myself. I hold my own hand, drop my barriers and defenses and walk open and unafraid into the light, my own and the light of the reborn sun.
— Leah Hamilton, RScP