Yesterday as I was stepping into creating the upcoming Cornwall pilgrimage program, I felt some familiar fears come up as the pricing for this journey became clear. My shadow of being selfish, greedy, self-serving, uncaring came up with a vengeance...and thanks to this class, I actually have a process to work with that allows us to first become conscious of our sabotaging shadows, and then to receive their gifts and integrate them. Notice I didn't say get rid of. Thank goodness. Because whenever I have tried to get rid of the parts of myself, they come back with even more strength and control anyway.
As I worked with this very persistent shadow, I noticed that this is what comes up when ever I do anything for myself, on any level, whether it's to know what I want, to give myself time alone away from others, to ask for what I need, or even want. In order to prove that I am not a selfish, greedy, needy, self-serving person, I am then always going out of my way to be there for others, to know what what they want (sometimes even before they do) and make sure that their needs/desires are met. Over the years, and especially when I was a young girl, I chose to ignore my self to the extent that I lost my self out of always being there for others. Somehow, I got the message and reinforcement that this how I would be safe, loved and cared for was to put others before, make sure that all of their needs and desires are met, and only then could I think of myself. Challenge was, of course, that my job of taking care of others was never done, so it never got to the point that I could be here for myself. I figured out how to do things in the right way according to other's people's way of doing things, such as dressing, what to study, how to happy doing what others did, how to want what I had figured out to want. In the process, I split wide open, let her go and actually lost connection with myself. I have spent my adult years working hard to find that little girl again. Who would have thought that I would fully reconnect with her here in the Awakened Wealth class, where we awaken by integrating our shadows that have been running the show. To awaken to the light and to the truth, one must be willing to see and love the shadows!!
The gift of being self-less was that I was very concerned with others and what was best for them, so I supported others to know what they wanted, and how to fulfill their dreams. I look at my kids being such clear models of young adults who are deeply connected to their creativity and are making life choices to follow their dreams and live their passions! My oldest is in a successful band that is currently on the second tour of the season. My daughter is an amazing artist who is a Studio Art Major in college with a minor in Education and Social Justice. My younger son is gay and came out when he was only 13. He lives true to himself and is quite flamboyant. My youngest daughter, at nearly 13, is a dancer and a singer who sings and dances all the time! I am so grateful that my self-lessness has supported my 4 kids to be their authentic, creative, expansive selves. This is a true gift of my shadow. Thank you.
When I asked what the lesson and gifts are now, my Shadow said that the time is now for me to re-balance the imbalance. I have completed a contract of supporting my kids to be deeply rooted and connected in their core selves. Truth be told, I have actually been vigilant about this for them. I am so getting as I type that this was the deal on a soul level. I had to lose myself so that I could give my kids the gift of knowing, loving and accepting themselves unconditionally. That was more than worth it. And now it's time to come back to me. Because I also have a deep desire to serve beyond my family and children, and I cannot serve without taking care of and honoring my self first. No Self - no true service. True service comes from the heart, and giving from my fullness, through my gifts. It's along the lines of that quote I heard a few years ago by Harold Thurman -
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
How can I know what makes me come alive, if I am not connected to my self and do not allow or acknowledge my desires or deepest yearnings?
The truth is that I cannot be a channel for infinite good and contribution when I am not connected to self. This is the paradox. I actually must be self-centered to contribute in a way that actually transforms our world and planet and infuses it with infinite love. Otherwise, what I can offer and give is finite. From my very limited and finite perspective of trying to figure and know for others and the outer world what is needed, I can only give and support in a finite and limited way. It is actually way more selfish as I actually think that I can know what is being called for, rather than open and receive the truth in any situation. My ego, fears and concerns actually filter what I can know about any situation. Since it is all about me and my filter, what I contribute is a drop in the bucket, and a murky, muddy drop. From this perspective, I may think I know what they need to feel "better" but I am unaware of what they truly need and are asking for. I stop the flow with thinking and acting as if I know better what is needed for someone, when actually I remain blinded by my own needs and fears, and am acting only from self preservation and protection.
However, when I am connected to Self, I am connected to Source. When I am in connection with Source/God/Spirit/Divine, I am infinite, and what I contribute comes from an infinite well. I can be an open, clear and loving channel. How I can truly serve as a channel of infinite good and abundance, is to be a channel for their good. I can only be a channel when my core is intact and engaged, and opens up like a clear tube to allow the infinite to flow through me.
To be the contribution I am committed to being, I actually have to be self-centered and self-serving. I have to know what I want and honor it; I get to celebrate my deepest desires and longings; I have to know and cultivate my gifts and talents, and offer them. I get to radiate who I am as a unique expression of Spirit. From this place of loving, honoring and expressing myself, I get to truly contribute and serve.
The paradox of Self. Only when I have Self can I give my Self away.