I stated yesterday that I would continue with the topic of holding back. As I looked at the quote above, I thought how that spells out holding back and probably the biggest reason for it at the same time: vulnerability.
Feeling vulnerable is to feel naked on a Friday at noon in Times Square. It is purely fear-based thoughts about holding back, not being enough, missing the mark, recalling past so-called failures, embarrassment, and more. That feeling of being vulnerable can keep us “tight in the bud,” as Anais Nin stated so poetically. But, to quote her more fully, she said, “the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” That is the essence of letting go of the rope; of letting go of holding on; of letting go of holding back.
I stumbled across a wonderful video on YouTube of the actor and comedian (and artist!) doing a commencement address to the 2014 graduating class of Maharishi University of Management (MUM). It’s only 26 minutes which is short for most commencement addresses I’ve watched, and it was pure joy because Jim Carrey is not only funny, he is full of life. To me, he is the embodiment of a cup that runneth over. Yet, the bits of wisdom that this address contained was surprising and enlightening.
Toward the end of the subject at hand, holding back, he said, “You can join the game, fight the wars, play with the form all you want, but to find real peace, you have to let the armor go. Your need for acceptance can make you invisible to this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all your glory.”
Some will never let the armor go, as the risk of the exposure, their vulnerability, and their need for acceptance keeps them tied to the dock in a ship meant to sail the oceans. We all get to choose for ourselves.
In my case, I’ve learned to release a lot of holding back, but I have often felt more of the time as if I’ve tied myself to the dock, afraid to let go, in the attempt at personal security and false peace.
Years ago when I was studying personal development in the 1970’s, there was the concept of the comfort zone. I even wrote and recorded a song about that. Supposedly, we most often voluntarily keep ourselves within a zone of comfortableness, where we know what we know. It feels good there much of the time, and it can also become boring and tedious. To venture out of the zone of comfortableness is to feel the pain of the unknown. The teachers would chide us into venturing out, taking a risk, and as we chance to move out, the zone is automatically expanded, and we blossom a little. It refreshes us. It can be invigorating.
These are similar ideas and all associated with the potential pain (because it is often a mirage) of risking growth, risking so-called failure, risking being vulnerable, allowing our light to shine even if only a little. And besides, does anyone ever really ever not hold anything back?
Since vulnerability is clearly fear in one form or another, and the opposite of fear is love, then the best we can do at any time is to live in and project love. Not only to those outside of us, but in loving ourselves enough to risk in confidence that love will catch us if we fall.
Whenever we are comparing ourselves to another, or even to our ego-driven ideas of what we should be, we are living in and projecting fear. If that’s where we want to live, fine. If not, choose love more often. We have unlimited opportunities to do just that. We always have the ability to choose.
Spread Some Joy Today–by practicing risking to experience joy, even when others choose fear. Leading by example is always good form.