Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Greatness Within

I've never particularly had a dream about anything I wanted to do nearly so much as dreams about the person I might become. And it has been my great, great fortune to be surrounded by those who not only see the possibility in me, but are as interested in and committed to finding a way to let that emerge as I am.

To be in the company of those who deal in possibility and potential, who understand the things that are subtle and invisible but as real as the ground we step on...these are the people who allow change, who encourage change, who welcome change. There are 10,000 very good reasons to be afraid. If you ever need a reason not to move forward, not to change, not to try, there are so many good reasons.

But the freedom, the exhilaration, the absolute liberation of doing what's in your heart obliterates all of those things. Fulfilling one's potential isn't about quantifiable outcomes. It's about filling yourself and filling your life with all the qualities in your heart and mind that need expression. It's about being loving, not because you've found someone worthy to love, but because you are full of love and it needs to be shared.

Being the best person you can be doesn't happen when you decide others are worthy of you that way. It happens when you realize you don't want to hold back anymore, and that you simply feel so good being that best person. And then you see how that actually uplifts and elevates everyone around you anyway. That in some way they were waiting for you to step up and be that person, and mirror back to them all the possibility in the world.

Real creativity is required in this. So many old ways of doing and being have failed us miserably. The ways we've expressed ourselves have caused us more sorrow than joy and depleted us instead of strengthened us. So finding a new and meaningful way to be our best requires real thoughfulness, engagement, creativity and attention. It won't just magically happen 'cause I wish it to be so. I am not just suddenly someone new because I whisper some affirmations to myself.

A few things help tremendously. Surrounding yourself with others who are as committed and steadfast in moving forward makes a huge difference. The support and structure this kind of friendship provides cannot be overestimated. And making room for the pure transformative love of G*d heals the heart and soul. When the deep wounds start to heal, when the broken heart starts to mend, then potential has a safe home inside the self.

I don't think this kind of change can happen in a vacuum. I tried that for a long time, but the energy required is immense and almost impossible to sustain alone. And even connection with G*d, while the root of all of it, isn't enough. Because relationship is the place where all this plays out...at least in my life. And I need the help and good wishes of others. When relationships are good, they are the greatest joy in life. So I'm keeping the company of those who recognize the greatness within, in themselves and in me, and I'm better for it.

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