“You do not have to do anything to be loved, and being who you are does not let others down. This needs to be repeated, and often. Simply be who you are, and love what is before you.”
Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening (8/25)
As I make my way through Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening one daily entry at a time I become more and more convinced that he wrote this book just for me!!!
To be sure, however, he wrote it as an expression of his awakened self; but it’s his intention to bless the spiritual journey of others (like mine and, perhaps, like yours) with the wisdom and insight he’s gathered like breadcrumbs along the way that often moves me to knowing tears. With each passing day and entry I draw closer to my “self”. And because of this I feel this book was tailor-made to be one of the brightest flashing beacons of light intended to show me the way back “home”.
Today’s entry was no exception.
Today’s entry is titled “Love Is in the Being”. I take this to mean it is not what I do that earns love but who I am — the “me” behind the mask of personality and the illusion of fear — that is love and loved just because I AM.
The entry offers that we should not be distracted by others’ expectations of who we should be (or shouldn’t be) or what we should or shouldn’t do because “[b]eing who we are doesn’t let down others.” Or at least, it shouldn’t. And even (and especially) if it does, we don’t do others or ourselves any favors by dimming our light and playing small to promote their comfort. That reminds me of another saying:
“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Real love encourages the real you to SHINE; it doesn’t dim your awesome glow. Real love lets you exhale and lean in, it doesn’t require you to hold your breath and complete a laundry list of “to dos” before you earn your keep. In fact, real love doesn’t keep you, it lets you fly. Real love is the wind beneath your wings not the harness that keeps you tethered below the heights to which you were predestined to ascend.
Of course, love also shows up in the compassionate recognition of what others require and desire. But “the displeasure of others is no reason to muffle your love,” says Nepo. Selah [pause and think on that]. And most importantly, we cannot expect others to love without limits if we continually place limits on our own full and loving expression of self.
If your self-critic (yes, the one in your head that won’t shut up about all the ways you’ve “failed” at life) is a meaner son-of-a-gun than the meanest person you know than any perceived lack or limitation that shows up in your life is more likely a reflection of how you feel about yourself than anyone else’s opinion anyway. So start there; with the brightest and darkest parts of yourself. Love them completely. And require everyone who enters your space to do the same.
Remember, love is in the being. Because you are, you are loved. You are more than enough. And all you’ll ever be (if you’re lucky).
Wisdom in the Whisper™ lessons and WisdomintheWhisper.com by Tonya Marie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at www.wisdominthewhisper.com.