Welcome to this week’s edition of The Source. Did you know that your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness?
Years ago, I had become a master at my winning formula, and it colored everything I thought, said, and did. It was the contact lens I saw the world through—so close, that I didn’t even realize it was there.
I had conditioned myself—or to use don Miguel’s phrase, I had “domesticated” myself. Essentially, I had tamed myself to always respond with humor ultimately crafting my persona. But what did it cost me?
It cost me my heart, my authenticity, my vulnerability. It cost me intimacy. It cost me the fact that my true voice had never been heard – because I had never trusted that it would be enough. My contact lenses had been so finely polished that my ego, self-worth, and self-esteem depended on whether or not someone laughed while in my presence.
And here’s the rub: I used that very fact to offset my behavior when I was harsh, reactive, insensitive, or impatient. I rationalized in my mind that since I made so many people laugh, smile, or feel good over the course of the day, that it more than offset my more unattractive behaviors. But, deep down, I felt brokenhearted, isolated, and afraid to express my most authentic self.
Truth Always Rests at the Source
There was obviously deeper pain that had not worked its way out of me. Rather than addressing it, I had sugarcoated my childhood issues of loneliness, emptiness, worthiness, self-love, and relevance. Instead of being the soft, tender, kinder person I truly wanted to be in my heart of hearts, I had built a fortress to protect me from my deepest, most painful emotions. I had created a powerful excuse to not grow, not evolve, and not transform.
My Winning Formula had devolved into my Losing Formula!
The personal paradigm I created as a child so that I could succeed in life was costing me as I grew up. What had delivered me to a pinnacle of “success” right up until my 35th birthday, was now holding me back from being the best version of myself. When I looked in the mirror, I did not see myself as smart, thoughtful, insightful, intelligent, authentic, compassionate, helpful, loving, or supportive – the fundamental traits that I held dear as my Sacred Values. Instead I defined myself as simply funny.
Yes. For thirty years, my winning formula had brought me the trappings of what many consider success—a steady paycheck, a loving family, a posse of friends. To look at my life, I should have had everything. But I was miserable. Inside, I was feeling shallow, small, and alone.
Over time I realized that I had built a barrier to receiving love in my heart; I had dumbed down my ability to authentically flow it back out into the world; and I was missing the true depth of connection.
The Spark of Acceptance —Taking Ownership of Your Life
And so it was necessary to re-craft my vision of the world as I saw my life unfolding over the next one, three, five years—essentially emotionally deconstructing and then reconstructing myself. In his self- reflective book, An Invented Life, the American scholar and teacher Warren Bennis wrote, “I believe in self invention. I have to believe in it . . . To be authentic is to literally be your own author . . . to discover your native energies and desires, and find your way of acting on them.”
As I read those words, I knew in my heart, it was time to REbirth and change my winning formula. And that phrase—“To be authentic is to literally be your own author”—had just given me the permission I craved! I needed to come back to my core . . . my heart . . . my truth . . . and step into what Bennis referred to as my “native energies and desires,” or my most vulnerable self.
This is an excerpt from my newest book Sacred Powers: The Five Secrets to Awakening Transformation. It’s such a powerful, eye-opening, heart-moving guide to taking significant steps toward where your life is now, to where you want it to be. You can order the book from any of your favorite online retailer.
Coming up in March, I’m hosting a weekend retreat that is truly a compliment to Sacred Powers. It’s called Manifesting Your Dream Life and if you were moved by the book, this weekend immersion will help you put it all into practice; help you examine what no longer serves you; and help you let go in a safe, intimate space. This week I’m offering $200 off the current tuition price for members of the Sweetspot Community.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join me at the Meditation Nest in the Sweetspot of the Universe in March. In the meantime, I’ll see you in the GAP. Peace. -davidji