Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Secret That's Not Really A Secret

"The irony of hiding the dark side of our humanness is that our secret is not really a secret at all.  How can it be when we're all safeguarding the very same story?  It's almost a joke--a laughable admission that each one of us has a shadow self, a bumbling, bad-tempered twin. Big surprise!  Just like you, I can be a jerk sometimes.  I do unkind, cowardly things, harbor unmerciful thoughts, and mope around when I should be doing something constructive.  Just like you, I wonder if life has meaning; I worry and fret over things I can't control; and I often feel overcome with a longing for something that I cannot even name. For all of my strengths and gifts, I am also a vulnerable and insecure person, in need of connection and reassurance.  This is the secret I try to keep from you, and you from me, and in doing so we do each other a grave disservice."  Elizabeth Lesser (From her amazing book, Broken Open)

I'm here wondering and fretting, stumbling and falling and flailing.
I'm here moping around when I "should" be doing something constructive.
I'm here longing, with every morsel of my being, for something I cannot even name.
I'm here harboring unmerciful thoughts.
I'm here being a cowardly, sobbing jerk, being myself.
I''m here hoping, praying, pleading that I can, that we all can, stop hiding/protecting/shielding/blocking the light.
I'm here (in my beautiful friend Judy's words) trying to find my true north, trying to stop knocking myself off track.
I'm here to tell you (and myself) you're not alone.  You're never alone.
I'm here to tell you that we all have a cowardly shadow self, that it's safe to stop hiding it.
I'm here hoping that if you haven't yet read the above words by Elizabeth Lesser, that you'll read them now, and that if you have read them, you'll read them again.
I'm here to tell you that we're doing ourselves and each other a grave disservice when we try and safeguard our shadows.
I'm here longing, deeply longing, for connection and reassurance.
I'm here hesitantly, humbly, laughably admitting that I have a shadow self.
I'm here to tell you that nothing Real can be threatened.  And that what is Real is always only a breath away.
I'm here.

Where are you?


  1. oh my...your posts are always so powerful! they hit my on those days where i feel awkward and alone--thank you for sharing your soul and inspiring me to push forward and move beyond the ordinary!! lots of love to you my dear friend

  2. I'm right here, with you. Shadow and light, my friend.

    Thank you, as always, for your beautiful words, Julia, and for reminding me of Elizabeth's.

    Love to you.

  3. "I'm here to tell you that we're doing ourselves and each other a grave disservice when we try and safeguard our shadows."

    I becoming such a believer in this - the power of sharing our stories, the permission that it grants us all to be fallible and floundering and hopelessly human.

    Please don't every stop sharing yours.

  4. WOW! You can'ta even know how uncanny the timing is for me. While I fumble around trying to sort myself out and figure out what i'm going to say before i say it. Thank ou for saying it so beautifully!

  5. I'm here via J's recommendation on facebook. I spent about three hours in conversation with a good friend about this today. Where am I? Walking the path to becoming comfortable enough to welcome my shadow side to the rest of my life. Thanks for your help in this journey!

  6. I am so often right here where you are Julia. Dealing with the shadows and searching for the light... Thank you for reminding us, messages like these always come at the right time.

  7. I'm right here with you. Thank you for being brave enough to be authentic, vulnerable, and completely you with each of us. In doing so, you truly inspire me to do the same. I literally have goosebumps because I just put Broken Open on hold at the library earlier today - I felt called to read it. Now I know why. We are all so connected - and the message was received loud and clear, thanks to you. So much love to you!

  8. Julia - beautiful as always! I took a Mondo Beyondo e-course with Brene Brown, based on her book "the gifts of imperfection" (LOVE that book btw!!) and one thing she talked about was sharing our imperfections (vulnerability) with others and that the mistake we most often make is thinking in order to be "real" or authentic, we have to share it with everyone.

    She goes on to say that sharing that intimate part of ourselves is something that should be shared only with the people who have earned the right to be a part of it.

    Not with people who will use it as ammunition to shame, minimize or marginalize us.

    Wow. That profoundly changed my perspective and although I have always openly admitted my shadows, I will say I am a little more selective about how much or how little I share and with whom. :-)

    Thank you for being one of those people in the inner sanctum of safety - providing a space for me (and all of us) to share ourselves with each other - openly, honestly and authentically.


  9. I am here
    in living colour
    with all my flags flying
    and daily finding new ways
    to let go
    the fear
    the uncertainty
    I do know
    we are never alone

    thank you for your words
    they remind me
    to let go even more

    love the way you paint your path :~)

  10. Beautiful deeply you touch my heart. I am warmed and held and fortified by your words.

    Thank you, each of you, for being here with me. We are all in this together--what a comfort it is to know that.

    With such overflowing tenderness in my heart,


  11. Oh Julia,

    You always touch my heart so deeply.

    I explore this question so often.... with every attempt to be truthful and honest with myself.

    Where am I? Am I coming from a place of love, fear, jealousy, contentment?

    For the past few years, I have been reading and listening to the teachings of Pema Chodran, and so much of her message is about acknowledging our fears, and our dark shadows ... and by doing so, we can be at peace with that side of ourselves, rather than riding from them within additions, or non-connectiveness with others.

    I love the messages you share and the thoughts you ignite in others ~ who share here.

    Lots of love and light to you, my friend.

  12. Hi Julia,
    I was having the same thought myself about how us humans are not perfect and never will be.

    I believe the world would be a much happier place if we could accept the "whole us" and not just the "good" parts of us.

  13. Hey darling friend.

    I am right here. Love this space, love this exploration. Love you beyond words. I am here. Like you often say to me, Can you feel me here with you?



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♥ Julia