On this day of your life,
Louise, I believe God wants you to know…
…that safety is not the thing you should look for in the
future. Joy is what you should look for.
Security and joy may not come in the same package.
They can…but they also cannot.
There is no guarantee.
If your primary concern is a guarantee of security,
you may never experience the truest joys of life.
This is not a suggestion that you become reckless,
but it is an invitation to at least become daring.
Neale Donald Walsch (Daily Message from CWG)
When I read the message above from a daily note I receive in my Inbox, I felt this visceral, oh no! kind of response that said, “See Louise. No one can give you a sense of feeling safe or secure. Only you can do it and the only way you can do it is to seek joy, not safety.”
Here I thought it was someone else’s job to make me feel safe and secure.
Wouldn’t you know it, the Universe knows and is constantly delivering what I need to learn. Sometimes, I’m just not ready, or perhaps not feeling safe or secure enough within me, to heed the lesson.
I have often confused feeling ‘safe’ with ‘trusting’, especially in relationships. Having been prone to trusting the untrustworthy, it was virtually impossible for me to achieve a sense of feeling safe so I constantly put the responsibility for my unease on the world outside.
“I need to feel safe so I need to trust you,” is very different than, “I feel safe within me so I choose to trust that I am capable of making loving decisions that support and honour me and my life, whatever you do.”
In the first, I am placing all the responsibility for my feeling safe and for having trust honoured (or not) on ‘the other’.
In the latter, I am acknowledging my accountability to creating my own sense of well-being within me, and acknowledging that I have the power to make decisions that create the more of what I want in my life — whatever is happening in the world around me — in loving, kind expressions of my truth.
And in living my life true to my inner knowing, I find joy arising with every breath.
The joy of freedom. the joy of knowing I am safe no matter how fierce the winds are blowing around me when I stand in my “I” and stay true to my beliefs, my values, my being who I am in the world.
At the talk I gave on Wednesday night at Canadian Business Chicks Christmas Social, I began with telling the group that I believe we are all born magnificent.
Within each of us, I told the group, no matter where we stand on the street, no matter our economic, spiritual, physical or emotional state, is the seed of magnificence that is our true essence.
When we’re experiencing homelessness or other life hardships, it is easy to forget our magnificence. It is easy to believe we are the labels we carry. Homeless. Addict. Bum. Emotionally disturbed. Mentally-ill. Broken-hearted. Rejected. Lost. Alone.
I shared with the group the story of a man in a class I was teaching at the homeless shelter where I used to work who was once a boy soldier in Africa.
I have done awful things, he said. How can I see myself as anything other than bad?
Do you want to be a ‘bad’ person in the world today? I asked.
No, he replied vehemently.
I invited him, and the group, to close their eyes and for just a moment imagine they truly were magnificent. That in that moment, they radiated pure, beautiful light. Live it. Breathe into it. Become it, I told them.
When they opened their eyes I asked the man who was once a boy soldier if he could feel it.
Yes, he replied. And he smiled and his eyes lit up and for just a moment, his magnificence shone.
Then it is true. I told him. You could not imagine it if it did not exist within you. Rather than fearing the truth that what you did when you had no choice but to survive or be killed is who you are, breathe into the truth that your magnificence is your birthright. Live that truth everyday and keep doing one thing, everyday, that awakens your magnificence.
I saw that man several years later when writing an article about one of the housing first programs in our city. He was working as a custodian/building manager. He saw me and took me aside and reminded me of that moment and thanked me. “I work at being magnificent everyday,” he told me.
When we live our magnificence, when we breathe into it without seeking anything other than to know it, we become it.
Just for today, let go of the fear you will never be good enough, or tall enough or rich enough or safe, and simply, Become.
Become and Let Joy Arise.