Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher


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Become and Let Joy Arise

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.”

Dang.

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.


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Our human condition is a journey through love.

 

Choices is an experiential journey. It is an exquisitely constructed series of teachings and processes that have been honed and developed over 35 years to fulfill on founder, Thelma Box’s vision of Changing the world one heart at a timeFor over 35 years, Thelma Box, Mary, Joe and Greg Davis have created a safe and courageous space for people to step into the wonder and awe of discovering who we truly are when we let go of the negative self-talk and self-defeating games we all inevitably employ to protect our hearts and keep ourselves safe from being hurt by others or to prevent them from seeing we are hurting.

We humans are interesting beings. We are all born magnificent. It is our birthright.

We come into this world crying out for belonging, for love, for connection and then life happens and we quickly forget the birthright of our magnificence as we adapt our behaviours to meet life’s sometimes confusing, sometimes challenging, sometimes painful teachings. We walk through each day into unknown and known places, face strangers and people we know fearing they are judging us, measuring our journey against theirs, or examining our flaws with such intensity we feel naked or invisible. We try to hide in plain view, or stand out in anger, contempt, judgement fearing we will never find peace, love, hope, joy, contentment and in our fear, do everything we can to prevent ourselves from having what we want.

In our struggle to get what we want, we set bars so high we cannot see them or don’t set them at all because we are convinced we will never reach them. And in our fear of constantly having to measure up or our fear of continually falling short, we do not see, it is our judgements of ourselves that are hurting us most. It is our negative self-talk that is killing our dreams. It is our self-defeating games that are keeping us stuck living in the shadows of our fear; we do not matter, we are not worthy, we are unloveable.

At Choices, I am continually blessed to witness people awakening to their magnificence. I am blessed with being part of miracles unfolding as people open their eyes to the truth of who they are when they let go of fearing who they are will never be enough.

We are all enough. Exactly the way we are. Exactly as we were born to be before we forgot that our value is not found in the things we acquire or the things we do or people we know or places we’ve been. Our value is in our being present and true to our hearts. It is found in how we treat ourselves and one another. Our value is intrinsic to our nature of being human when we let go of fearing who we are and remember, we are all magnificent.

It was a beautiful and inspiring five days of connecting heart to heart to one another. Of seeing and hearing the beauty of each person’s heart beating freely and fiercely with the truth that who they are is greater than their fear that they were unworthy or undeserving of Love.

We are all deserving of Love, no matter our human condition, because our human condition is a journey through Love.