Shining your Inner Light
Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart – Khalil Gibran
We all have our own individual model of the world. It is the unique lens through which we see life and it is formed using information from our upbringing, life experiences and genetic makeup. It is the way that we make sense of the world and everything that happens to us.
There are as many versions of this as there are people. It is the framework from which we can properly assess how to act in all situations. We need it for survival. To compliment this framework of understanding, from the moment we are born, we seek a sense of Self. To interact appropriately in this world that we have created, we need to know who we are.
How do we do this?
We do it by accepting the labels given to us by others and by creating them for ourselves.
As children we are hardwired to survive. This means that we must act in a way that gains approval rather than rejection. Rejection and ultimately abandonment are synonymous with death to a helpless child. Approval is the opposite and may come in the form of many different kinds of attention. For example, love, praise, delight and expressions of pride.
To a child, any attention is better than none, so negative attention can also shape our sense of Self.
As children we are most likely to willingly adopt any label that brings us a positive response such as ‘clever’ or ’caring.’ It is seen to increase our chance of survival.
We also take on negative labels such as ‘lazy’ or naughty.’ This happens when we have formed a negative core belief about the Self and the label supports it.
The two most common core beliefs are ‘I am not good enough’ or ‘I am broken or not whole.’ Perhaps we create negative core beliefs to help us to process negative experiences.
Perhaps we are seeking to improve on the current model of Self and so we turn our internal Judge inward.
Whatever the reason, it is clear that adopting a negative label is likely to create an obstacle to moving forwards in that area of our life.
The fact is however, that all labels, whether positive or negative seek to define us and therefore box us in and can stop us from reaching our full potential. This is because, in order to wear the label and preserve our safety, we must adopt the appropriate behavioural characteristics to fit. When we unconsciously do this, the label becomes part of our personality. Those around us observe that unconscious behaviour and it defines us with them too, thus the label is cemented in.
Before enjoying the meditation below, we suggest that you make a list of all the roles that you play or have ever played within your lifetime. Every relationship and life event will have left you with labels that you wear unconsciously and that influence who you are today. Include also, all of the words that you and others use to describe your personality. Be thorough, detailed, and honest. Make your list completely individual to you. No-one else needs to see it.
Now, remember that every single one of these is a choice.
You do not have to be defined by your experiences. Every experience has something to teach you about your own ability to survive but you do not have to wear any label that you do not choose to wear. Your labels speak about you to the world and its people and they, in turn respond.
Begin as always by taking your awareness to your breathing
The tidal in and out of your breath
Its rhythmical quality
As you become more
And more relaxed
Now allow the outbreath
To become just a little bit longer than
Slow and steady
Know that at the moment that you came into being
You were a spark of pure divine light
Before your emergence
To the rest of the world
A onetime only
Never to be repeated
There was no name
For others to speak of
You were not yet a child
Or a daughter
You were totally undefined
And without labels
You could not be described
As you floated
A spark of pure, divine light
You have allowed yourself to become
From the earliest time
You have taken on the labels
And roles that have been given to you
They made it easier
To understand who you were
You know them all
Your own specific labels
You have given them to yourself too
Think of all the words you use to describe yourself
As well as the words that others use to describe you
What labels have you willingly accepted
Or actively worn
As you were becoming?
To set yourself apart
Or simply to fit in?
See yourself wearing every label
See each one as a sticky paper note
Just like the little reminders
That you post to yourself
So that you don’t forget something
See them covering your body
Each one representing a label
Or role that you have allowed yourself to wear
In this lifetime
Throughout your life
You have collected them
Some are very old
And some are recent
Some were given and accepted
And some you took to wear for yourself
Some cause discomfort
And some are worn with pride
But they cover you
From head to toe
And make it difficult for others to see your truth
They create a distorted image
Of that divine light
That you are
Look at yourself
Wearing all those labels
That this is how others see you
It is the version of you
That is presented to the world
If you wear the label of ‘people pleaser’
People will know
Because you wear it on your sleeve
They know that they can ask
Look at all your labels
What kind of interaction
Do they sign you up for?
These labels are not who you are
They are who you have agreed that you are
For whatever reason
Because it suited you at the time
You took the label and agreed to wear it
They are not who you are
They are only roles that you have been playing up to now
And they can be changed
Now you can begin to work at the labels
Peeling away the ones that you no longer need
And discarding them
Some will come away easily
And some will stick a little faster
Even if you know that you want to be free of them
Examine your attachments here
What keeps you in this role
What do you have to lose from being free of it
You may not be able to remove all of the labels in one go
Some, you may not wish to remove at all
And that’s fine
It’s your journey
When you have finished
Look at yourself again
Now you see that bright, pure, iridescent light
That is your own true nature
Shining out into the world
For everyone to see
Now imagine roots like those of a tree
Reaching down into the soil
Connecting you with the Earth
You are made from her
She is over four billion years old and so are you
Now imagine a silver threat rising from the top of your head
And reaching up into the Cosmos
You are a part of the Universe and everything in it
You are connected
There is no losing or running out of energy
It is in plentiful Supply
You simply draw it up
From the Earth
Through the soles of your feet
Or down from the Cosmos
Through the top of your head
Via a beautiful silver thread
Now as you come back to full awareness
Take with you the beautiful
Of your own
Pure divine light
And let it shine
Out into the world
So that People know
Who you are