The other night Bebe decided to make a "cat cave" out of a paper bag. Safe and snug, content and tranquil, she hid inside her protective sack. After a few minutes, however, she had her fix and hopped out of the sack and onto the bed with her two humans and the Fox Terrier. All of us need to be like a cat in a bag from time to time. We need a place to escape and hide out. Yet, after a respite, we too need to come out of the dark caverns and rejoin life. While it is comfortable to stay small, cozy and unnoticed, within us is a drive to express, connect and shine.
For the past few weeks before my morning meditation, I've been reading a selection from Adyashanti's Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic. This morning's selection (p. 159):
We turn away from the light and into the darkness, because sometimes the light is hard to bear. It's a myth that the light of being is always easy to bear; sometimes the radiance of the divine asks us to do difficult things. To remain oriented toward the spark of divinity within us is not always easy, and to act from that space can take great courage and faith...Do we embody the radiance of spirit, or is it simply a passing experience? The whole Jesus story is the story of embodied spirit, of what it means and what it looks like to embody and act from divine being.
To embody and act from divine BEING. Wow! What a life that would be. It would shift the energy with which we do everything. It would mean pausing throughout the day to ask:
- Am I acting from a place of openness, centeredness and compassion?
- Am I emanating that essence of my divine spark, no matter how menial the task?
- Am I consciously choosing to be the presence of Christ/Buddha/My Best Self as I interact with people today?
For most of us shining this brightly is a terrifying prospect. Would people think we are crazy? Would we be on a different wavelength than our loved ones and coworkers and feel isolated? Would we have to change long-cherished patterns and behaviors?
We usually just slink back into our paper bags.
But everyone once in a while, the divine spark turns into a flame, and we can no longer ignore it. Those critical moments change the trajectory of a lifetime if we decide to come out of our "cat caves".
Perhaps no one has said it better than Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.