Inhabiting the Light.
We all carry this unimaginable life-force that wants to come out into the world. And it will whip us around, if we are not grounded. When younger, my own creativity was such a force. I could be so intoxicated with it that I would follow that voice anywhere. It would say to me, “Keep going! Don’t stop! You don’t need to eat! You’re so close! Isn’t this great?”
Well, in the moment it feels great, but this is where blind obedience, even to creativity, opens us to addiction. The turning point, for me, was in acknowledging that we all think that this creative force—this passion—will bring us something we are lacking. What right-sizes this urge is accepting that we lack nothing, that we are already there. There is nowhere to go.
By inhabiting that passion, that wonderful aliveness, we just become more of who we are. And so, we can brighten like the sun, which doesn’t go anywhere. We are not chasing truth. We are becoming truth. We must drop the yearning that says, “If I could just get there, then I would be fully alive.” We are already fully alive.
This brings us into the realm of humility, which accepts that I can’t possibly live out all the Spirit that wants to come through me. There is an ancient story in the Jewish tradition that says that the light of life was even too strong to be held or contained by God. And so, God’s initial container broke as the light of life burst into existence. And we and all forms of life are the shards of light that burst forth from God to create the world. Ever since, we are remaking the vessel of God’s light in our time on Earth through our care and creativity.
All this leaves us with the invitation to become more intimate with our own light. In this way, we come to see that we don’t have to pursue our light, but simply inhabit it. Even when that light feels gone, it’s still there. It’s just that I, for the moment, am not able to be in touch with it, or see it, or hear it. If I believe my light is gone, then I will do desperate things to find it. But if I accept that I have fallen out of touch with my light, then it becomes a practice of becoming more intimate with my own nature, once again.
Ultimately, I am called to refind what is right there within me, rather than search for something that is lost. This is part of everyone’s practice: how to wake when asleep, how to hear when muffled, and how to see when things are in the way. And we just keep doing this, again and again and again. Because this is what it means to be human.
I encourage you, then, with each passing day, to hold nothing back. Give enough light and attention to yourself, so, like a flower, you can turn inside out and reveal your inner beauty.
Mark Nepo is a poet and spiritual adviser who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for over 30 years. He’s well-known for his New York Times #1 bestseller, “The Book of Awakening,” which Oprah chose as one of her “Ultimate Favorite Things” for her farewell season. His upcoming MEA workshop with MEA co-founder Jeff Hamaoui “The One Life We’re Given - Saying Yes to Life” May 23-28 will fill up soon so apply now.