Living from the courage, love & creativity of your core

Only You ~ embodying a radical self respect

Posted by on Nov 14, 2017 in Featured Writing, Lifeletters & Articles | 2 comments

Only You ~ embodying a radical self respect

When I was talking to a dear friend of mine one day, she said a beautiful thing. I reminded her of a dilemma I had been struggling with a while ago, and the wisdom she had shared with me about it then. She said, “Yeah, that might be true, what I said to you, but to be honest with you, I don’t have a clue. How could I know what forces are playing themselves out in your life? Or how you are growing and evolving? Or what would be the right thing for you to do? The mystery is too big for that.”

It’s so easy to forget this. When we are humming along in our everyday mind, we lose track of the uniqueness of each life. We might hear about it, or talk about it, but we don’t really take the truth of this all the way in. It’s almost unfathomable, how unique you are, how unique I am, how unique this moment is. Life is an intensely creative affair; it does not indulge itself in repetitions. Realizing this is invigorating, like a fresh clean wind in a stuffy room.

Your handwriting, your fingerprint, your voice, your breath, your heartbeat, are all unique. That’s how they can be used to ID you. Nobody else has your eyes, your mind, your little toe, your right eyebrow, your energy. Even identical twins are not really identical, as their parents will tell you. There is a cave in Texas that is home to 50 million bats. A mother bat zooms into that dark space and goes straight to her one tiny black baby, hanging on the black wall. She is vibrating along with the uniqueness of her baby–otherwise it would die while she was looking for it.

I remember when I was assisting at births in my twenties. Each child that was born carried that essential uniqueness right into this world, from the very first moment. It was like a distinct note they were singing, without even trying. They would tumble down that birth canal and out into the room and give one look, or start to cry, and there it was. It would fill the whole room, this unique presence. Everyone there was bathing in it, the miracle of “Oh look! This one has never been here before.” Even if you believe in reincarnation, it’s still a new and unique trajectory, this time around.

“What’s the point of all this?” you might be asking. What’s so great about recognizing the uniqueness of everyone and everything? The beauty of this recognition, the healing power of it, is very simple. The uniqueness of each being makes it inherently precious, valuable. Uniqueness means incomparable. Think of that. You are incomparable. You cannot be compared with anyone else. Nobody else thinks like you, walks like you, talks like you, dreams like you, loves like you, suffers like you. Only you are like you. Saying yes to your uniqueness opens up a space where you are free to be yourself, to live your own life. Down to the smallest details. Really getting your uniqueness gives you a natural kind of self respect.

Person with light in forest

And that respect spreads out, like ripples in a pond, embracing other people too. When you feel, deep in your bones, that each person on earth is living their own unique life, you might not be so prone to giving advice. You might start to get a sense that each being has their own intelligence, their own motivations, and their own expression.

Even the things you don’t like about yourself are unique. That scar, that wrinkle, that gesture. Look at it a little more closely, before you react to it one more time. Imagine, if we were that free to love ourselves, with no more shuffling around, wondering what people think of us, or whether or not we’ve made the grade. There’s no way to measure anything, when everything participates in this endless display of uniqueness. It’s like waking up out of exam fever, and the need to get good grades. You can get out of school, that kind of school, forever.

Sometimes we think that uniqueness means being separate. Or special, the way our egoic mind likes to feel. It’s not like that. When I am really willing to be perfectly myself, a strange thing happens. There is so much ease, so much freedom, so much natural happiness in that way of being, that something opens up, deep inside me. The pressure that was always there, making me feel I had to be somebody else, relaxes. A deep tension inside me dissolves, a contraction releases, and I no longer need to defend and protect myself the way I used to.

In that openness, in that deep letting go, I discover that I am not really separate at all. Even though I am utterly unique. It’s a paradox. It’s a conundrum. It makes no sense at all, unless you are there.

Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places,
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
..Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the Sun!

~ May Sarton ~

with love,
Shayla

2 Comments

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  1. Michelle Wilsdon

    hanging
    in the Darkest cave
    I vibrate who I am
    You come to only me
    nourishment
    care

  2. norma karlinsky

    Being able to stand in my own light has sometimes been a struggle. Comparisons can ruin the ability to really be myself. It is a habit of a lifetime. I have become more conscious of this and work to stop myself from this habit. Thank you for this reminder of the unique and special place of every soul.

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