Today I’m triple dipping into the Sacred Beginnings prompts: Presence, Tenderness, and Confidence.
I’m seriously loving what Lori-Lyn Hurley has to say about presence. I encourage you to pop over and read her post if you haven’t already.
What is my presence? Is it measureable? How like or unlike my fierce fiery friend who insists that anything less than loud dancing with life is really wimpiness and a cause for investigation? I suspect my presence is more like a filmy cloud – less substantial, more subtle. Does that make me more, or less? When I was a very very young child I remember with great clarity once feeling like the only control I had over my life was whether I disappeared or not. And the only way I knew how to actually do that was withdraw. I felt the power of that – at least the power I thought I had that someone would miss me when I was gone. The old I’ll-show-them. I don’t think it turned out the way I expected it, my great experiment. Because although I hardened my heart and felt the disconnect, I’m not sure the other person even noticed. So they couldn’t really miss me. But there was so much else for me to learn in that as well. Because there really was a freedom in that. I knew I could really only count on myself and it was enough, and that’s something useful to know. Of course, there’s a great injury in that knowledge as well, and I’ve often navigated the consequences of that early knowledge with great tenderness and fierce determination to unlock its limitations. But the older I’ve become the more accepting I’ve become of how everything is exactly how it’s meant to be – there isn’t any getting any of it right or wrong. We’re here – we show up day after day, open our hearts as best we can, drink in all the beauty that surrounds us and try to give a measure back, and love each other fiercely and tenderly, and just try to remember we’re all just walking each other home. My presence doesn’t need to be distinguishable from your presence and it doesn’t have to be remembered, nor likely will it be. It is enough that I am here. Today. Now.
“Let tenderness pour from your eyes the way the sun gazes warmly on the earth.” — Hafiz
Isn’t that a beautiful invitation? And doesn’t it make you feel loved by the sun? I’ve been thinking about that as the change in the quality of light as we move towards the autumnal equinox on Monday has shifted so. It delights me to think of the sun looking on tenderly as we move into the season where growth is slowing done in the natural world, when the trees will soon put on their colorful display and then the leaves will let loose for their journey downward. I like imagining this is all being observed with tenderness.
I admit to being a bit amused to find this was today’s prompt because the subject has been so much on my radar these past few days. From conversations with others who are about to embark on a little leap that requires confidence and trust in themselves; to someone offering a backhanded compliment about how much confidence I must have to blog about personal stuff when once I hit publish it’s out there to be read forever – with the unspoken subtext being “are you crazy?”.
On the heels of reading a Netflix blurb that talked about a “confidence trickster” I was paging through an old journal from the time I was in graduate school and had been reading feminist research on the imposter syndrome. Tucked into one of the pages was a horoscope blurb from Rob Brezney of Free Will Astrology. It read:
“As you know, real confidence has no bluster or bombast. It’s not rooted in a desire to seem better than everyone else, and it’s not driven by a fear of appearing weak. Real confidence settles in when you have a clear vision of exactly what you need to do. Real confidence blooms as you wield the skills and power you have built through your hard work and discipline. You are ready to be a bolder and crisper version of yourself.
I love that admonition to be a bolder crisper version, and I think that’s a perfect description of confidence. More of that for all of us please.
I welcome any thoughts you have to share about presence, tenderness, and/or confidence. Do tell – you know I love to hear.