Friday, March 10, 2006

The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

Friday, March 10, 2006 — Santa Fe, New Mexico

Another groggy morning.

Windows are rattling and things outside are knocking about so noisily that I fully expect to part my curtains and find myself in Munchkinland, atop a flattened Wicked Witch of the East.

But, no, it's still Santa Fe out there...what I can see of it through the swirling dust and dirt.

Today when I stumble to the computer, I again find 10 new e-mails waiting for me...this time from supportive subscribers.

I'm gratified...and a just a bit relieved.

Again the numbers double as the day progresses. And again I monitor my response.

I think back 26 years to Sally Field's embarrassingly human outburst when she won an Oscar in 1980 for her performance in Norma Rae: "You like me! You really like me!"

At some level, we all respond that way when we're praised or honored. We may not parade our vulnerability as openly as did Sally Field. Yet from that place of near-universal wounding, we're just as amazed and wonderstruck as she was.

Of course, I'm gratified that many of you find these writings inspiring. After all, that's my aim in sharing them.

But the error that's as easy to make as the one I nearly made yesterday, and the reason I'm keeping an eye on my emotional equilibrium today, is the one where we take others' views of us so seriously that we base our self-image on them, that we let them define us.

When I teach writing and it comes time for workshop participants to share their work out in the world, I always encourage them to pay as little heed to excessive praise as they do to a similar measure of criticism. Both carry equal potential to destroy.

This journey we share is not one of bending like the willow to winds like those outside my window. It's about holding steady in the certainty of our divinity and the anchor of our purpose, regardless of those winds.

Yes, we listen. Yes, we discern what others' comments can teach us.

Ultimately, though, only we can know our own heart and the truth of its expression. It's from that place of knowingness, that we're called to hold our center, like the solid trunk of a mighty oak.

Just as I did yesterday in the face of perceived rejection, all I can do today is surrender to the call of my highest self (and the words that emerge to express it) and release all attachment to outcomes, including public response.

And so just as I thanked yesterday's 10 teachers, I now thank today's 20 — for reminding me to hold my center, even as the winds outside of me might threaten to blow me off course.

It must be working, for the wind has stopped. The dust has settled. And so have I.

A reminder to those of you receiving blog updates via e-mail: You can view all entries at markdavidgerson.blogspot.com, where you can add your comments publicly to any post. There's also a link to the site at the top of every Chronicles e-mail.

2 comments:

Number 4 said...

You are soooooo cool, Mighty Oak as you continue to stay the course.
Your vulnerability and strength is my inspiration.

I await your next
installment because as we are Libra and Virgo connected, your path parallels mine.

While channel surfing last night,I intuitively found 2 TV movies about female warriors, ie. Joan of Arc and Budica (the Celtic visionary leading her troups against the Romans a few hundred years ago) The movies stirred up my fear again about owning my power and leadership abilites and knowing that if I stay the course, I will probably have to face the challenge of leading a large group of people again in the cause of freedom. The movies also stirred up my desire to lead. Apparently there have been times I did this in other lives and most of my warriors died. So I've been consciously holding myself back, while spontaneously... words have been leaping from my mouth from a
deeper place in me....starting to mobilize the group energy. So keep on writing, dear friend, I need your inspiration,

Mark David Gerson said...

Remember: You can lead people to freedom as the warrior for truth that you are, while choosing a different way of doing it than in the past and while also choosing a different outcome.

Go for it!