I sat on the edge of the cliff this morning and spotted a small black seabird. I felt frustrated not to know its name. I then reflected on how it would have been if I had known its name – I would have closed down to it, having put it in a box labeled “cormorant” or “shag”. The magic, mystery and uniqueness of that particular black bird diving into the sea would have eluded me.
I wonder what it is in me that wants to label things. Part of what it might be is a short cut that takes me away from really witnessing the bird, the tree, the person, the cloud form.
And when I don’t allow myself to be fully present and witness the other, I am protecting myself from being moved and changed by the other.
And what would be the purpose of labeling myself? Is it my hesitation to step fully into my strength? As Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure …. we ask ourselves, who are we to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” And Meister Eckhart puts it this way “As long as I am this or that I am not all things.”
To be fully in my strength means to me being willing to compassionately witness myself.
To witness – to give evidence, to attest, to have seen. The root of witness is ‘wit’ which is to know. For myself, being witnessed by another, to be seen for all that I am has happened enough times in my life for me to know how deeply affirming and precious an experience it is. Along the same lines I love that part in the film ‘Avatar” where Neytiri says to Jake “I see you”. To be seen is a universal human need. And I want to learn how to more wholeheartedly do that for myself.
I have surprised myself with where this piece has gone and I hope to unpack some of the areas I have lighted on in further postings.