March 31 – The Practice of Being Real – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

As the sun cannot withhold its light, we cannot withhold what feels real. 

As the Earth keeps going by turning itself toward the light day after day, we have no choice, despite all forms of etiquette and training, but to keep turning toward what we feel is real.  Otherwise, we become cold tinted planets spinning in the dark.

Very often, when I am confused or depressed for a long period of time, it is because I have stopped turning toward the light of what feels real. At times like this, I have to break the darkness of my spinning. It’s a very small and simple step that often seems huge and difficult because I have been spinning in on myself – I have to practice being real by saying what I feel, not just once, but continually.

I have struggled my whole life with this. Like most of us, I learned to survive by withholding what feels real. When events happen – when someone says or does something that hurts me – I have learned to absorb the hit and pretend that nothing has changed, that everything is the same. But when I do this, my energy is used up in maintaining the pretence that nothing has happened, and I begin to spin coldly in the dark.

It is so simple and yet so brave to say that we are hurt when we are hurt, that we are sad when we are sad, that we are scared when we are scared. In very direct and daily ways, this energy of realness – this mana – changes situations because the immediate expression of our truth releases light and warmth that influences the life we are part of. This is the way our spirit shines.

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