An Infusion of IncandescenceMay 29, 2023
Every single time . . .
I saw my grandmother, she made me feel like seeing me was the very best part of her day. She would hug me so big and smile with every part of her face.
She never held her love back.
While I was studying Spiritual Direction at The Haden Institute, I had a long list of books to read and write about; books about dreams, Carl Jung, mythology and archetypes, world religions, trauma, spiritual/contemplative practices, poetry and personality assessments.
I enjoyed reading books I normally wouldn't have picked up, but I have to be honest, by the time I graduated, I was ready to read some smut.
And I did indeed indulge!
This past week, I picked up a brand-new book and I'm glued to it: On Our Best Behavior: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Price Women Pay to be Good, by Elise Loehnen. I cannot wait to share my thoughts with you over the next few weeks . . . it's THAT rich.
Last week, I was invited to attend one of my sons-in-love's graduation from Opticianry School.
Of course I said "YES!!!"
During his time as a student, he has held a full-time job and gotten married to one of our daughters and together, they have become new homeowners and new parents. They have both worked hard for him to reach this milestone and I'm beyond proud of both of them.
His graduation ceremony was held at the Durham Performing Arts Center (which is huge) and it was filled with friends and family of graduates who all brought their full-on, unabashed and unfiltered celebration energy!
There was whooping and hollering, cheering and whistling, clapping, dancing, singing and photos upon photos upon photos.
The couple in front of us clapped and cheered for everyone, and when the graduate for the family beside them walked across the stage, you would have thought they were cheering for their own graduate.
When their graduate walked across the stage . . . well, I won't soon forget how endearing their whoops and hollers and excitement were.
Being there was an unexpected infusion of incandescence I didn't know I needed.
While we were waiting for the ceremony to begin, I thought back to times when being surrounded by this kind of unchecked emotion would have made me uncomfortable or would have made me look at others sideways.
(Admitting that part makes me squirm).
I also thought about times when I've held back from cheering loudly because I thought it would make others uncomfortable or worse, look at me disapprovingly.
And I thought about times when I felt like showing that much excitement simply wasn't welcomed or allowed . . . it wasn't proper or it wasn't socially acceptable.
Now to be completely honest, I identify as an Enneagram Type 9 with a 1 Wing and what that means as far as being seen and noticed is that I'd rather fade into the background than to be in the spotlight.
And still, it makes a part of me sad to think about how often we hide parts of ourselves so others are comfortable being around us . . . how we shrink to fit into others' opinions of how we should act or show up in the world.
Or even how we expect others to fit into our ideas of how they should be in the world.
This new book is timely.
I'll let you know what thoughts it stirs up for me.
My wish for you this week is for you to allow yourself to be incandescent. Stretch out and take up space and make noise and forget about making others comfortable, even if it's for only a few minutes. Clap as loud as you want and for as long as you want. Sing as loud as you want and dance as big as you want. The world doesn't need you to play small anymore. The world needs you to shine your light as brightly as you were intended to shine.
Photo was taken at the 2018 Dale Chihuly installation at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. It was a phenomenal exhibit during the day and breathtaking at night.