If we are to experience true happiness, and live in the realm of Spirit—or spirituality—we must be open to the stripping away of the many masks we wear until we see our souls naked as a newborn baby. When that happens, we begin to ask, What do we want? Who do we want it for? What are we doing on this earth?
Quakers, or the Religious Society of Friends, talk about “continuing revelation,” the idea and experience that once the Light takes hold in us, it shows us more and more about our lives and guides us from within. Our souls, sometimes, are captured in dark rooms. Our minds convince us of so many things that hold us back from becoming our true selves. It takes the Light to bring clarity so we can follow the longings of our hearts.
A lot of Christian mystics and Buddhists describe the time of prayer and meditation as a chance to “empty” ourselves before the One. But that language of emptying disturbs me. If I empty myself, I don’t know that I’ll have anything left. I don’t know where the me is. In the romantic relationships of my life, for instance, I have emptied myself so much that I’ve neglected my own needs and dreams. This is why I prefer the term “baring.” When the Light hits us, we begin to strip away all the masks and disguises we’ve been carrying. We become naked before God, releasing our job titles, our relationships to other people, the ways we’ve been defining ourselves of the narratives we tell ourselves about who we are. We expose our wounds, the places where it hurts, and see ourselves as we really are, as God sees us—pure, whole, good, an emblem of Love in all its manifestations.
If you’re lucky enough to be stripped, to be beaten down, to have had it with life, and you bare your soul to the Oneness that moves through all things, you’ll see how beautiful and delicate you really are.
The things that happen in our lives—whether we label them bad or good—are merely opportunities, chances we take to either form a harder shell around our hearts or soften them. When we get beyond shame, beyond hatred, beyond greed, beyond fear, we see we are Love. The same Love that makes up the trees, the grass, the flowers, the planets, and the sky.
In your vulnerability, in your pain, in your weakness—how could you be anything but beautiful?
In my life, it is not emptiness I want—though I do, often, empty my pain out before God, in the form of tears. Rather, I want fullness. I show up for God two times a day with everything I have—my wounds, my struggles, my worries, my pleasures, my daydreams. And my Creator accepts all of it, embraces me, and loves me fully, with no exceptions. My Creator does not say, “This is good in you, and not that.” No. My Creator says, Give me all of it. Every last piece of you. I want all of you. That is how deeply you are loved.