We live in a scarcity culture. It thrives on tricking us into believing and then embodying lies: There is not enough to go around—not enough money, not enough love, not enough success, not enough happiness, not enough pleasure, not enough joy, not enough time, not enough…
We are taught to believe that we are not enough. Women especially are taught this. We learn to breathe in desperation and taught it is our true nature, even though it suffocates and slowly kills us. We learn to survive by not being enough. It is the only way we know how to be.
What do we do when we glimpse another way? When the light finally breaks in and we see?
I am learning how important it is to share that “new reality” with another person so they can also see—beholding it together helps to make it real.
This past weekend, I spent time with two very different communities. One was a gathering of Episcopalians who are working to discern and discover new ways of being church—ways that are truer to the heart of what it means to follow Jesus. The other was a group of women seeking to reclaim (or discover for the first time) their true selves through connecting to the source of their divine power within their feminine bodies.
To an outsider these groups and their intended purposes for gathering might seem completely divergent. But there are so many common themes, so many common desires, not least of which is a deep desire to connect to a source that is greater than themselves - and this divine source is Infinite Abundance.
People shared story after story about connecting to this Divine Abundance and through this witnessing of one another’s liberation, those who were witness experienced their own setting free.
While we spend so much of our time dwelling in fear, this Divine Source is at our fingertips, closer than our very breath, living and moving inside of each of us and in the currents between all of us.
One possible reason we so easily believe the lie that we are not enough is because we are terrified of our “too-much-ness.”
As Marianne Williams writes in A Return to Love:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
The gift these communities gave to their participants was the space to share all that is being felt, experienced, struggled with and sought after - AND to witness to the new creations each person is co-creating herself to be. She is co-creating her Truest Self with God and with her community.
Whether it is in communities that call themselves church, or in groups of women who call themselves sisters, every time a person has the chance to share her story in a group where she can be witnessed, heard, loved and held, she can remember that she is enough and more than enough, because she is connected to the Source of all that is.
How do we learn to see a new, truer reality that the Divine lives in each one of us? How do we unlearn years, lifetimes, of conditioning that have taught us not to trust in who we really are? How do we tap into abundance so we can create even more?
One way is through witnessing and affirming each other’s too-much-ness, the source of overflowing creativity and joy that is the heart of our true nature. If it feels like too much, find a community to share it with—digest it! Let the joy flow out of you and into others so you can make room for even more. We must train ourselves to tap into our own power, the power of God that is within us. We cannot serve the world by denying who we truly are. The power we need to change the world lies within each one of us. Recognizing that power in each of us, helps to set us all free.
Sara Shisler Goff is priest, writer, artist, activist, human being, and co-founder of @theslateproject.