www.bethanylee.com-1-54.jpg
www.bethanylee.com-1-54.jpg

My boy and I?  Here's how we hug:

As soon as I sit on the floor, a glimmer hits his eye, eager anticipation lifting his eyebrows.  He collides into me and we tumble backwards, his heart landing on mine like a defibrillator charging my soul.  His delighted shrieks land warm on my neck and I laugh from a combination of feigned surprise and actual, verified soul bliss.

It's delicious.

On the rare occasion that I do NOT tumble to the floor when he hugs me [WHY, Self?], he steps back, looks into my eyes determinedly and says, "I want to knock you over."

Ahhhhhh yes, my little apple who has not fallen far from its tree.  I can SO relate.

Lately, I've been hesitant to make time for writing.  I've pointed an accusatory finger at my busy schedule, but let's face it:  blaming "busyness" always smells like avoidance and self-congratulations, does it not?

Whenever I hear someone say they can't do something that is good for them because they're "too busy," I wonder if they realize that they are somehow avoiding vulnerability.

Silly, silly humans.

But--oh, wait:  there I go calling the kettle black again.  Guess I should swan-dive into self analysis to figure out the real reason I haven't been writing.

It probably starts here:  knowing that your time is precious and that I want you to find time for my little blog, I asked myself, "Self.  What characterizes the things that I make time to read?  I read things that are inspirational.  Or funny.  Or authentic.  Or educational."

"I know the solution!" said I.  "I shall make every post informative and funny and authentic and inspirational!  And each post shall include a soulful professional-quality photo taken by moi!  That is all!"

There are three major troubles with that line of reasoning:

1)  It is insane

2)  Sometimes it is not possible to be funny and authentic at the same time, and

3)  The very suggestion that I would need to be anything more than authentic to "deserve" readership flies directly in the face of my "Let It Shine" mantra and message.

When we allow ourselves to shine, we find security in knowing that our ESSENCE is divine.  We are beautiful--not "in spite" of our "humanness"--but BECAUSE of it.  Our "imperfections," our mistakes, the parts of us that we feel inclined to hide from the world--those things CONTRIBUTE to our beauty.  

As I sit down this morning, pondering the real reason I haven't been writing so that I can find the lesson in it, the thing that keeps popping into my head is that my son wants to knock me over.

What he doesn't realize is that he knocks me over whether or not he tries to do so.

He knocks me over with love and pride and joy and tenderness when he colors quietly by himself in the corner.  He knocks me over with love and pride and joy and tenderness  when he dances like an elephant in music class.  He knocks me over with love and pride and joy and tenderness when he gets upset because his sister ruined the zoo he was building with blocks.

When he physically knocks me over, it's because I've allowed it.  It's ME who's different when we don't tumble backwards:  not him.

All he has to do to knock me over is be himself.  

And it's not his responsibility to knock me over anyway.

AH HA!  So there's the lesson.  I set out to be authentic here and immediately shielded my vulnerability by requiring that I also be funny and informative so as to merit readership, which sets the bar high and makes me reticent to write.  As if I'm afraid that my authentic self is not enough.

That insight, this morning?  It knocks me over.

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Two updates for you, friends!

1)  I have a new writing commitment.  My only requirement for my posts is that they be authentic (which hopefully is intrinsically inspirational.)  I hope that funniness and informativeness slip in here frequently, as they are welcome guests at any party I throw, but the only way I can encourage people to allow themselves to shine is by modeling it, so I'll throw parties here even when Funny and Informative don't RSVP.

2)  I am indubitably grateful to have recently been featured in the en*theos daily Optimizer.  Check it out if you're feelin' it!  :)

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Please say hello in the comments!  How are you doing?