Only now at 61 years of age am I coming to know myself and to trust in a more authentic unfolding of what I am. It has taken a long time and by no means do I believe that the work has ended but at least I have come to understand my conditioning and to step out from behind it.That is no small step. Some might think it to be a self fixated exercise but how can any one know what is authentic about another if they are not able to discern it in their own lives. In my naive and narcissistic early years there was, now apparent, a significant level of ignorance and presence of brutal and destructive behaviour. The selection of friends and influences was inseparable from what I identified myself to be and by and large it partially served to perpetuate what I had become. Awareness of a need for intimacy, a sense of truth and honesty and openness began only to enter into relationship with myself and others later in life and it has been a significant influence in a change of ways but ultimately it is only now that I feel the freedom and comfort in being what I am and in turn expressing that in a more authentic way beyond the perceived scrutiny and displeasure of others. There is no intent to be hurtful in my pursuit and expression of what is authentic about my being but inevitably the way has been unclear at times complicated by the unsettling adjustment that has come with the loosening of a dependency on not so authentic influences. I realize that I have been in my relationships and friendships somewhat inauthentic, in general, and I am aware of something of that false creation that continues to exist, surfacing at times in ways that interferes with intimacy, all be it in more recent years a consciousness has arisen that is able to witness this in a way that is less invested in it than at other times. Fortunately and with gratitude I embrace being in that place from which there exists a guiding light that more than any other external influence that I have encountered in my life time I trust in and have developed a sense of faith that it leads me to truth, authenticity and openness.
The Following is From Ram Das Website
My friend Anne discovered this and forwarded it to me.
On the spiritual path, we all take on different practices to free ourselves and clear the way to merging with the one, and finding peace and balance in our lives. Of all the practices, discovering an intimacy with unconditional love is the most difficult and important. To be able to act selflessly with our close ones, our neighbors, and even strangers takes enormous courage.
Courage to love starts with a heartful engagement with life. It takes courage to look at ourselves and allow for discovery- for a revealing of our shadows. It takes a basic trust that we are not alone – that we are connected with each other and there is a force of unconditional love that can be a presence in our lives.
Combined with the courage for self revelation is the sense of vulnerability. Vulnerability is being honest, taking emotional risks, and making friends with uncertainty – this fuels our daily lives and is the core of innovation and change.