Yikes. That's pretty severe.
This quote has been rolling around in my head for awhile now ... I first heard it years & years ago and it has stuck with me. I was curious about it at the time... What did it mean, exactly, and was it true?
I googled just now to see who said it and was surprised (well, not really ... that guy had some serious wisdom) to find it was Jesus. And further, I didn't have it quite right.
Here's how he said it (well, allegedly):
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
Destroy, kill ... same ballpark. Either way, kinda high stakes, Jesus, no?!
However alarmist it may sound, I have a good idea why this quote has been visiting me a lot over the past months and that's because I believe I know what I am meant to bring forth and ... (ahem) ... I've been actively trying very hard NOT to bring it out.
And that thing is, in a word, words.
Words. Written or spoken. They want out.
I mean, ask my daughter or any of my former students. I have A LOT to say. Because I really like sharing what I've learned. That's one of the reasons I became a teacher in the first place. I get excited about helping people see deep truths about themselves and life.
And that's my full-time occupation ... discovering deep truths. I've been at it for as long as I can remember.
Once, when I got the numerology of my name and birthday done, it revealed that I was "the scholar, the researcher." Yep, that fits. (I only went to grad school when it occurred to me that I was spending all my time researching & writing anyway. My friend Mark would say, "Nerd alert." What can I say? I was born to it. Numerology says so.)
But lately, my ego-mind has been doing some A- level Olympic feats of working hard to get me to believe that giving what I have to give -- aka "bringing forth that which is inside me" -- in my business, through teaching workshops and courses and leading retreats, will be what kills me.
According to my mind, it will kill me because ... I don't know what I'm talking about. I'll fail. I've got nothing new to say. Everyone else has already said it, why do they need me? I don't matter. Etcetera etcetera.
Enter shame, fear, embarrassment ... those old friends. And I take these as PROOF that it will kill me ... because it feels so bad!
That is, when I believe those thoughts and see the future images of it all going south, then I feel horrible and I'm like, Yep, I best keep to the status quo, play small, and suppress that calling to share my hard-earned wisdom with other people.
And even though I know this about the ego -- that it's whole JOB is to do its level best to take us down -- I still fall prey to it. (There's a reason for this: as Byron Katie says, we're either questioning or believing ... nothing else is possible.)
I'm guessing you can relate to this fun game of mental ju-jitsu in some area of your life. Getting the sh*t kicked out of you by your own mind while you're innocently trying to just live this mysterious life.
Maybe your thing that's inside of you has been showing up as just a vague uneasiness in the background, like maybe something is trying to get your attention by making you uncomfortable. ("Hello! I am here! I have something I want you to express!" says that voice somewhere in the region of your heart or your gut.)
Or maybe you're in touch with what it is inside you that you want to bring forth. It could be something you want to express like write a book, or a business you want to start.
If you're not sure what is calling you, you can try this: Finish the following sentence repeatedly until you feel it's complete: If I had to guess what wants to come forth from within me it would be _____________________________.
You might hit it on the first try or it might take completing the sentence 10 times before your true heart's desire that's buried deep gets tapped. You'll know it by the feeling of relief that bubbles up or you may even get teary. "Yes, that," your soul sighs, so grateful it's finally being listened to.
We humans are wired to express. We're trying to see fully who we are by being fully who we are. For the mystics amongst you, you may like to think of it as God wanting to experience itself/herself/themself through you. (You, specifically. Because since no two humans are the same, it's a unique experience for God through each of us.)
So what to do with the monkey mind that's terrifying us with future images of pain, shame and embarrassment and convincing us that we shouldn't even try to express these jewels within us lest we fail??
Well, I can tell you what I do: self-inquiry.
This is a way to question our convincingly terrifying stories. So that we can move from, "I think I'll stay here where it's safe and warm and protected" -- (if that were actually true, that'd be one thing ... but safe is never where fear is) -- to, "I think I'd rather choose feeling the fullness of who I am ... LIVING OUT LOUD ... so let's do this!"
The thing with inquiry is, moving towards this expressive, out-loud life happens naturally as a result of seeing the truth of things. So, it doesn't require determination or willpower or forcing yourself.
We've all tried that way and it sucks.
Forcing yourself comes accompanied by the meanest internal critic who screams threats at us like a cruel army drill sergeant ... "You better do this OR ELSE! You are lower than the lowest maggot and need to PROVE yourself! Where is your BRAVERY? TRY HARDER!"
Inquiry, on the other hand, is like the most benevolent being who lets you in on the secrets of the way of things ... of the way life actually is and who you are.
And when you see it, you see through the blocks. There's nothing in your way of self-expression any longer.
Which is a friggin relief, honestly, because who wants to take the "being killed" route? Hell nah, not me. Sign me up for the "being saved" route.
So this is me on the other end of inquiry, sharing this post. I like writing and maybe it will help someone. Why hold back?
"It's in you to give."
This was the slogan for giving blood here in Canada (maybe it still is) and it's pretty clever as slogans go.
But it holds a deep truth, actually: that we won't feel fully happy, fully fulfilled, fully ourselves until we give what is in us to give.
Notice how this is backward to what we think makes logical sense: The mind's mantra is basically, "GET!"
GET / TAKE / ACQUIRE in order to feel happy & fulfilled. (Notice anyone who fits this in how they live their life? Or maybe you've been experimenting with this? How is that orientation to life working for you? Feeling happy & fulfilled yet??)
But the thing about giving is that ... we're the ones receiving too. There's an illusion that there's a "them" and "us" ... we all benefit when we give. It's not a selfless thing, not about morality; this is just the way it actually works. (Einstein knew this too ... he said that the fact that we see other people is just "an optical illusion." I love that.)
And we all have the thing inside us to give. The scale -- whether grand or small -- is of 100% irrelevance. Just in the makeup of who we are in our individual snowflakeness, we've got something to express.
So, if you're having trouble allowing yourself -- trusting yourself -- to bring forth this brilliant, unknown thing, then you might want to consider self-inquiry.
Or if you're in the "I'm quite sure I have squat within me to express" camp, then likewise, I've got some questions for you.
Getting ourselves out of our own way is the greatest gift you can give yourselves and the world. So ya ... Jesus kinda had those stakes right. I can see where he was coming from ...
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live.
Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.
Perfection is static, and I am in full progress.