In today’s blog I will explore the human journey of self-discovery and the many things we try on and work toward integrating as we come to embrace more fully our most authentic self.
As a member of the Facebook community, I have recently had great fun discovering, posting and changing my profile picture. A friend recently inquired as to why I am posting pictures of Amy Grant, Kiera Knightly (as a sword-yielding warrior), Jami Gertz (as a vampire-in-training), Sandra Bullock (as a “witch”) and Wonder Woman instead of posting pictures of myself. My friend wondered why I would want to be anybody other than Lauri Lumby. While I’ve just been having fun with pictures, my friend’s question has caused me to pause and reflect on the possible deeper meaning behind this version of Facebook fun. Of course, there is a deeper reason, and I think it is a reason that we can all relate to as we are compelled to seek, explore, discover and eventually embrace our highest and most true self.
Part of our journey of self-discovery includes trying on, experimenting and exploring different roles. Who am I? What are my passions? What are my fears? What are the parts of myself I’m comfortable sharing with the world? What parts do I keep hidden? In this experimenting and exploration, we find the parts that resonate with our truth (highest self) and are able to discard the parts that do not. The goal of this journey of self-discovery, if we can really say there is a goal, is to find the parts of ourselves that are true and learn to embrace them and integrate them fully into our truest, highest self. In the shamanic tradition, this process if referred to as recapitulation. In this process, we find all the parts of who we are and allow ourselves to be open to these parts – warts and all! Recapitulation includes the integration of our gifts, our strengths, our passions, our longings, our desires and our fears. As a fully-integrated being, we are able to be present to all that we are and are able to stand securely within all that we are. It is this journey of recapitulation that I realize I have been sharing with the Facebook world.
As I look specifically at the images I have chosen on Facebook to represent myself, I realize that each of these images portray a part of myself, along with a part of myself that I want to more fully embrace. Amy Grant represents the part of me that is moved by music and song and wants to sing my praises to the Divine. I am moved by her music, I love her voice and she’s beautiful inside and out. I guess that is something I hope to be. Kiera Knightly, plays the lode-tattooed, Celtic warrior princess, Gueneviere, in the movie King Arthur (which sucks, by the way…so don’t rent it!). In this role, she plays the part of me that wants to wield a sword against injustice and against the inner and (perceived) outer obstacles that keep showing up on my path to embracing my highest self. When I feel like I need to fight off my fears, compulsions, addictions, etc. it is fun to imagine myself donning battle armor and face paint and taking up my sword of truth! Jami Gertz, from the movie, Lost Boys, absolutely represents the part of me drawn to the seemingly darker side of the human journey – vampires, rockstars, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Alice Cooper…..all these reflect the parts of me that are hidden, dark, moody, brooding and somewhat neurotic. Wonder Woman? Come on….who doesn’t dream of being a superhero? Beside, Wonder Woman is kick-ass cool and really hot! Don’t all women aspire to don the leotard, red go-go boots, golden bracelets and golden lariat!? Then there is Sandra Bullock from Practical Magic – one of my all-time favorite movies!!!!! In this film, she represents the parts of me that are drawn to magic and mystery and the part of me that wants to learn how to embrace this as part of my everyday life. Admittely, she also represents the parts of myself resistant to yet longing to be loved. She represents the parts of me I feel are sometimes misunderstood and perceived as unconventional. Of all the above-mentioned characters, Sandra Bullock as Sally perhaps most closely reflects my own journey of self-discovery.
Speaking of Practical Magic….one of the things I love about this movie is the way that it represents this human journey of self-discovery. Beyond the magic and the mystery is a magnificent story of discovering, resisting, rediscovering, then learning how to embrace our gifts and our highest self. In this movie, Sally (Sandra Bullock) embarks upon this journey of self-discovery as she is forced to acknowledge, explore and ultimately embrace the gifts that she has denied for most of her life. In this journey of self-discovery, she breaks a family curse, saves her sister’s life, frees her children to fully embrace their own gifts, finds self-acceptance and love. If this is what the journey of self-discovery brings and if it means trying on a few roles, ….then I say, BRING IT ON!
So for today, I invite you to reflect on your own journey of self-discovery. Who do you want to be? Who have you tried on? What characters (fictional or otherwise) are you drawn to as you explore the world for the missing or not yet integrated parts of yourself?
Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth