There are certain things I thought I was going to magically learn in the “growing up” process:
Turns out, third graders will teach you how to french braid. I taught fourth graders Greek Mythology (self-serving, of course!). The other day I texted a client while I frantically held eight tubes of lipstick in Sephora, begging her to help- so ya know, still a work in progress. And I’ve got big Qs on number five.
The past few years, my life and learning have been about deeply understanding how to create personal boundaries.
Recently, I was on my way to give a talk. In the recovery of breaking up, being tender and managing the logistical to dos, I found myself on shaky emotional ground. I called a huge rock in my life and unleashed my tears.
This Dear One started listing solutions and making suggestions to help me feel better about the situation I was in. I found myself snapping back at her about why the proposed fixes wouldn’t work or why it wasn’t the right time for them.
Here is what I have noticed:
When I’m strong in my boundaries, I seek and share with Light Holders.
When I’m unclear, confused, or violating my own boundaries, I let in the Light Dictators and I fight with them.
Light Holders hold up a light to our tenderness and our deepest wounds through curious, open-ended questions. They point out our own golden light so we can explore, hear our own answers, and find our path forward. Contradictions emerge with light shining (like feeling fear AND ease), and they are both safe and sacred in that space. Light holders have deep trust in themselves, so they can stand strong in the light they are shining. They respect your own pace.
When I’m with a Light Holder, I can open up truthfully about how I’m feeling. I can allow my feelings to rise up, move through me, and then settle into a greater truth. And then there is a deep sense of trust, in myself and in the truth found. And then a lightness in my body.
Light Dictators, on the other hand, attempt to use the light they have to guide us down the path they see, at the pace they want, in the ways they like. Sometimes, they want to guide us down the path they’ve personally walked. They have solutions they want to share. There’s a lot of “shoulds” in a conversation with Light Dictators. At their most harmful, they might even accuse, criticize, or put you down until you agree to do what they say.
When I’m with a Light Dictator, I feel kinda panicky. My body slumps. I cry tears of frustration and I feel like a failure. Sometimes I end up resigning myself to take the only path they think is right, even if my heart would rather search in the dark for another way.
But here’s the challenge: These roles are not static. They are not exclusive camps. Most of us are capable of being both- sometimes even in the same conversation. If I’ve had a long day and I’m running on empty, I’ve been known to be a Light Dictator. Do this and say it like this.
Not everyone is consciously making a choice to be a Light Holder or a Light Dictator. Some are responding to who you show up as. That day, I showed up to the conversation very needy and falling apart. Dear One and I had fallen back into old habits and patterns.
Next week, I’ll be sharing how we broke the pattern.
Seek out the Light Holders, loves, and seek to be a Light Holder. Pay attention to how you feel as you communicate.
I want to hear from you on this. Tell me about the Light Holders in your life. How do you identify the Light Dictators? How do you move between them both? Leave a comment here on the blog!
To letting the Light shine,
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