"You only get to keep what you give away." -Sheldon Kopp (from If you Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him)
"Being right is the booby-prize!" -Attributed to Werner Erhard
I believe that this shadow is as fundamentally shared on one level or another as any that we experience as humans in the present age. After completing the est Training® in 1977, my experience of the Training, if it can truly be put into words, showed me that if I live my life afraid that people will say bad things about me having a life of commitment to greater aliveness, that I am really giving up my life for something that they will do anyway, regardless. I believe that this is why I am here with you now, trying to explain something that is not explainable, to share something that is really not sharable. To take a stand for this shadow in myself changes the whole nature of the conversation I’ve been having with myself and others, a conversation where something, somewhere else or some other time, past or future, is more important then right here and right now. When I do that, I trade a life of what really happened (aliveness) for a life of my stories of what I think I remembered as happening and hanging on to being right about what happened to justify my life as it has turned out, at least as to how it turned out so far.
So how has this shadow been showing up for me lately? To be frank, this shadow shows up every time I sit down at my computer to write this blog, especially when I am coming to the point of actually publishing it. It shows up every time I decide to not stand up for a shadow that is in front of me that I see in someone else. It shows up whenever I trade the aliveness of who I am and who I am not for what others may think of me.
With this clarity, I have available to me at any moment to change the conversation from my stories to my truth, whenever I choose to do so, and it not only creates power for me, but as I share or attempt to share this aliveness with others, I have a tremendous opportunity to give away this aliveness to others, and we all know that you never really get to have something until you give it away.