In yesterday’s blog post I spoke about my experience with BNI – and how I had a filter running through my head which meant I wouldn’t consider it as an option to it being a possible lead source for my business.

I had an “already knowing” about it which meant I was closed to an opportunity.

When it comes to eliminating sabotaging patterns  it is crucial that we get wise to our filters and the particular lense through which we view the world.  Because in truth we do not see reality as it is – indeed there is no fixed reality – we see it through our filters.  Which means that when we remove the filters – the outside world changes.

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about this and I wanted to share it with you today because it is still powerful:

Who is Listening?

This is the second blog post I have started today.

In fact this is probably the 6th blog post I have started over the past couple of weeks.  I start but I never finish.

And when I notice the same thing playing out several times I get curious – what’s underneath.  What’s really going on?

Why am I struggling so much to communicate?  To share my message?  To share my gifts?

And on the surface the answer is:

 “I’m scared”.

Scared of what other people will think, scared of being criticised, scared of being misunderstood.

And as I write Marianne Williamson’s famous quote springs to mind:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

This quote is so powerful.  It moves me deeply to read it again today.

But there is one line that stands out for me above all others:

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

And as I write I can feel the hesitation in highlighting this line.

Because it talks about God.

And as soon as we hear the word God – we instantly react.

And therefore what we hear next is filtered through a certain lens.

The “already knowing about God” lens.

And through that lens we cannot hear what is actually being said.

Instead we take what we hear and we process it through what we already know, what we believe to be true, our life experiences, what Uncle Billy said about God when we were six years old, what our parents instilled in us, what the Church taught us….

EVERYTHING is filtered through that already knowing.

And our listening has a certain quality to it – and so often we simply listen in order to respond – to say what we think – to give an opinion – to share our own viewpoint, our own stories.

I caught myself doing this with a friend last week.  We were talking and as I was listening I realised that I was not actually hearing what she was saying.

She and I have different world views and I found myself picking out her points simply so I could use them to put forward my own opinion – my own view of the world.

Yet at the same time I was judging her for wanting to convert everyone to her way of thinking.  And there I was doing EXACTLY the same thing.

As soon as I realised I stopped.  I knew that unless I stayed open and curious I would miss out on all the golden gems and nuggets she had to share.

And when I started listening from a place of openness I learnt so much.

I saw a beautiful soul filled with love wanting to make the world a better place.

And when I think about my writing I realise that the reason I am struggling so much is because I don’t know where you are listening from.

When I speak one to one or in a small group I modulate what I say depending on who is listening and what their “already knowing” is.  Sometimes I might choose not to speak at all.

However with an email that goes out to thousands, everybody’s listening is different.  And modulating what I share is not an option.

But because I don’t know what your “already knowing” is then I don’t know whether what I say will be welcomed with open arms or frowned upon and judged.

And because my desire to fit in, to be accepted, to be loved has been stronger than my desire to speak the Truth, it’s been safer not to speak.

But the frustration I am experiencing is now so excruciating that speaking the Truth and being judged for what I say is much more preferable than remaining silent.

And that includes talking about God and not apologising for who I am and what I bring to the world.

Because when I shine, I unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

How about you?  Are you afraid to shine in case it upsets someone?

I’d love to hear your insights.

Do comment below.

Much love,