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Share Your Light, But Never Give Your Light Away
This is my fifth and final agreement. It’s been really fun to reflect on the pacts I’ve made with myself, and of course to share with all of you. This agreement was a relatively late addition to my list–coming to me in the middle of the night (which is why I keep paper and a pen on my nightstand!), but it is a really important one. And not surprisingly, it made me think of a story, a conversation actually.
In graduate school, I met a guy named Ben. Ben was friends with Jose. I was friends with Jose. It was only a matter of time before Ben and I would become friends. Except that we never did become friends. We had one conversation, but it was one that has touched me many times since that random day at Sweetwater’s Cafe in Ann Arbor.
Ben was heading to a workshop on energy. He was learning how to maintain his energy, how to prevent other people from moving his energy. I was totally confused. Energy, huh? Like gas? I was totally new to this energy talk stuff and thought that Ben was a wee bit strange. I listened anyway, because I also thought Ben was intriguing. I inquired. “Don’t you want people to feel your energy?”
“Yes,” he replied, “but, you don’t want people to change your energy. You want to stay in charge of your energy, not be swayed by other peoples’ moods or energies.” I agreed, tentatively, almost half-heartedly, for I needed to let it marinate. In typical Tiffany fashion, I needed to process. But once I did, Ben’s sentiments about energy totally made sense to me.
I want to be mindful of who I am, of how I feel, of how I’m engaging with others, and I want to be me, no matter how others are acting towards me. If I’m striving to be a positive, kind, compassionate person, I want to stay that person, even if someone is nasty to me. As Ben explained, I want to stay in charge of my energy, not be swayed. And as this post suggests, I want to stay so steadfastly mindful of my energy that I never ever give my light away. I may share with you, but I will try my best to refrain from letting anyone take my light away, from letting anyone dim my brilliance.
This last agreement can be particularly tough for me these days. DC is a tough city–it’s political, cut throat at times, inequality all abound. It’s fast-paced, there’s too much work to do, and it can be cold. Keeping my light in this context, not giving my light away–while still sharing it–feels impossible sometimes. But with mindfulness and practice, all things are possible … even in DC ;).
I’ve hardly mastered this fifth agreement, and admittedly, it’s much easier in slower areas, in nature, or when I’m not working, but like all of the other agreements I made with myself, I’m trying and most importantly, I truly believe I’m doing my best. And at the end of the day, that’s all any of us can really do.
So, with that, I share my light with all of you! Thank you taking this Five Agreements journey with me! 🙂