I should stop being surprised by the fact that once I say something, forces seem to be put into place for things to happen. And so, this week, I am not surprised that Jim and I have found ourselves in our Eastern most province, Newfoundland. I have never been here before and my big dream was to come at a time of year when we might be able to see icebergs. I have not been disappointed!
About a month before our trip, I saw a picture of a mammoth iceberg stuck off the coast in the Atlantic. People came from kilometres around to take photos. I had my fingers crossed that we would be given the gift of seeing such a thing of beauty. We might not have seen the largest iceberg on record, but even seeing one – in real life – was enough to still my world, and bring tears to my eyes. What an incredible sight.
There is something about all nature that seems to calm me. I feel most relaxed and ‘in the moment’ when I am outside, away from the hustle and bustle and just breathing in fresh air. Standing at the shore, watching an iceberg, brings it to a whole new level.
I have read that an iceberg reveals only about ten percent of itself above the water line. The other ninety percent is hidden beneath the water. I guess it has to do with physics and melting and such. No matter – it’s kind of amazing to think about. I also found out that icebergs can get stuck. They are propelled along by winds and currents, but every once in a while, they get stuck on things in the water.
As I watched them from shore, I was struck by the fact that we are not much different than icebergs. We too, often don’t show our whole greatness ‘above water’. We often hide many parts of ourselves below the surface. These are the bits that we may believe are not flattering to us. These may be the bits that we are afraid to share for fear that we will be judged. These may be bits that we learned to put away many years ago, and now it has simply become a habit. These may be bits that we do not like about ourselves and it is easier to hide them than acknowledge them.
The thing that stuck me thought, was that it doesn’t seem to be the visible part of the iceberg that gets it in trouble. The visible part just floats along posing for beautiful photographs. When the light is just right, it can seem even more perfect. The part that gets the iceberg in trouble, is the part beneath the water; the part that is hidden. This is the part that gets stuck on things, this is the part that prevents the iceberg from moving forward in it’s life journey. Hmmm.
In our lives too, these parts that we keep hidden are also the parts that tend to get us in trouble. These are the parts that keep us stuck; that keep us from being brave enough to move forward into the life that we know we can have. For example, if we know that we may have a sensitivity to or a fear of having things be out of our control, then the part of ourselves that we show to the world is that of someone who is in great control. We hide our insecurity. We hide our fear. We hide away from opportunities that might cause us to not be in control. And in doing all of this hiding, we make it really hard for other people to know us and to accept us. We already ‘know’ that they won’t like this part of us, and we live by that ‘knowledge’. We never give them the chance to accept the real us, because we are not sending an honest message.
My good friend Graham once said, ‘Let people see your weaknesses too. They’ll like you more.’ He was not being mean. At all. He was being completely wise and truthful. It might have also been good for him to say, ‘Let people see your greatness too.’ I can think of many times when I have watched a talent show or a YouTube video and seen someone sing and shock an entire audience. No one knew they had this voice living inside them. On the surface, they seemed to be a pretty quiet and unremarkable person. How could we have known about their talent if they had never given us a sign? Or perhaps they had given us a sign, but we had such a strong notion about what made that person up, that we couldn’t even imagine that singing beautifully was part of the narrative.
I was imagining what it would be like if I could see the WHOLE iceberg. Not just the ten percent. I think it might reveal more beauty than I could imagine. It would be breathtaking. I would be even more captivated.
In my life, I am trying to do two things better:
- I am trying to show more of myself. I hope that by doing this I will inspire bravery. And, I hope that by showing more of myself above the surface that I will leave less below to get caught up on stuff that holds me back.
- I am trying to see more of others. I am trying to look below the surface and see what gifts and talents they have that I have not allowed myself to notice. I hope I can provide a safe place for them to bring them out into the open.
My inquiry for you this week is, “What part of myself do I need to reveal?”
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