On Privacy

"The world is as you see it" ~ Swami Muktananda

We now know that our government has been serveilling virtually every form of communication.
When someone is convinced that the world is filled with people who want to hurt them, they'll look under every stone and in every home to find them. They'll even create self-fulfilling prophecy scenarios that ineveitably give people reasons to oppose them.

While this may be a misdirected use of time and energy, it offers us an opportunity to explore our need for privacy?   What it is about our lives and our behaviors that we don't want seen and why?

What are we hiding?

I asked a dear friend this question on a walk the other morning. This friend shall remain anonymous and from this point on, shall only be referred to as "my wife". I asked her what she thought and felt regarding her/our need for privacy. She said "I'm not afraid of the government. I have done nothing wrong. I'm not important to them. I have no money anyways". She just said a "mouthfull!  To the degree that she could find no wrongdoing in her life was she relaxed.

When we can find nothing wrong with our behavior and no reason why another would want something from us, we tell ourselves that its ok to relax. But what if we have done something that we are ashamed of or embarrassed about? Should we then hide this information? There are things in our life that we tell ourselves noone will understand and everyone will judge; possibly condemn us for.

Two years into my first marriage I had an affair. I lied outright to my wife. This was very painful! I was thinking that I had done something so shameful that it needed to be hidden from her. I told her lies that just perpetuated this pain. Our relationship eroded and erupted until I could'nt handle it any longer. Telling her the truth was the most freeing thing I could have done. When I finally confronted my fear and shared openly, I felt great relief and freedom.
Another gift of sharing openly was that I learned from the depth of pain of having had an affair that I didn't want to do that again.

"What you think of me is none of my business."

Live large. Share your life with others. Share you stories and your withholds. Because as long as you keep them locked up you wont know freedom. As you continue living openly, you'll realized that there is nothing within you (or anyone) that is worthy of our shrinking from life.

"Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding dange is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring advenure of nothing." ~Helen Keller

"What I think of me is none of my business."

When we hide any aspect of our lives, whether it's behaviors, our past, or our beliefs, vital energy is utilized in it's repression.This steals away from our physical and emotional well being and our clarity of thought. While living trasnparently is true intimacy. We look to others to love us, but when we live freely, we are loving ourselves. Think of intimacy as "into me you see". When we live openly we feel a deep satisfaction, a sweet gratitude, and a sublime peace. May we all know this Peace.

My friend Neal Grace has written eloquently on this subject. Here are some of his thoughts.

"I understand that no one wants his or her personal life to be laid bare for all to know the nuances of what goes on behind walls, I am not sure what all the fuss is about when it comes to being seen without the facades we show the outside world.  What are we hiding? What is so private and so secretive that we need to fight desperately to protect? And from whom? What are we guarding as if the exposure of it will render us doomed?

"Being authentic requires us to remove the layers of protection and invulnerability from our selves. There is power in transparency. There is a life-force in being unencumbered that connects us with the juice of the universe! When we live in fear, we surround ourselves with a complex cloak of caution that will only make us a slave to a possible perceived threat. This weakens our resolve to live freely and to thrust ourselves into each moment with all of our passion and gusto.

"The more we can allow our layers of protection to dissolve for lack of need to feed our insecurities, the wilder life becomes. Life does not want us all tied up in a package, reducing our capacity to breathe. No matter how hard we push to find security, we will fail. We fail because there is no security that can assuage the insatiable need of the fragile egos ruling us. Mastering the ego is a simple thing to achieve. All you have to do is honor your entire self! Then no one and no thing—certainly not the huge slug of the government—can have dominion over you!

"You say it is impossible to worship your entire self because of all the hurts, pain, suffering, disillusionment, and piercing rejections you have had to endure since you were a baby. No doubt it is impossible to measure the weight of these crippling traumas to your body, mind, heart and soul! You and I and everyone else have survived unspeakable wounds.

"But what else is there in life than to be so wildly brave you drop to your knees and offer a benediction to the cherished being that you are? What freedom to live will accept anything less than this, anything that resembles a compromise? Either you live by loving the very existence you are, or you stumble through the canyons and deserts and jungles of life with one eye closed and your tongue kept shut in your mouth for fear of condemnation for the words you may utter. Either you stand up as a mighty temple made of the timbers of your virtues and the fibers of your beliefs or you crawl through the brackish waters with a heavy weight tied to your legs.

"What has all this got to do with privacy? Everything! Don’t cower before the world, protecting your little secrets when these very things are leeches that drain you of your life-force. Stand up! Fear no person! The more you offer what lives inside you, the more the world can celebrate the legacy you leave in every waking moment! Playing half dead is no fun. If you want to act half asleep then hang out in a mortuary.

 "Let us all become champions of a transparent self. Let each of us unfurl the banner of who we are so that it blows freely in the winds of life. Let us shout our joy and passion and love so the whole world reverberates in the thunder of our voices! When we do this, we become the instruments playing the music of God!".
I end with a quote of Marrianne Williamson's, read by Nelson Mandela during his inauguration.
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.” ~ Marrian Wiliamson.

1 comment:

  1. Sahar, I must share with you that I don't think it's a good idea to bare yourself to everyone you meet. You must agree that there are predetors out there, who thrive on information that may be used to steal, harm, and dominate others. If you've been victimized by anyone like this, you know what I mean.

    Knowing that many of our laws are unjust, would you readily and openly smoke cannabis with strangers? People have been imprisoned for life for such a thing.

    I think it's wise to be aware of the potential consequences of our actions, and to use judgement before we reveal our deeper selves to anyone. I realize that there is no real "security", but I do believe in being consciously aware that what we say and do can be used against us, in and out of a court of law.

    In my opinion, this doesn't mean living in "fear", but living in "wisdom".