THE BLOG
12/22/2014 12:50 pm ET Updated Feb 21, 2015

Admitting Who We Are

So much of our aliveness depends on how open we can remain. This piece looks at how we can let in what matters.

Admitting Who We Are

So how do we participate in the daily experiment of inhabiting heaven on Earth? Time and again, we are invited to practice admitting who we are, in both senses of the word. Admit means to confess or acknowledge what is true about who we are, as in admitting to a crime or fault. Inwardly, though, admit is more comprehensive. It means to accept the flawed and gifted wholeness of who we are. Only through such acceptance can we access all of our capacities. Only when a painter accepts that he is stained by all the colors, can he access them all to paint with. Likewise, only when a soul accepts that it is stained by all the human moods, feelings, confusions, and gifts, can that soul access them all to paint the life that carries it.

The other definition of admit is to let in, to allow someone or some thing to enter a place, to cross a threshold. So once accepting who we are, we need to let in who we are. If we are to be fully alive, we need to accept who we are and let in who we are. And one can lead to the other. When feeling lost or cut off, when feeling shattered by the harshness of life, inhale deeply and slowly. This is the first step to admitting who you are, the first step to putting yourself back together. And admitting who you are is the first step to saying yes to life.

A Question to Walk With: Tell the story of someone you respect and how they admit who they are.

For more poetry for the soul, click here.

For more by Mark Nepo, click here.