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Having an Epiphany

My dad sharing his light...

Yesterday was the feast of Epiphany and, as it always does, it got me thinking about reality, truth and putting away the Christmas decorations. Mostly about reality and truth.

When someone dies, we think about how tragic it is, how sad we are for ourselves and all involved, how life can be suddenly cut short, how much we'll miss the person. There is one thing though, that I try to remember to console myself, and that is: they finally know the truth. At least I think so.

We're all here in this life, trying to make our way as best we know how. We all have a set of beliefs by which we operate- we hold it as our truth. In fact, "Living Your Truth" is supposed to be a really cool thing. That's why I think about knowing the truth in relation to death- we have our ideas here but we can't really be 100% sure until we see it for ourselves.

And when you think about it, if everyone is living their truth, how many truths are there? Can there be more than one? That's what you find out when you die, I guess.

In the meantime, we're left here to get on as best we know how. One truth I do know: it is better to live your own truth than someone else's.

When I got married, I was really young and immature. I didn't have a strong self image and I suddenly found myself far from home, trying to fit in to a whole new way of life. I struggled for years, completely miserable. Not because I couldn't be myself, I could have been, certainly. One crushing realization that I've come to is that I simply didn't know how.

Once I finally did, it was too late and I was drug kicking and screaming into a divorce that went against everything I believed in. Ironically, my truth didn't matter in the courtroom.

The big difference between those two phases in my life was that in the latter, I was empowered to speak my truth, even when I knew it wouldn't matter. In the former situation, I didn't even know what that looked like.

It is scary to take a long hard look at the reality of yourself. Many people just don't do it and live like I did, focused on any and every distraction in order to avoid that look inside at what we really are.

If you feel out of balance, constantly focus on your external qualities, need mountains of validation from others or feel like you would be better with a partner to complete you, you're likely not living from your authentic reality.

I wish I could give you "7 Steps To Living Your Truth" or something like that, but it really isn't that hard. Just start (like we have to start everything else...) from a space of love.

This isn't about some specific formulaic way to live. You are you NOW and that is beautiful. There might be a deeper, more content and more real you beneath the surface, but she isn't going to come out if she is afraid of what you'll tell her when you meet her.

People, even your inner self person, are drawn to love. When you make it a point to live from love, beautiful things happen. Self acceptance means loving yourself in spite of faults, perceived shortcomings or self assessed flaws. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone you felt like you had to walk on eggshells with? Are you walking on eggshells with yourself?

As I sat in Mass yesterday, listening to the priest talk about finding truth, I noticed the altar candles used during masses. At the beginning of the Christmas season, they were about two feet tall, now, they were barely six inches. There was no residue left behind, no pile of leftover wax. They simply evaporated a little with every second of being lit. Just like us. As I sat there, a thought came to me, "Are you going to live like a candle, and provide temporary light but leave no trace, or can you somehow leave some evidence of your light behind after you're gone?"

A great path to that is to open yourself to self love. Trust yourself enough to be totally honest and claim the real you and love yourself anyway. Your true self is there waiting to be loved.

Today, my Dad, the passer-downer of my RillPOWER would have been 78. I lost him just a couple of years ago. My dad was authentic love personified. He just loved people and had a special kind of magic. People loved him back. Talk about light. One of his favorite activities was to cover himself and his bicycle with lights and ride in local holiday light parades. He'd also ride around the neighborhood, sharing his light with his fellow retiree residents. They ate it up. People love light.

My dad knows the truth now. The best light of all...