The “Elephant in the Dark” is a traditional Sufi story that vividly shows our approach to life. In the story a traveling exhibition of an elephant was being stabled near a town. Four men decide to investigate this phenomenon since none had ever seen an elephant before. When they arrive, the stable is dark and this forced the men to investigate the appearance of the animal through the use of their hands. One felt its trunk and concluded it looked like a hosepipe. The second felt its ear and concluded it must look like a fan. The third felt its leg and thought it must look like a living pillar and finally the fourth feeling its back knew for sure an elephant must look like a throne. When you add that all up you get a throne sitting on top of a living pillar equipped with a fan and hosepipe.
As we journey to understand who we are, we tend to create a mosaic like idea of ourselves. We allow others to tell us who we are, believe what we do is who we are, create our identity through clothes labels, jewelry and things, and yearn to be like the “Joneses” because they are better than we can ever possibly be.
We create an expression of ourselves as opposed to embracing ourselves and expressing it to others. We tend to be carbon copies, not authentic or original in our ideas, thoughts, and expressions. This is an aberration of what I believe Spirit intended for us when this physical reality was created. To be a carbon copy of anyone is akin to walking around in the dark piecing together other people’s energy fields or the mass consciousness’ ideas of what we should be and saying, “Hey, this is who I am!” You end up being a throne sitting on top of a living pillar equipped with a fan and hosepipe!
Our own original DNA and spiritual framework is one of a kind! Spirit really did throw out the mold when each of us was created! We are here to be a unique one of a kind expression of Spirit. Only we can tell the world who we are and intend to accomplish in this life.
In the wonderful bright light of acceptance, love, self-esteem, and worthiness we look at ourselves and say, “Wow, I’m logical, witty, and dedicated! I love myself.” We look for others in the light and say, “Hey, I see you fully as yourself! I love your spunk, creativity, liveliness, peacefulness, etc.” We give each other permission to be who we have come down here to be.
I recently reconnected with some college friends. We all had big dreams of working for Fortune 500 companies and joked about who was going to make the first million. I was in the dark about what I wanted to be and when I turned on the light I saw what I had done; I was expressing to the world a Shirlyn that was not entirely Shirlyn.
When I decided to finally be me, I purposely lost touch with my friends. I thought they would not understand. In fact, I was afraid of letting them know because good friends of mine I met after college didn’t like the authentic Shirlyn and we parted ways. That was kind of painful and I wasn’t looking forward to repeat experiences of rejection.
In the last couple of weeks I have let my college friends know about my path in life and why I decided to take it. To my surprise they were happy, encouraging and wanted to know more. They began to tell me their dreams and ambitions which were not to be part of a Fortune 500 company. Most of them have been pursuing ways to fully express their authentic selves to the world.
Don’t be a misunderstood or muddled expression of Spirit. Turn on the lights and show the world that you are big red, yellow, green and blue elephants. Be yourself and others will accept you and let you in on their little secret; they are black and white stripped elephants with big red dots all over and they love it!
Copyright © 2009 by Shirlyn Wright