“I can admit wholeheartedly that most days I don’t have a clue about my life’s purpose. And I’m okay with that, because Debbie taught me that the minute I “think” I know who I am, I shut out possibilities and I’ve lost connection from my heart and divine spirit.”
– friend & colleague, Cate LeBarre
“The question “Who am I” never has a fixed answer. The self is fluid and constantly changing, meaning your own self and the self you share with everyone else.”
– Debbie Ford from The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self
This February , Debbie Ford left her physical form; one of the most relatable teachers of human nature and human behaviour that this earth has been blessed with. While her person will be greatly missed, she leaves a body of work for future generations to learn and grow from, and more valuable, an undeniable presence of spirit that will permeate us forever; you may not always know it, but you will always feel it.
For those of us who know her voice and her laugh, they blow freely in the wind and we will hear them forever.
Debbie’s journey and the way she communicated it had a strong impact on me. She always feels like she is with you in your living room, having a cup of tea with you whether you are reading her books or listening to her tapes/shows. Her ability to be real, vulnerable, fallible and open to share all of this with us is a true gift. Her early life was extremely challenging to break open and she subsidized those lessons with both intuitive and formal education. Debbie’s personal growth continued to happen alongside our own; and her human-ness was never so valuable as came in her most recent years, trying to find a place to put her new reality: the good, the bad and the ugly. Some of her final interviews have impacted my world like no other (on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday).
There are thousands of tributes to Debbie online – check them out. They will simply make you feel good. Optimistic. I am going to let some of Debbie’s own thoughts and quotes be my tribute to her earthly life. A brief note from Debbie’s sister Arielle after Debbie’s passing is below… and speaks volumes!
I have links to Debbie’s work on my ‘books’ and ‘links’ pages (Shadow Effect book and DVD here). If you don’t know Debbie, check out youtube, Shadow Talk on Hayhouse Radio archives, or one of her videos — because you just have to hear her voice! -SL
Here’s Debbie’s voice in writing:
~~Your character defects are not where you’re bad, but where you’re wounded.
~~The self you defend every day as your unique point of view is a convenient fiction that makes the ego feel good.
~~It’s ironic that to find the courage to lead an authentic life, you will have to go into the dark rooms of your most inauthentic self. You have to confront the very parts of yourself that you fear most to find what you have been looking for, because the mechanism that drives you to conceal your darkness is the same mechanism that has you hide your light. What you’ve been hiding from can actually give you what you’ve been trying hard to achieve.
~~The soul moves through life with grace. The ego moves through life with recklessness, chaos, and drama. The soul feels good about who it is and what it wants and needs to sustain itself, to grow and evolve. The ego never has enough; it can never leave well enough alone or see beyond the current circumstances. It is entitled, confused, and feels stuck. The ego tirelessly swims against the current, while the soul sits back and floats in the direction that life is moving in. You’re either being guided by your soul or driven by your ego. At any time, you have access to either of these realities.
~~Today is the day to break free from the prison of the person you know yourself to be and step into a self you have yet to know. Will it be comfortable? No, but do it anyway. Growth is usually uncomfortable. If you’re looking for comfort, you will more than likely feel tired and old earlier than you want, and the misery of your caged soul will always be looming nearby. So do it with joy, or at least with curiosity, because all living things must grow or they die—even you.
~~Such inner work can be painful, but it is vital and unavoidable. Emotional pain is important, just as physical pain is. If you had broken a leg and it wasn’t painful, how would you know it needed to be reset? Physical pain is a way the body says, “Look at this. Care for this. Tend to this.” And psychic pain is the same. Sometimes we need to say, “I need to tend to this pain. Why is it here? What is this situation trying to tell me? What part of myself do I need to address?”
~~If we see someone we want to emulate, it’s because we are seeing qualities that exist within us. If we are enthralled by someone else, it is because the aspect we love in that person exists inside us. There is no quality that we respond to in another that we lack. It might be hidden behind some bad behavior or an old, outdated shadow belief that says we are the exact opposite of what we are seeing in the other person. But I promise you that if you are attracted to a quality in someone else, no matter how great, it also exists inside you.
~~Revered philosopher and psychologist Ken Wilber makes a great distinction. He says if a person or thing in the environment informs us, if we receive what is happening as information or a point of interest, we probably aren’t projecting. If it affects us, if we’re pointing our finger in judgment, if we’re plugged in, chances are we are a victim of our own projections.
~~It’s not until our self-destructive behaviors are no longer a secret and we see through objective eyes the damage we’re doing to ourselves and those around us that we find the motivation to change.
~~If we don’t deal with these shadows, make no mistake—they will deal with us. They will show up in our relationships and separate us from those we love, keep us tied to a job or lifestyle that we outgrew years ago, or lead us to an addiction or habits that undermine our success and happiness.
~~I guess god created us… but we make ourselves. We are the architects and builders of our own destiny. Our lives contain no joy that was not born in our imagination, and crystallized into outward expression by the power of our own thoughts. Sorrow, sickness, and failure spring from fear and negative thinking, and are self-imposed-always.