Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Unmasked Leadership

"Our media are saturated with images of individuals wearing the mask of 'all togetherness'. I rub shoulders daily with people quick to reassure me of the unreality 'I'm fine, thanks'. I find myself trapped in a superficial community, stuffed in my self-imposed cocoon of fear and shame, afraid to admit my brokenness and weakness. I can't face the possibility of rejection and loss, not making the cut, not fitting in. To break out of this prison, we are invited into the honesty of becoming vulnerable. Vulnerability dismantles our obsession with getting it right.

As I take off the mask of 'all togetherness', I discover a vast world of freedom. In my vulnerability, I become accessible to fellow companions on the journey. My vulnerability invites others in, offers understanding and empathy, but also can be a cry for help. Even though vulnerability's path is often painful, its reward of deepening intimacy is welcome. Being vulnerable opens my heart to a larger worldview. I become free to explore beyond the exhausting self-focus of supporting my false image of 'OKness'. I find myself challenged to deeper transparency as I sing along with Leonard Cohen 'Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in'."

- Steve Imbach (A Spiritual Director with Soul Stream in the Vancouver Area)