Honor your inmost longing for you are that. There is nothing outside of yourself that will ever satisfy you more. Despite their good intentions, another’s idea about what you are and what you need will always miss the mark, because they do not know who you are nor what lies within your heart.
In Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, “The Ugly Duckling,” a cygnet hatched by a mother duck is treated badly because he doesn’t look the way a duckling should. No one recognizes that he is not a duck at all and everyone has a different idea about what he needs, none of which are right for him. Even he doesn’t know himself, because he has always seen himself through the cruel eyes of others.
It isn’t until he encounters a bevy of swans that he gets the first glimmer of truth about himself, but they fly away before he can learn more and he spends a long winter alone. When the swans return in the spring, he is drawn to them but fears rejection. His experiences with the cruel and insensitive have damaged him, but he manages to overcome his fear of rejection and approaches the group. For the first time in his young life, he is unconditionally accepted by others. Still, it isn’t until he sees his own reflection that he begins to understand the truth of who he really is…a beautiful swan. You can read the story here: http://hca.gilead.org.il/ugly_duc.html
Hamsa is a Sanskrit word that means swan, but it has another meaning, “I am that.”
It also happens to be my favorite meditation mantra, breathing in the sound “Hummmm” and exhaling “Saha.” Inhale “I am” and exhale “that.” This is a reminder that there is no “that” outside of oneself. Subject and object are illusions, because the world is not dualistic. You are not separate from God or All That Is. Hamsa is a fundamental recognition of oneness with All That Is. You have both the means and the end within you to be your inmost longing…to be the swan that you are.