On a daily basis, I pause, put my hand on my chest and whisper,
“I will not make war against my own heart.”
For those of you who know me personally, you know that I have many opportunities to practice…
I make many mistakes during the day.
I have one of those personalities where I speak first and think later.
I am more of a “feeler” than a “thinker”
This is GREAT when it come to my art and creativity…
NOT so GREAT when it comes to day to day life.
Each time I say something that is misunderstood, I want to jump on myself.
Each time I have to stop and ask myself this question…
Do I judge myself
Do I let it go?
This is literally an act of courage for me.
It completely goes against ingrained habits I have had for years of beating myself up.
Learning to pause and ask that question
each and every time
I catch myself in the JUDGEMENT MODE
And I am able to STOP and be GENTLE with myself…
It’s an opening,
an embracing of all of life;
an embracing of all of me.
It is unconditional love.
It’s not easy.
The human mind loves to judge.
To should all over us.
I absolutely love to reach for perfection.
And that includes self perfection.
I have convinced myself for years that this is a worthy cause,
because it’s trying to find ground,
a place where I feel like I am enough.
Our culture teaches that perfection is the key to inner peace.
If only we’re spiritual enough, thin enough, wealthy enough, pretty enough, successful enough… then, then we’ll arrive.
It is false hope.
As poet Danna Faulds says, “Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain.”
So for years I chased this illusive dream we call PERFECTION…
But was a complete failure when it came to achieving it.
This left me depressed and angry.
I remember the day when I came across a quote that changed my attitude the instant I read it.
I will share it with you now:
Can you see why it had an instant impact on my attitude?
To stop the war, I had to be willing to let go.
I had to adopt an attitude that allowed me to practice unconditional love – loving myself “AS IS”.
It became a declaration of who I really was –
I was enough.
Here is another of my favorite quotes.
Think about it:
It’s not unconditional love if it’s conditional.
For the last eight years, this has been my path: loving myself unconditionally.
It’s what I most want for you;
for every person alive today.
For years, I hated, blamed, and shamed those tender parts of me that didn’t fit my definition of perfect:
This put me on a permanent diet where my yo yoing weight was destroying my health.
I was frequently irritable.
I had money troubles.
I was full of self-doubt, judgment, and jealousy.
It wasn’t until I read that quote by Michael Law that I was able to see the truth
That it was FEAR..
PERFECTION that was controlling my decisions.
It was the way I kept myself separate from others.
I had developed a very effective form of self-protection, and it was destroying my life.
I now live with a new and improved form of self-protection…
This new form of protection is something wiser and it whispers, “Enough.”
It is this voice that calls me home:
It gives me permission to
Love my tender humanity.
To Love my imperfections.
To relish in my sensitive soul.
It has given me the courage to say:
“No more will I hate you.”
“No more will I blame you.”
“Beloved, I will care for you.
I will hold you kindly.”
With this perspective,
I hold loosely onto that list of “faults.”
To forget them would be utter foolishness.
For then they would grow out of control and once again take control of my life.
So I choose instead to care for them with wisdom and compassion.
Instead of hating myself because of them, I now see them as stepping stones that need to be crossed.
I still stumble sometimes and get my feet wet…
But I no longer hate myself for that mistep..I just put on dry socks and continue on my way…
I have learned how to detach a bit –
I’m not the sum of my challenges;
nor my mistakes.
Why should I feel ashamed for being human;
for needing love and forgiveness like everyone else?
I breathe and let go.
I exhale and feel space.
I come home.
The heart is big enough.