I grew up, like the majority of humans today, with the subtle belief that there was something missing with who I was, with my life, my choices. No one told me that directly, but it was something I somehow inferred on a subconscious level. I think everyone around me felt the same way! It is in the very air that we breathe in our society…we are taught that we are “sinful” – it is a deep cultural identity. As an adult, the majority of my moments were LACKING in some way and I learned to strive into the next moment and the next on a frantic search to find these missing parts of me. My internal dialogue was incessantly and habitually pointing out all the ways I wasn’t enough, or how the moment wasn’t enough even how people around me weren’t enough, life wasn’t enough. I learned through my conditioning that I was SEPARATE from my own true wisdom, power, beauty, abundance, flow, ease, bliss, joy and LOVE. Separate from my voice, separate FROM MYSELF. I learned to defer to others, to make other people more powerful, more important than me. I learned to distrust or second guess myself and my decisions. I believed I had to be rescued, I believed that the hard times, even the hard emotions were more than I could navigate through and certainly implied that I wasn’t measuring up. I looked at the world that I aspired to and felt shitty. All of the time. I put on masks to hide my flawed nature. The party girl, the happy smiling me, the superior spiritual seeker, the optimist, the perpetual positive one. All of which served as a prison to keep me separate from FEELING, and thus transforming, the sorrow of not being good enough of being wrong or bad, of not being supported by life itself. I was held in this continuous tension of BLAH from morning to night.
The shame of being me engulfed me, took my breath away. I would have bursts of creative flow and expression, my True Self’s attempt to thrive in this world, but would quickly get to a point of fear and pull back. Working with my teacher Ingerid, I saw how I had been living HELD BACK, afraid that who I really was, what I really had to say, what I really wanted moment to moment would bring me back to shame and rejection and I wasn’t willing to risk the feeling of not being loved and supported. As I learned to allow that shame to be felt, to be a part of my days, my moments, it took refuge in my heart and shame became my guide. It told me moment to moment what I believed to be wrong with me, what I believed was missing from the moment, something I didn’t have that made me a failure, less than others. Shame began to shine the light on all the ways I had been abandoning my Sacred Self. As I allowed shame to be held time and time again, I began to see my inherent value, my worth that was not tied to anything physical in this manifested world, but rather the perfection that I was. Just being alive made me a part of LIFE ITSELF, worthy of being! Being life itself aligned me with beauty itself, peace itself, wisdom itself, clarity itself, abundance itself, LOVE itself.
With each breath I began to feel the safety of being ME fill my lungs like never before. I realized that I had walked around in my world since I could remember NEVER feeling safe. Never feeling like I was supported by life, by myself. That is the trauma that we all experience, because we must! Our lives take us deep into who we are NOT in order for us to experience, grasp, breathe in who we ARE on a much deeper level.
I have begun to use my life, each moment, each person, each experience, each situation as a kind of practice in the REMEMBERING of who I am. When something triggers a feeling of shame, of lack, of wrongness in myself, I get curious! I allow it. I allow that feeling, I embrace it like a child in need of comfort, compassion, love. If I feel rejected, hated, misunderstood, bad I allow that pain to be held. It moves through me and love begins to surface. I know that I AM LOVE and that everyone else is that too! I feel love and compassion for the world. When irritation, worry, striving comes up, I breath in these feelings of “something being wrong with this moment, with life, with me”. Soon the Truth that I AM LIFE ITSELF and that all is well all the time comes to stay. When I feel scared about making ends meet, I say hello to those feelings of LACK, I don’t push them away because they are scary, I make space for this fear. And I breathe it in and being to align with the Truth of who I AM ~ I AM ABUNDANCE, I AM SAFE, I AM SUPPORTED. Each feeling that something is missing is, in itself, a gift to see the illusion in the moment and to remember the Truth of who I really am. This Truth isn’t an intellectualization, it isn’t information from the mind, it is underneath or beyond or before mind…it is a fundamental, organic knowing of who I AM beyond this physical existence and the conditioned identity of who I thought I was.
I cannot tell you the joy of realizing I am NOT who I have always thought I was. Feeling and embracing with LOVE all of these fragmented parts of myself is the lost art of of bringing myself HOME to ME! All of the ways that I believed life was against me created an intense level of discomfort, misery, stress, suffering and disconnection in myself, my mind and in my day to day life and in my relationships. But this sacred act of radically loving ALL of me transcends the suffering and puts me into direct contact with Life, with the moment, with the Oneness of all that is.
“Immediately behind our human experience of internal separation and suffering, there is a vast and open space of understanding, connection and compassion, where we become fully alive and at peace with existence and with ourselves.” -Pedro Cortina
The shame of being me and all it’s corresponding emotions – fear, anger and sorrow have new meaning in my life. They are my companions, my allies, my guides. They show me where I am abandoning myself moment to moment. They show me the fragmented parts of myself that are asking to come home, to be held, to be loved, accepted. Everything is held in the LOVE that I AM. It is now about growing up and OWNING on a deep level who I really am, who I have always been and the real purpose of suffering and separation. What a JOY coming HOME to Me is.
To contemplate ~ From what I have begun to see we ALL live in separation because we live in a world based on conditional acceptance and love. Very few of us were UNCONDITIONALLY accepted and loved by our families and society. As children, the adults in our lives did not accept and love themselves fully and taught us the same habit, there was nothing more they could have done! But what if it was all ok, sacred, vital even? What if our courage in embracing the pain of our past is truly meant to liberate our very soul? What if you allowed your rage, your sorrow, your fear to be with you if only for a few seconds at a time today, really invited that pain in (it cannot hurt you and it YEARNS to be held). Can you sense the peace underneath? The love even? Would love to hear your comments!