Loving Yourself into Wholeness
I did not lose myself all at once. I rubbed out my face over the years washing away my pain, the same way carvings on stone are worn down by water.- Amy Tan
Life batters us whether we are rich or poor, public or private. The wound we suffer may be an open cut or a slow, silent hemorrhage of the soul. On the outside we may look as if we've got our act together, but each of us encounters those dark stormy days when we feel very small, very fragile, and very frightened, as if we might shatter into a thousand pieces and break into heartrending sobs at something as simple as "How are you?"
When this happens we have to be kind to ourselves, not beat ourselves up. Leave that to the rest of the world. Our feelings are valid, our fears very real, even though they are probably not based on reality. Always remember that the best description of fear is "false evidence appearing real."
When these occasions occur in your life, recall that your first duty is to love yourself into Wholeness. How to do this? By pampering yourself with simple pleasures and small indulgences. By treating yourself like the baby you are right now. Could you bring home something wonderful for dinner tonight from a Chinese or Indian carryout? Could you treat yourself to some of the potted daffodils or tulips that are appearing in the shops about now? Could you take the afternoon off and sneak into a matinee? If not, how about bringing home two or three classics from the video store and enjoying a movie marathon with a big bowl of popcorn? Why not delight in an ice-cream cone for lunch, taking it to a park to bask in the sunshine and hear the birds singing. What about saying "no" to the next request for you to do something?
Yes, you can. You don't have to do everything and be everything for everyone else all the time. If you think you can't possibly do one more thing without screaming or crying, you're probably right. Start by saying, "No, I'm sorry, I've got a prior commitment."
For, of course, you do. Today you need to be there for yourself. Remember, we did not lose ourselves all at once. But we recover our authentic selves one kind gesture at a time.
-Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance - A Daybook of Comfort and Joy © 1995
I came across an interesting quote recently, from one of the "Authorities" of the Mormon Church:Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don't drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time journey...delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas, and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.- Gordon B. Hinckley
While the Mormon Church and I have our disagreements on certain points, we can just as certainly agree on that. Sometimes we get tired of having all the old cliché's repeated to us: "You can't always get what you want." "Nobody said it was going to be easy." All that tired old stuff. We learn by trial and error, what works and what don't, plain and simple. If only we were issued a real-life guidebook. Some people say that the Bible is just that, or that an Eternal Friend walks beside us, or that "God is everywhere" and therefore we have nothing to fear.
Believing what you will, there are still situations in our lives that we must face and overcome in order to prove, if only to ourselves, that we have what it takes. This is a test, just like growing up was when we were younger - if we get through it, we are privileged to "become" adults. We don't want to make the mistake of believing that when we are "grown ups" we are done growing up. We can't stop caring whether we pass the test or not. We shouldn't stop striving to succeed at life and be content to just get by, and do so for all the wrong reasons. "Press onward, up the slopes of the Mountain of Truth, lest Death overtake you and smite you before you reach its summit."
Once we start to appreciate the "ride" itself, the challenge of where that "ride" takes us becomes a lot more interesting. Knowing who we really are, what we really like and don't like, what we believe and what and who we love - knowing our authentic self - helps us to steer a course through life with confidence, almost enjoying the bumps! Be who you really are, love yourself into wholeness, and be grateful for the ride.One more quote:
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?- Buddha
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