When my eldest child was 5 years old, she turned to me one day and said, “Mommy, when someone is being mean to you, they are only showing you how you feel about yourself, and the only way to heal this is with inner peace.” I was shocked and awed that my little one had told me something so profound! Yes she was right, I knew in my heart that this was true, I had already been working towards this, or so I thought, but it’s only really now since beginning this blog that I have realized what she meant, and I am finding this inner peace is so difficult. I am keenly aware that everything that I see or that happens to me is a reflection of my inner state of being, but what had eluded me and I had run from without being aware of it was inner peace. Inner peace is simply making peace with yourself. Thanks to this 40 day intensive program, I have realized that the focus of my quest had been more concerned with fixing who I am, rather than making peace with who I am.
As I have been sitting with acceptance since day 20, it has brought me to places which I had kept well hidden. My spiritual journey has brought me to the most beautiful places of acceptance and love for others, but it is only now that I am giving myself the same respect; to love and accept myself. So when it hit me yesterday, the gravity of how I had treated myself so cruelly, I was devastated.
I looked at myself from afar as if I were observing another person, and I saw this human being who is kind and loving and talented and wonderful, and I saw myself shoot her down and try to kill her over and over and over again. And for what? I realized it was like a mercy killing. The beliefs I had grown up with and accepted to be true told me that I was not good enough, and in an attempt to save myself I shot myself down before I could really get hurt, hence I never let myself shine.
But why do we do this? Why did I do this to myself? Because of a misconception of the truth. We (society) have taken the view that there is something wrong with us and we need to fix it. We speak about saints and angels and monks and Jesus and other holy men and we think of them as pure, and this is where the confusion comes in. We believe that purity comes from, for example, abstaining from alcohol, sex, wealth, anger and so on… but our purity is everything. Love is pure and love is EVERYTHING. It is our misconception that we need to be saintly or angelic to be loved that drives us to attack ourselves for our faults, when really everything about us is pure. There is no distinction between ‘love’ and ‘not love’.
This revelation has not only been eye-opening but also life-changing. Seeing the truth is everything, once you see it you cannot go back. I woke this morning with the sense that deep change is occurring. For the first time I am not afraid of this change. Yes, I had tried many times to ‘kill’ myself but life gave me another chance. It was proof that love is greater than any violence. The fact that I am still here and still going forward is proof that love has always been here, and so has forgiveness. Even though I had shot myself down so many times, I feel as though I must have forgiven myself, or else I wouldn’t still be here. And in this very moment I realize that it is not about forgiving myself, but rather that I must accept with gratitude and humility the forgiveness that has been given to me time and time again.
I can now without fear, continue my journey without knowing where it will lead me. I recognize that love, which is leading me, has always been there so I will trust that I am safe, because I realize I always have been safe.