Really beautiful things happen when you start showing yourself some love. I know all of us hippy-dippy, spirituality-seeking, peace-promulgating, love-spreading, yoga-bending weirdos are all about this idea and we just don’t. know. how. to. stop. talking about it. I feel ya – it’s probably annoying to be told day in and day out to love yourself (especially when you think or feel or know that you already do). It starts with the notion of, “Of course I love myself. I’m pretty damn awesome!” which usually leads to, “Do I really love myself?” and then you get lost in a myriad of questions that need answers only you have, but don’t know where to find. It’s a maze, a trap, a Schrodinger’s cat type question. Can you both love and not love yourself?
Until you ask yourself the big questions of IF you love yourself and WHY, you’ll probably be a little bit of both – or, more accurately, you may never know the truth of the matter if you’re unwilling to delve into the complexity of who you are and why you are.
Isn’t psychology fun?
Spiritualists identify this as part of a spiritual awakening, but the kicker is that it was also recognized by Jung as a psychological process (hello Shadow..). I’ve been going through my own awakening or reconciliation for about four or five years now and it’s really started to ramp up in the past year or so (I talked about some of it here). Today was another break through, albeit probably tiny – but a breakthrough nonetheless. I started to realize all the ways I haven’t forgiven others, but have expected forgiveness for some of the more mindless ways I’ve behaved. I’ve expected clemency for my misgivings during my own growth, but I had not been generous enough to pay that forward. I also realized that by acknowledging and feeling guilt for my mistakes, I hadn’t quite forgiven myself for being an imperfect human being.
The only thing I can do to right my wrongs and move forward in, what I hope, will be a more whole, loving state of being is to begin to forgive myself and others. For me, this includes extending generosity and kindness to anyone who I feel may have slighted me in some way. The generosity entails an acknowledgement that people generally tend to have the best intentions, with somewhat limited tools to accomplish the job. In other words, (Brene Brown’s words) people are doing the best they can with what they have. In forgiving others for their mistakes, I can then forgive myself for being a sometimes over-bearing, heavy-handed, harshly judging, control freak. I may always be those things – but I know my intentions are always for the greater good. If I extend this idea to myself, I should then extend this idea to others. I do not have to agree with them, or permit them access to my inner world, but I can forgive them and be kind.
Holding on to what I feel to be trespasses is the same as staying in the box until the hydrocyanic acid atom begins to decay – it ensures a swift death for my soul. By forgiving – really, truly, honestly, whole-heartedly forgiving- I am breaking out of Schrodinger’s little steel box before the vial can be broken. Because I want to live.