I believe it is the highest act of courage for humans to be gentle with themselves. Often times, it is so easy to be gentle and kind with others when they are going through hard times, and quite hard to be gentle and kind with ourselves when we are walking through those very same difficulties.
But to turn inward and say things like, “it’s okay, i love you, everything is going to be okay, you are okay, you are lovable, you are good, you do good things, all is well now, and all will be well tomorrow,” takes a tremendous act of will and strength, especially when we make mistakes.
At least I know that is true for me. I am hardest on myself.
So this is a practice.
To me, a practice means I simply keep trying. I keep failing, and I keep trying.
“The only difference between the saint and the sinner, is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” Oscar Wilde
The point of my work is in the willingness.
The willingness to turn toward the annihilation of the ego in the fire of divine love. Not in a violent way where someone takes the ego and forcibly tosses it into the burning furnace – but in the gentle way where love takes the ego by the hand and loves the ego so unconditionally – so sweetly – so gently – that the ego forgets himself and melts in ecstasy.
But for most egos, mine especially, there is going to be some fight involved. Get that love stuff away from me, I need to continue to thrive on the energies of shame and self-hatred. If you start loving me, then I will lose my specialness, my need to stay alone and isolated from love. What will become of me if I allow myself to be truly loved? That thought is scarier than my lonely prison walls.
This fight has been going on in my heart and head lately.
Love just smiles and keeps on loving the self, the ego, the mistakes, the drama, the grief, the regrets, the pain — and keeps on… just like the gentle meandering stream, in her patience, will wear down even the mightiest of mountains.
Photo credit – John Salvino via Unsplash