It is so easy to confuse my core identity with my conditioning. Meaning, when I screw up and fail, I am not the mistake. I am the precious and fallible human being who made it, but my beingness is the awareness that witnesses the mistake, and forgives myself for being human.
Brene Brown, in her audio program, describes the difference between guilt and shame this way: Guilt says, “I made a mistake.” Shame says, “I am a mistake.” I have heard it said in the 12 step recovery rooms this way, “I make mistakes but I am not a mistake.”
When push comes to shove and I lose my composure and act in ways that are not in alignment with who I am as a spiritual being, I can recognize that I am simply acting in ways that I was conditioned to act.
I am not my conditioning – I am the infinite spiritual being that witnesses my conditioning – and then truly forgives all the mistakes, all while moving forward on the path of awakening.
Right now, my chest feels ragged and raw, splintered and open, and it is really hard for me to believe all these words I am speaking. I will keep speaking them anyway —->
I am not what happened to me as a child, I am not my mistakes and setbacks, I am not my pain or regrets, I am not the thoughts in my head that continue to punish me, I am not my possessions, not my name, not my body, not my mind – I am the infinite stillness, the joyous bliss, and the beingness beyond form that is witnessing, watching, and loving my human self in all his fragility and fallibility.
Photo Credit: Zygimantas Dukauskas via Unsplash