As I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts this morning (The Positive Head Podcast by Brandon Beachum), I heard a passage from the book Oneness, channeled by Rasha. It was about self-love and how we must love ourselves, not despite our mistakes, but because of them. For it was our moments, the ones that we’re not so proud of, that helped us to transform and become better versions of ourselves. Without these so-called blunders, and without our ability to see and grow from them, we would not be where we are today.
Any piece of healing work out there – be it in the form of a self-help book or art – came about because the author was willing to see something “negative” about himself or his experience, decided to get up close and personal with it to heal it, and in the process, gained valuable insight on how to help others with it.
The passage from Oneness stuck with me because I was feeling a great deal of shame as I had been attempting to write another chapter in my book last night, and I am at a part of my story that requires me to be very vulnerable. I look back at old journal entries and conversations to remember things accurately, and it is challenging to go back and see the naïve person I was, how immaturely I handled certain things. I presumed so much that wasn’t true, or wasn’t being confirmed as true. It is easy to look at these instances from the past and fall into the trap of self-loathing, to spiral into a mood so glum that I cannot write. Instead of writing, I settle in front of the TV to re-watch episodes of The Crown, wallowing in my misery and embarrassment. But even the process of wallowing, of allowing myself to feel those things, is a part of writing the book – for I must sit with them long enough to be able to write about them. What I resist persists, and these feelings are demanding to be felt fully before I write about them.
The very character traits I have tried so long to escape, hide, and deny are parts of my mission as a human, but I cannot be of any help until I can accept these parts of myself and even love them. It is through pure, unadulterated soul love that we see clearly and gain the perspective needed to heal another.
If we come to others from a place other than soul love in our service, it will be impossible to help them in any lasting manner.
It has been difficult for me to put my ego aside and allow this project the time it needs to be written from that place of love. I see poetry books by emerging authors on the shelves at Barnes & Noble and feel the need to “keep up.” I want to push myself to write, to go on, even when I can barely see my computer screen from the tears that blur my vision. I hear of people being alive one day and dead the next, and I wonder if they had been in the middle of unfinished books, songs, poems, or paintings. One of my worst fears is dying before my book is completed. But I can only see my own process unfold, painstakingly, day by day. I can only succumb to my desire to do nothing some days when the pain in my heart is still too heavy. Even when the writing process is not joyful, it can be rewarding to gather the revelations like the one that came this morning.
I can enjoy thinking of how this may help someone like me some day, but I must go about it with integrity and self-forgiveness.
Even if this book never reaches another set of eyes, I know I am on the right track. I am learning to love myself, warts and all.
I will leave you with a story I read in The Sacred Rebels Oracle guidebook by Alana Fairchild:
The great French Impressionist painter, Monet, sat in his garden on a warm afternoon. He was napping lightly on his garden bench, with the sunlight dappling gently through the straw hat resting over his face. It was soft and warm on his closed eyelids. He sighed contentedly.
A nosy neighbor poked his head over the fence, keen to know what the brilliant artist was up to now. “Sir, you are resting!” the curious neighbor called out.
“No,” responded Monet, wriggling to get even more comfortable on his reclining garden chair. “I am working.”
Monet returned to his garden the next day. Consumed by the urge to translate his feelings onto the canvas, he painted with great energy and focus. He was inspired and the paint flowed. Again the nosy neighbor poked his head over the fence. He called out, “Sir, you are working!”
“No,” said the artist, barely pausing with his brush, “I am resting.”