I heard these words from a client who had been struggling for weeks to find peace in her estranged relationship with her daughter. Because she ‘new better’ she kept telling herself that her feelings were wrong and to shape up and get over it.
“I can’t believe I took my daughter’s comments personally and am angry again. When will I ever get this stuff?”
“Well, ” I replied, “What if you just accept that part of you that still takes things personally? What if you extended compassion to the hurt feelings and stopped making them wrong?”
She sat there stunned. “You mean, I can just accept rather than ‘fix’ them? It’s OK that I don’t do this spiritual stuff perfectly?”
At this point I had to laugh…”Well, you know, God would be out of a job if we all did this perfectly. And anyway – when we forget, when our feelings get hurt and we react it’s another opportunity to love ourself and extend compassion. That’s how we learn compassion, by being compassionate with ourself. ”
The One-Two Dance of Compassion
Self-acceptance, opposite of self-condemnation, is the first step that invites an inner voice of compassion to replace negativity. Acceptance is not an agreement with an unwanted feeling, or a decision to act on it. Nor does it assign personal meaning to feelings by declaring, You're an abomination for being mad/hurt/resentful. Acceptance simply acknowledges the feelings presence – without judgment. Like a bird in a tree, it just is - a truth the heart can warm up to.
Step two in increasing compassion and loving-kindness is choosing self-forgiveness. Opening the heart, accepting my feelings and forgiving the judgments replaces the hurt I carry inside with loving pardon. The release of self-imposed judgments becomes a deeply loving act. Vibrant connectedness to a place of inner strength quickly replaces long-held separation and fear.
Practicing step one and step two set my client on the road to peace and happiness. “I am loving me…right where I am. ” She went on to say, “And I have learned to ask myself, Do I choose the law of self-retribution and face my self-righteous sentencing, or do I choose the grace of acceptance, forgiveness and compassion?”
The alchemical process of applying the elixir of loving to hurt, and compassion to blame and shame transmutes the baseness of our human nature into gold - purity, strength and courage. We become a loving being. Past, present and future are then sanctified and in our heart, we experience a renewed, fresh enthusiasm for life.
How do you begin?
Take in a nice deep breath…let it go… and say to yourself
I accept this feeling of…
I accept that my life is…
I accept that my boss/husband/wife/son/daughter is…
I accept that I don’t have all the answers
I accept this doesn’t make sense.
Keep going. Pretty soon the mind will stop chattering and the wisdom of the heart will begin to awaken.
By Rebecca Skeele, author of You Can Make It Heaven: How to Enrich Your Life with Abundance and Loving
Her coaching and counseling business, Make It Heaven, LLC offers life changing courses and workshops inspiring people to become masterful at cocreating their personal heaven on earth. An ordained minister, Rebecca is an international workshop leader and speaker. Her new course, Becoming a Spiritual Scientist: A Course for Cocreators gives practical tools to move beyond story-based reality and begin living intentionally with divinity. http://www.spiritual-scientist.com
Please visit http://www.makeitheaven.com for more information.