Friday, October 23, 2009

Loving the unlovable in me

A true knowledge of ourselves is knowledge of power. Mark Rutherford
Friday. One of those days to let out a big whoof, to decompress from a busy week and relax into the opportunity to reconnect with ... oops. I forgot. The weekend is busy too!

And that's the rub. I forgot to schedule time for me this weekend. Time to relax and let go. To drift back into contemplation.

The beauty of today is, it's not too late to change tomorrow! I know me. Taking time for myself is an essential ingredient in my self-care. I need to recharge my batteries by disconnecting from the external to nurture the internal flame of my passion to be authentically me.

I read a beautiful story yesterday about a man who met a guru and asked him the secret to enlightenment. Be who you truly are, the guru answered. How will I know who I truly am? asked the man. Take away all the parts of you you don't like and all the parts you do like and you will see yourself. For there is God.

We are darkness and light.

Guy Hendricks writes that when we notice something we want to change within ourselves, first love and accept it as it is.

What do you find least likable/lovable about yourself? Is it your temper? Body? Laziness?

Love is limitless. Love has no boundaries. Love can love the parts of you you don't love. Just ask it.

Start by loving yourself for not loving yourself all the time. Then let yourself fall in love, just a little bit, with the parts of yourself you don't love. Ooops. Not too much. (just kidding). go for it. Love yourself for all you're worth -- even the parts you deny have any value in your life.

Reality is, if they didn't have value, we wouldn't cling to them so hard.

Yesterday, I received an email from a client at the shelter where I work who takes a program I teach on managing life. "I'm writing a piece and was wondering if you would be willing to take a look at it."

I am always in awe of the human spirit opening up and sharing its brilliance.

J. wrote about what it means for him to be labelled, 'homeless'. How it feels. How it sits in his psyche. And at the end of his email he wrote, "I’ve become complacent by allowing myself the luxury of ignorance. I keep telling myself that as long as I don’t know how bad my situation really is then I still have some attachment to my former social status."

He's not alone.

Denial is an insidious force of darkness.

Denial keeps us stuck in disbelief. How could this be my life today? How can this be happening to me? I'm not really, lazy, stubborn, stupid....

In our unwillingness to look at the parts of ourselves we don't like, we disown part of our birthright to be authentically, completely, absolutely children of God. Divine beings of light and love.

Six years ago when I awoke from an abusive relationship that was killing me, I had to face a very hard, difficult and painful truth. I had done something I could never have imagined myself doing. I had deserted my children and caused them great pain. I didn't want to face that truth. (What kind of human being did that make me?) I didn't want to look at the pain and horror of my actions and the impact they had on my daughters.

I wanted to hold onto the belief he was the cause of all their pain. It wasn't my fault. I was abused.

Reality had a different agenda.

I wanted to heal. To heal, I had to be willing to love myself, exactly the way I was, in that moment of awakening. Bruised and battered. Shattered. Alone. Frightened. Abused. And a woman who deserted her daughters. And a woman who loved her daughters enough to acknowledge what she had done hurt them and herself.

In accepting my darkness and light, I embraced my pain, surrendered and fell in love with all of me.

Wanting to deny the darkness within is human. So is loving our darkside. When we love the darkness, we make room for greatness to rise in the light of awareness.

Love yourself for all you're worth.

It's your birthright.

Here's an exercise.

Pick one thing about yourself you think you're hiding from the outside world. It might be, shyness, it might be, I think I'm fat. Or, simply, I'm lazy.

Now, write it out in the middle of a piece of paper. With a red pen, draw a big heart around the unloved part of you.


Close your eyes. And say quietly to yourself, "I love my... shyness. body. laziness...


Again and again for one minute.

Open your eyes.

See. That wasn't so difficult.

Keep thinking about loving your unlovables. Wash them in a bath of warm soapy love. Hang them out to dry. Expose them to air and light.

You are a child of God. Lovable. Unique and very much needed and wanted on this planet exactly the way you are.

The question is: What are you denying? Are you willing to start loving the parts of yourself you've been denying?


Maureen said...

I'm coming to see darkness in a different way, for it has duality. There is darkness that hides, keeps secret, lets no light in; and there is the darkness that reveals presence, opens into the light of understanding, provides through ending a way into beginning again. I think of the darkness before Creation, the darkness that death brings until the grieving heart recovers a new way to hold the relationship, the darkness the blind have to see what those with sight miss.

Thank you, Louise, for the lovely comments about my poem. Your daughter's words were beautiful, too.

M.L. Gallagher said...

I love the idea of the duality of darkness, Maureen. Light also has a duality -- the light that illuminates the truth. The light that blinds us from the truth.

We are everything -- light and darkness, blind and seeing, feeling and unfeeling..

What wonderful ideas to ponder on for a rainy Saturday.

Thank you!



Anonymous said...

I posted this piece as 360boom feature article for Oct 25 it Duality of Light