Even those who tell me "I like who I am!" usually at some point come to a realization of self-loathing or shame somewhere in their being. Sometimes, the shame isn't even logical. For instance, I remember blaming myself for my car getting broken into and the stereo being stolen. I had paid the extra money for a stereo that a had a removable faceplate as a theft deterrent, but I hadn't bothered to remove it. It's not rational to blame the victim of a crime, but I still felt some shame about what had happened. Shame or self-blame is a common reaction when things go awry. It'd be fine if we stopped at the analysis of "what could I have done differently?," but it rarely does and often leads to feeling flawed, damaged and "less than." Aside from those who have done an extraordinary amount of work on themselves, we are all carrying shame from our childhoods. Shame can feel like it just lives in our bones, it's that basic and core. It holds all the feelings and thoughts that we hide even from ourselves. The stuff we hide from others is just the stuff we know about!
This is why, if we want to grow and evolve, we can't avoid taking quiet time for ourselves, if only to experience what our relationship with ourselves is actually like. In fact, probably everything we do is spurred by a longing to be at peace and really enjoy our time here on this planet, but we are seldom encouraged to start from the inside. It's about building a relationship with our selves that we want. So, the next time you think of it, put away your phone and all other distractions, and slow down. Breathe. And be with yourself as if you were your very best friend. A best friend loves and respects you no matter what, no fixing, no judging, no minimizing. A best friend really knows how to just SIT with you: Grumpy? Fine, I can totally relate! Sad? Your tears are welcome. Scared? I understand, I'll be your cheerleader or whatever you need. It's all ok, I'm not going anywhere, I'll always be your friend, I could never stop liking you for you. Many people think meditation or mindfulness is about stopping thinking or attaining a particular mood, attitude, or feeling. It's not. It's really about being there in a respectful, holding way for whatever is going on with you. Yeah, there's a you that can be there for you. Weird, right? Maybe that's a subject for a future blog.
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Here’s the deal. The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is.