The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”
Richard P. Feynman
The need for self-love as the precondition to giving love is a key to many spiritual teachings. At the heart of much self-destructive behavior, and the addiction problems we see in the world today are the rejection and contempt of self.
You cannot love and accept yourself without unconditionally accepting the shadows within. You have to learn to accept that you are an incomplete human being.
The hypocrisy that often underlies institutionalized religion stems from the notion that those who don’t believe and behave the same way that we do are in some way inferior and lesser human beings. When you are in denial of your own inadequacies and weaknesses you will see them more pronounced in others.
The beginning of forgiveness
The beginning of forgiveness begins with the forgiving of self. The seeds of inadequacy and lack of self-esteem are planted early in life by social norms or misguided parental pressure.
Failure and missteps are part of the human condition. As the sages and Mystics teach us: They are the stepping stones to self-awareness and self-love. By learning to forgive yourself you can accept and learn to forgive others.
The scriptures teach us that “If you forgive others their sins, they are indeed forgiven. If you withhold forgiveness from one another, they are held bound.” (John 20:23).
The more addicted we become to a preferred self-image the more judgemental we become. But it is precisely the relationship difficulties, conflict situations, failures, and disappointments of life that mirror the shadow aspects within. These are the aspects in need of acceptance or transformation that help elevate you to a higher vibrational energy, your inner power, and strength.
Surrendering to life
Surrendering to life is complete surrender to that which is greater than any image of self and the essence of what is the vulnerability of body, mind, and soul. It is what Paula D’Arcy describes as “God comes to us disguised as our life.”
As the spiritual teacher, priest, and author Richard Rohr explains: “Surrender is not giving up, as we tend to think, nearly as much as it is a giving to the moment, the event, the person, and the situation.”
Life happens. You cannot change what has happened in the past. Taking a different perspective can transmute feelings of pain and guilt. A personal mantra of forgiveness could be:
“I release at this moment the attachment to the pain and the melancholy sadness to that which was and is no more. I love and accept myself the way I am. I love and accept my true soul nature. I am in loving care and kindness to myself and others.“
Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker
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