My first thought: Wow, that’s a good one…
This friend of mine has a real knack for asking these kinds of BIG, earth shaking questions. It made me stop and think: Am I even qualified to answer that? Have I overcome these issues in my own life?
So rather than give a shallow answer, I took it into prayer. I spent many days contemplating this question, observing what feelings came up within me. I listened closely for the guidance of Spirit – from books that I read, songs that I heard, conversations with friends. Now I believe the time has come to address this issue. Now I believe I am ready.
As I asked myself whether or not I had overcome these issues, it became immediately clear: No, I have not. Feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, loneliness, and fear began to surface as soon as I approached the subject!
As I asked myself what was the best way to overcome these feelings, there was no clear or immediate answer. In fact, in attempting to answer this innocent question I seemed to have opened an emotional Pandora’s box! Every attempt to rid myself of these thoughts and feelings only brought them more and more to the surface of my awareness. Although intellectually I know the truth of my own divinity, my own worth, it does not stop me from having doubts and fears – it does not change the reality of my experience.
That’s when it hit me: reality does not need to changed or fixed. It is not my feelings or my experience that needs to be changed, but my expectations. If Man is created in the image and likeness of God – divine, whole, and perfect – then I believe that holds true for every part of me, every level of my being, and the full spectrum of my feelings and emotions.
So the answer came to me in the form of self acceptance.
As soon as I opened my heart to embrace these feelings, I felt whole once more. When we accept ourselves just the way we are, then we are no longer divided, no longer resisting our own inner nature. No matter how ugly or painful our inner experience can sometimes be, all the fears, the wounds, the secret doubts and judgments are a part of being fully human.
Why do we expect ourselves to go through life without any fear or insecurity? Why should we resist any part of ourselves, or our feelings? It is this resistance itself that causes us to suffer most of all. We fear rejection because we reject ourselves! We feel unwanted, and unlovable, because we do not love ourselves. And perhaps we are judged and rejected by others to the extent that we treat ourselves in this fashion (for if we are all One, who else is there to judge or reject us?).
You cannot love without being open, without being vulnerable. It is being open and vulnerable stirs up these kinds of doubts and fears. And often our first reaction to these feelings is of course to withdraw, to close up! This can lead to a vicious circle that prevents any deep relationship with others. This is the kind of paradox that seems to be woven right into the very fabric of individual, ego consciousness.
It is when we surrender to the process that miracles happen. When we stop trying to protect ourselves, when we stop trying to fix and control everything, then our divine nature is allowed to flow freely and spontaneously. If we let ourselves be, and let ourselves feel, then we learn from all of our experiences, even the painful ones. We go through our negative feelings, and we grow, we blossom, opening up to others and to the world.
Fear, rejection, pain, self-doubt – these are a natural part of the process of human relationships. Trust your inner wisdom, embrace your darkest feelings, and let fear run it’s course. It is Spirit expressing! It is all part of the flow of nature, the flow of Tao.
As divine human beings we are expansive – we have room within our consciousness for all emotions and experiences. We have within us love and hate, joy and pain, freedom and fear and everything in between. As we embrace and allow our feelings, we are allowing our wholeness and our divinity. So accept yourself, and be accepted! Be yourself, and be amazed!
Thanks for reading. Peace and love,