Monday, May 01, 2006

Radical Self-Acceptance

I've been doing a lot of healing over the last eight or nine months, working through old beliefs and messages that shape my thinking and my experience in the world. I feel that's part of God's work, helping us dissolve whatever holds us back from radiating more and more light. And I've come to believe that none of the blocks are really outside me--any obstacles I experience have to do with something in my thought system that is ready to be recognized and brought to truth.

Because I'm aware that I've been changing and getting clearer, I was surprised to find that I spent this weekend chained in the basement of "not good enough." I am behind on several writing projects (I'm writing two books at once for Microsoft right now and the deadlines overlap); I am not working as fast or as intensely as I usually do; I am not driving myself with the same unbending discipline that used to keep me up working until 2 or 3am. In other words, the thought, "What's wrong with me?!" was rattling around in my head almost all weekend. And like anything else in life, when you ask the question, you get the answer. So I was receiving a steady stream of negative thoughts that told me exactly what was wrong with me--and none of it was kind, compassionate, or understanding.

I realized finally late last night, after suffering and beating myself up all weekend (while I tried to work--which was double agony), that this situation of being behind on my deadlines was kicking up all the places where I wasn't yet able to be loving with myself. Does my good care of myself depend on me getting my chapter done on the exact day I promised? Does meeting a deadline make me a good person? Of course not. I know all these things--and I thought I'd worked through them. But here again I found myself living out old beliefs--unconsciously hurting myself and pushing myself and chastizing myself, trying to drive myself into that place where I would feel I was "good enough."

What a blessing to witness this attitude in myself! It is old thinking; untrue beliefs; attitudes that don't fit me anymore. I already know that, but like the smell of last night's dinner still lingering in the kitchen, the effects of that thinking still echo around inside me sometimes (usually when I'm under pressure). Recognizing the echos, I can throw open the windows and let the old beliefs out. They don't live here anymore. They aren't part of my new life of radical self-acceptance. The God I know and follow is about mercy, compassion, true love, and forgiveness--not control, judgment, criticism, and continually raising the bar so I have to jump ever higher in hopes of somehow earning that ellusive "unconditional love."

So I'm starting the week released from the prison of self-judgment. That's worth at least one Hallelujah, don't you think?

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