Seeing Ourselves as we Truly Are

To love…is to love all of ourselves, even the parts that we’ve been repeatedly told are bad, ugly, weak or unlovable. Because what we’ve been told, what we tell ourselves, is not the truth. We are capable of loving ourselves in our entirety; exactly as we were, exactly as we are, exactly as we’ve always been. And each of us has this power within us.

It is the power that was the very spark of Life which urged our first cell to divide and grow, and then to divide again, and to keep growing. It still exists within each of us, and it still urges each of us to grow. We could call it ‘The Gift if Grace’, which we did nothing to earn, because we weren’t required to earn it. It was part of our birthright. The gift of human dignity, which only we have the power to deny ourselves.

Our inherent dignity and value cannot be taken away from us…ever. But our trust and belief in the truth of it can be clouded and obscured by our own self-criticism and by the criticism of others. And the more we deny this truth and obscure this belief, the more we experience and project our self-criticism, and our denial of the presence of love, onto others.

Nothing we have ever done, or could ever do, will diminish the intrinsice value and dignity of each of us as God-created human beings, and we…only we…have the power to discover this for ourselves.

But many of us live in fear and darkness because we never use our own light to shine into the deepest recesses of our minds, hearts and souls. We see and hear repeated judgements, condemnations, rejections of others and, fearful of receiving the same, we join the ranks of those who judge and criticise. And, most of the time, we judge and criticise ourselves; fearful of truly accepting ‘all that we are’.

But in doing this, we don’t escape our fear, we just heighten it subconsciously, we transform it into anger and shame and this, in turn, takes us further away from seeing and accepting the inherent wisdom of our total selves. We jump at the glimpses of our own shadows and we do all we can to distract ourselves and avoid looking into those dark corners, for fear of what we’ll find.

To be ‘born again’ is not to bend ourselves or our lives into the shape of any one religious or theological doctrine. To be born again is to return to the natural state of the beginning of our human lives. Before we became indoctrinated with fear; indoctrinated with criticism; indoctrinated with judgement of ourselves and others and the inseparable sense of shame that results.

A time when questions of value or worth were completely alien to us. A time when we accepted ourselves and others exactly as we and they were, in each moment, born again with every new encounter. A time when we were filled with wonder, curiosity, delight, joy and hope. Learning gradually through our direct experience. Coming to know instinctively what would harm us and what would not. A time before we learned the language of “good” and “bad”.

To be born again is to explore ourselves with the same curious sense of wonder; with the same inherent lack of fear; with the same hope of discovering something new, mysterious and surprising. It is not a journey of judgement, correction or self-improvement. It is not a journey of good or bad. It is a journey of courageous faith. A journey of acceptance of others as they are and of finally coming to accept ourselves…just as we are…in our entirety.

When we discover this, we stop seeking approval and validation from others, because we recognise it as the transient mirage that it is. Instead, we find the true oasis in the desert…the deep, dark, silent, cooling, refreshing oasis that lies within us all. Because this was always the destination that was calling to us…this was always what the journey was about….into the heart of ourselves…into the Heart of true Love…into the heart of the creative force that is God…waiting for us to truly see ourselves in the loving reflection the eyes of complete acceptance and forgiveness.

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