"We already have everything we need. There is no need for self-improvement. All these trips we lay on ourselves--the heavy duty fear that we're bad and hoping that we are good, the identities we so dearly cling to, the rage, the jealousy, and the addictions of all kinds--never touch our basic wealth. They are like clouds that temporarily block the sun. But all the time our warmth and brilliance are right here. This is who we really are. We are one blink of an eye from being fully awake."
So Pema Chodron begins in her book, Start Where You Are
So, why do I want to attach to the cloud that blocks the sun? Why do I want to deny that my warmth and brilliance can shine from where I am? Why, exactly, have I been beating up on myself daily for the past several weeks now? Ever since the end days of May, and worse and worse with each weekend since. Why am I testing my own mettle?
Exactly why? Because of mistakes I made in graduate school? Because of things I did in childhood, or experiments I did when I first began writing in junior high? I don't write like that now. What, then, about the young woman who asked a "too much information" question in sex education when I was in eighth grade? She was not ME. Her mind-blowing question is some counsellor's worry, not mine! What if I wrote a particular boy every day for the better part of a year? Do I need to let my inner criticizer tell me I am STILL bad because of what I did then. All I was trying so hard to do was be vulnerable and to be liked. Or to find someone to accept me.
I don't need to connect my current thread to those (uh-oh) experiences and condemn myself. I don't need to look for judgement in the eyes of people I am meeting now.
One day I will be able to achieve companionship with others, without needing to compare my worst stories, or share too much information. In fact, I have been good about that in my past adult life. I have this timid faith that I will find a place to "land" that is comfortable, with good boundaries... and that I am indeed just "one blink of an eye" from being (and accepting) who I really am.
This will happen because of what I was in my earlier lives. Looked at with compassion, I can see that junior high made me a perfect candidate for the "self-exploration" class I took in high school, as a result. And more "experiments" ensued from that. More listening, more exploration. The beginnings of self-acceptance.
What other experiences make me a perfect candidate for being the parent and mate I am today?