Practicing Self-Forgiveness

Navigating the spiritual journey is no easy task. The closer we are to ‘enlightenment,’ the farther away we are because the shadow-self or ego, whatever it is, does not intend to go down quietly. It is so interesting that our Creator made us with both natures, the light and the dark, and gives us the time and the space to figure out who we want to be.

Whenever we are obsessed, compelled by some powerful desire within, we are traveling life’s roads without the best in us. Whenever we feel and act with cooperation and loving-kindness, we are traveling life’s roads with our essence and inner partner, our souls or higher selves. It is a good thing love is the most powerful force in the universe or we’d all be in danger, because our trouble-making selves are both blatant and devious.

They figure out along the way that we are here to grow as souls, to move beyond our out-of-control emotions, our addictions and imbalances. Our lower-selves realize that being obvious doesn’t work when a dark behavior is apparent, because we can see and transform it. It is the subtle parts of our dark-selves that are not as easy to grow beyond, because they have been hidden away and often come as a surprise. “No way!” we think.  “That’s not me.” I have been there and, oh yes, I’ll be there again.

Take pride. We have to walk a very fine line: We need our egos (that which makes us unique) to survive, but our egos are like peacocks. “Look! Over here! Have you seen me in all my colors and glory?” Maybe our ‘peacocks’ grow smaller over the years of spiritual journeying, but there is only one way to become enlightened and that is to stick with the desire for oneness with God-within longer than we stick with any other. This is probably why holy men go live in caves, or monasteries and women go into convents. They can get right to the job at hand: What is it within me that keeps me separate from Love and compassion?

I have experienced many regrets in my life. Now I wish I’d been able to let go of the guilt and shame sooner. No, there’s more. I wish I’d been able to see the effects of my behavior on my health and simply let it all go right then, make heartfelt apologies and amends, and commit myself anew to the spiritual walk. Guilt and shame suck up energy like dark vacuum cleaners; then there is nothing left with which to transform the powerful emotions that cause self-hate. That is the crux. Second only to love is forgiveness and that includes self-forgiveness. Let go and move on with the powerful knowing that you were created to love and be loved.

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