Awareness of what we are now, not what we “will be”

Written by Amie on July 27, 2009 – 1:27 am -

The one thing that will make us okay

I am a book-oholic, and I consider it a good thing! I have grown so much since I started reading “self-help” type books. I have been thinking a lot about this type of book lately. I definitely think they are extremely helpful, but I also wonder if they keep us searching for that one thing that will finally make us “okay”, or “better”. I have decided that I want to read the books that help me to become more aware of my intrinsic goodness. I don’t want to feel as though I am striving to fix myself or to repair a “flaw” within me. I don’t believe that any of us are flawed, therefore we do not need to be fixed. We simply need to be reminded of the truth that lies within each and every one of us-what we are right now in this moment is exactly what we are supposed to be.

hugging-herself

Awareness of what we are, not what “we will be”

By continuing to search for something that will fix our “flaws”, we perpetuate the belief within us that something is wrong with us. I want to get the message out there that there is nothing wrong with us! We have just been conditioned to believe that something is wrong with is. The most helpful thing that we can do for ourselves, in my opinion, is to cultivate self-love. Once we love ourselves, we stop looking for that one magic thing that will finally fix us. There is not a magic thing to fix us, because there was nothing wrong with us in the first place!  Once we can surrender ourselves to who we are right now in this moment, peace will follow.

Depression makes you believe that something is terribly wrong with you

I believe that we are all born with everything we need in order to thrive in this physical world. When these messages get buried, we start searching for something that will match the picture of what we think we should be like, or what we deem perfect. With this mindset, we will never be happy because we are searching for something outside of ourselves that doesn’t exist. We are looking for something that is already right inside us. When I was feeling extremely depressed, I didn’t believe this for a second. I believed completely that I was flawed, and that something must be really wrong with me. Most of the time now, I am able to feel it in my body that I really am okay, and that I have everything I need right with me, always. I do understand what it is like not to be able to feel this.

A Process

The process that leads to rediscovering our truth must begin with self-love. We must remember the truth that we are born with. When we love ourselves, the truth is easy to believe. When we are able to turn off the stories that we are used to hearing in our heads that are not true, we make room for our true essence to shine through. I added a new step to my meditation process each day. I say positive things to myself at least 108 times (this is one time around on my beads). I tell myself that I love myself, that I am exactly how I am supposed to be, that I am perfect exactly how I am, and that I am loved. I figure that if my brain is capable of replaying the same old negative messages, it is certainly more than capable of replaying positive loving ones! I can honestly say that it is helping me to feel more love for myself. If I notice a negative thought, I just notice it, but then I also add a loving thought (or two, or a hundred!). The search for a fix to our flaws can stop here-you have what you need inside you. Your only job is to reawaken the truth that was buried. That is the Magic “fix”.

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Posted in Depression, Self-love | 1 Comment »

One Comment to “Awareness of what we are now, not what we “will be””

  1. jakho19 Says:

    I agree completely with what you’re saying. For the longest time I believed the negative stories that had seemingly always existed about my intrinsic lack of value.

    A series of poor choices predicated upon this perception and approach to myself forced me to finally look deeply at these feelings. I began to see that these feelings came from stories and beliefs. Where did the beliefs come from? They were created by an adolescent ego out of defense. As adolescence passed to adulthood, I never successfully recognized or deconstructed these stories or beliefs which framed my life and view of myself and the world. They were undermining my life in fundamental ways.

    I desperately wanted to have success, experience joy, and love. You state exactly what I learned: None of these landmarks are possible without first attaining self-love. I strive for it now and see it as fundamental to establishing happiness and an unflappable contentment deriving from an intrinsic worth that is never in question.

    I too turned to self-help books. I was looking for answers and a remedy to fix my flawed self. I found a philosophy and several thinkers who stress what you have said: There is nothing wrong with us. If you truly look inside yourself, you will see that this is true. I turn now to the words of John Welwood, Ph.D., whose work has shown me the necessity of self-love, and truth of our inherent self-worth:

    “Thus it is important to help people suffering from depression to relate more directly to their actual moment-to-moment experience, so that they can see through the negative stories told by their critic and contact the genuine heart… The idea of basic badness turns out to be nothing more than a story told by the inner critic; it is a figment of our imagination, never an immediate felt experience. People can discover basic goodness (our inherent self-worth) only through opening to their experience. Unlike fictional basic badness, basic goodness can be concretely felt- in their unconditional openness and attunement to life.”

    Depression, in the words of Welwood:

    “…starts creeping up on us at the moment we imagine there is something wrong with us because we cannot keep pain at bay, because we feel vulnerable or sad, because we cannot rest on our laurels, because we do not achieve total fulfillment through work, relationships, or any other finite worldly arrangement, or because we sense the hollowness of our self-created identity. If we were to look more deeply into any of these experiences, it could help us awaken to the essential openness of our nature, which is the only real sources of happiness and joy. But depression takes a different route- blaming and recriminating when we cannot control reality. And this inevitably shuts down our capacity to respond and feel grateful for the beauty of life just as it is.” (Toward a Psychology of Awakening, p.175)

    Finally, Welwood concludes,”…depression, like all psychopathology, is not merely a disease to be eradicated. Instead, it is an opportunity to awaken our heart and deepen our connection to life.” (Toward a Psychology of Awakening, p.180)

    In the words of another, ‘by turning towards our hurt’ we take the crucial step of being there for ourselves, a profound act of self-love. Allowing ourselves to feel what we are feeling and thereby also recognizing the space between these thoughts and feelings which reveal a constant- the only constant we possess- our basic goodness and self-worth.

    Thanks to committed individuals like Welwood who has delved into these matters so inquisitively, we can follow their path and utilize their work to find our own truth and basic goodness. Truly it is inside of us all.

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