Enjoy the Self
My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and my talents and I lay them both at his feet.
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves.
Your problem is you’re too busy holding on to your unworthiness.
I’m so hip even my errors are correct.
It is a well-known part of many spiritual paths that we need to transcend the ego, go beyond the Self and see through the personality because they are all essentially illusory. While this is quite true it has far too often served to create an internal dualism, division and fuels a kind of deep self-loathing. In order to become who we are capable of being and are created to be we fight and reject a part of ourselves. There is a deep puritanical underpinning to many people’s efforts toward personal growth that creates increased self-rejection.
One of the things I see in my clinical practice is a lot of people trying very hard to grow and not having much fun at it. Motivations arise from a place of inner rejection and thus sabotage the process. Frequent statements include:
• Something is flawed inside of me. I need to change drastically.
• I have these habits and patterns that prove I am a damaged person.
• I attracted this into my life and that proves there is something wrong with me.
• My constant reactivity shows how unevolved I am.
• If I can’t get it all done perfectly I failed.
The list could go on for pages of similar statements. Most of these translate into self rejection, disdain and loathing. And unfortunately all of this self-flagellation really is a way to cling to the ego and its criticism.
The alternative is to embrace the self, ego and personality. Change comes through loving our weakness and foibles. Love creates growth not criticism. The alternative involves taking every single character trait, foible, fault and flaw and loving each one. In the course of daily life we can notice how each trait comes into action and affects what we try to do at any given time. We can study how an attribute operates and becomes an expert in its maneuvers. Then we can make friends with the trait as though it is a new child in the neighborhood or more accurately is a child who has been living close by that we never noticed or even more accurately a child we noticed and spurned. The alternative is to greet this child as a potential best friend who might blossom with attention, love and acceptance.
Spirit provides all experiences in our lives as opportunities. We are all in this great Cosmic Dance of Life which we too often treat as some sort of death match with who we are. Growing is a way to go on a date with who we are becoming. Enjoy the self, play with the ego and laugh with the personality. It is possible to do this because none of these is our essence. We can do this because it is the Soul that is our core.
To modify a popular T-shirt logo and create my own word:
Finally, a wonderful resource for this is found on Youtube. The final interview of Leonard Cohen recorded in September 2016 with David Remnick of the New Yorker Magazine. Cohen passed away in November. He was a wonderful poet, songwriter whose work embodied Grace. Bob Dylan said his songs are like prayers. Especially toward the end of this 20 minute interview he speaks of the increasing experience of God without feeling criticism.