My previous blog was titled “Others” even though some questioned if Forgiveness was a more appropriate title. There was a good reason. Simply put, forgiveness of others is only the first step in the process. The second being forgiveness of self. And while I done a great job on forgiveness of others, forgiveness of self is still a large work in progress and requires much more daily work than that of forgiving others.
A week or so ago my daughter and I were having dinner and discussing the three things in my last blog, compassion, forgiveness, and LOVE. The actual topic that was being discussed was fear, specifically her fears. The fear of loss, the fear of making a choice that someone else won’t like or worse, the thought of being rejected by that person. This then led to the topics of LOVE, compassion and forgiveness.
As the discussion went on we talked about mistakes that I had made in her life; the fact that when I was at my darkest how in some ways she felt alone, that she did not want to discuss things with me that might make me more sad than I was. Hearing her talk brought up my own fears. It also brought up something that I need to continue to work on, which is forgiveness of self. Considering the discussions we now have I know that I have done a pretty good job at recovering. She shares with me much more deeply than I thought possible on the very first day I held her in my arms.
Side note: you may be able to hide depression, anxiety or any other issue from many people, however; your children are not people you can ever hide from no matter how hard you try. At least that has been my experience. Now just say you do hide it from them, don’t be surprised when they hide it from you. When something that they are going through comes up and you are totally shocked (and the words “I had no idea” come out of your mouth), remember, they learned from a master…
Anyway we were seated at a high table along a wall and the wall was covered with one of the world’s scariest inventions. This invention allows us to see into our deepest, darkest places, it allows us to criticize, to hurl insults verbally and in our mind, it makes us doubt our very being when not used with love, compassion and forgiveness. The problem is we likely can’t live without them; we need them so we can go out in the world or at least we think we do. But, the mirrors were an asset for this conversation between Mack and myself.
We spoke about love, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion for others. But I asked her a simple question, “Do you know who the most important person in the world is for you to love, be compassionate and kind with, to forgive and to care for?” She knew the answer was herself and she said it with a huge smile. I agreed it’s ourselves.
It took me 44 years to honestly and deeply say I love myself. So I asked,“can you look in the mirror and say, “I love you” as deeply and as caring as you do for Mom and Dad?” On her first try she was able to say “I” then she burst into laughter (nervous not happy). We continued to move through the process, I asked how she feels when she sees herself and those words come to mind. Her answer was I feel funny and nervous. It feels weird to say that to yourself.
Now Mack is 11, she has an amazing emotional quotient (EQ) and I am so joyful when I see her interact with people. This type of conversation happens with us more often than not. Yet, I know she still keeps things buried from time to time, I know she still may have to be asked more questions when it comes to sharing. But, at 11 she finds telling her reflection and the person in the mirror, “I truly, deeply and without and strings love you” difficult to some degree. It’s no wonder as adults so many people find the concept of self love (not masturbation folks) so hard to attain.
Here is my challenge to you. Find one thing in your life that you still have trouble accepting, something you did or did not do; something about yourself in the physical or non-physical form that you may beat yourself up over. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you forgive you that you know you did the best you could in that moment and with the knowledge you had at the time. Tell yourself that you are perfect as you are today and as you will be tomorrow. Then tell yourself in the same way you say it to your partner, your child or your parent that you truly love yourself. Feel what comes up, feel what your body is telling you? Is it free and light with no pressure on your chest or weight on your shoulders? Or do you have that feeling of fear in the pit of your stomach. If it is light and free with no attachments good for you. If it is hard and scary then maybe ask yourself one more question, but you need to ask it 5 times. The question is “ Why?”
I am going to hopefully head one question off early. Why do I need to ask myself “why?” five times? Well from my experience the person we lie to the most is ourselves. Plus we also sometimes accept the first thing that comes to mind as the problem. In most cases for myself I find that the first verbal answer is not the correct one, it is most always attached to the last time something happened. The actual fear is buried much deeper and requires a little more honest searching.
Excuse me while I go have a chat with the man in the mirror.
Keep Chasing Those Cars
With Love, Respect and Admiration