we must become truth tellers. telling the truth to ourselves is almost as challenging and painful as telling the truth to another. part of the process of conscious eldering is the acknowledgement of our life's path...
the valleys of despond
and the peaks of ecstasy.
to look at the times we have caused hurt, the times we have made a disastrous decision, or the times we hated ourselves is undoubtedly a painful process. and yet, it is the way to freedom.
we have decades of 'stuff' to deal with. not everything demands our attention. we need only address the incidents and events that still carry a 'charge'. these are the ones that still can cause a tightening in the belly, a catch in the breath. offering compassion to the self who feels the pain can heal the wound that remains inside.
we can hold that self as we would hold an infant, with profound tenderness and care. slowly the belly relaxes and the smile can return. ihe interior space the pain has occupied can be freed for other emotions, ones that support us and enliven us. breath can now flow freely in that space. compassionate self-regard allows the liberation of energy and can turn despair into love.
this is one of the many practices of spiritual eldering, one that will probably need to repeating regularly! this is not always an easy path. we are challenged by old voices of blame and shame. we are challenged by societal expectations of expiation and atonement. we are challenged by the sense that we can never make amends sufficiently. these challenges too can be held in compassion, in the heart of love.
the truth is, to err is human. we've all done those hurtful or silly things a billion times, so why hold onto them? granted, some errings have a greater impact than others. these are the ones that can hinder our evolution by taking up too much internal space. once again, we are called upon to let go, to surrender to something greater. compassion paves the way.
once on this path, we can see what we might have gained from these painful incidents. this is not to dismiss them or cloak them in denial. Instead, we can come to the acknowledgement of our human-ness and the ability to take heed of lessons that only life can teach us.
we are where we are now because of the lows we have experienced as well as the highs...the valleys and the peaks.
without the burden of 'stuff' long past, we are free to explore the present...
in this very moment.