Today, my friend, mentor, and yoga teacher, Jeni, read us a meditaion from Judith Lasater's book, A Year of Living Your Yoga that spoke to me so deeply that I asked her for paper and pen to copy it down after class so I could share it with you. It says: "There is nothing wrong with you. Remember that, although you may have problems, you are not a problem. At your core, you are whole and healthy. Offer this understanding to yourself at least three times today."
This concept is probably amplified for me since I also just finished listening to Byron Katie's, A Thousand Names for Joy. For those of you unfamiliar with her work, this woman had a very spiritual re-awakening in 1986, and is known as a spiritual teacher for her philosophy of loving reality. Whatever is, she loves. So Judith Lasater's phrase, "There is nothing wrong with you" resonated. While many of the details of Byron Katie's book/reading was out of my ability or willingness to grasp right now, there were many other parts that I could "get." Or at least, her philosophy is allowing me to let go of some small things (and maybe some big ones) that take time and energy I'd rather spend elsewhere. Last night, I was looking for something before I went to bed, and I couldn't find it. When I decided to let it go and just go to sleep, I heard Byron Katie's voice in my head: "How do I know I'm not supposed to have that? Because I don't." That doesn't mean I won't look for it or find it or have it in the future, but last night, I chose (happily I might add) to go to sleep without it.
I keep learning that so much of my life is choice. How do I want to be? What thoughts or actions are keeping me from being that? And still, at the same time, there is nothing wrong with me. Loving oneself the way one is is ironically probably the biggest change many of us can make in our lives. When I believe that at my core, I am whole and healthy, how does that affect my choices? Does a person who believes that eat m & m's? (Sure--but probably not the whole bag.) Does a person who truly believes they are whole and healthy criticize others? Overdraw their bank account? Do drugs? Abuse their partner or children? I'm thinking probably not. So for me, then, my job becomes to believe more of the time that I really am whole and healthy. How would your life change if you truly believed that about yourself?
I think as parents, we often have dreams that turn into expectations of our children. Sometimes, we are so busy "helping" them become something that we miss who they are. And that is tragic. Because, guess what? There's nothing wrong with them, either. Sure, they may have problems, but it is crucial that we get that they are not a problem. We have to separate who they are from what they do. We have to find ways to love who they are, even as we say, "No you cannot do that. It is unacceptable in our house to hit your sister/use foul language/come home drunk or high/be disrespectful." And there's nothing wrong with our spouses/partners, either. Does that mean you should stay in an abusive or unhealthy relationship? Heck no. It means, if you know without a doubt that you are whole and healthy, then why would you stay in a relationship where you get hurt so badly? Perhaps there is healing that can happen in the relationship, but if not, love yourself and your children enough to stay on the road to believing you are not a problem, there is nothing wrong with you, and you are whole and healthy at your core. And so are they.
Who you are is who you are. What you do is not. Of course, we want to do better in some areas in our lives--I'm just saying, what works better? Looking at that part that needs help and loving it and supporting it, or being disgusted with it and berating it for never changing? I think it's a good start to just say the words to ourselves three times today--there is nothing wrong with you. You are not a problem. You are whole and healthy at your core. And then tomorrow. And then the next day. And the next.....