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Loving the Self: Part 2

by Rob Brookler

Breaking our patterns of unworthiness will indeed require our deliberate intention, awareness, and choice. It will often require outright discipline, because these wounded beliefs can "seem" quite real to us … and the wounded patterns can "seem" justifiable.

Moving out of the ‘wounded energy’

Why do they seem so real? Because when these wounded beliefs are triggered, we are immediately launched back into the wounded energy. When these old thoughts of unworthiness arise in us – “I am lazy,” “I am good for nothing,” “I am fat,” “I am dumb” – our minds and bodies instantly recall all the occasions that seem to support these beliefs. We feel the “attack,” the rejection, the disempowerment, and all the emotional charge (anger, hurt, sadness) as though it were happening in the present moment. We are pulled back into that past, and it all “seems” real and true because at that moment we are in the wounded energy.

And while we should acknowledge these very appropriate emotions (… and let them go), we must remember that all this is in the past. Indeed, we must make this identification a conscious practice. We must train ourselves to say: “OK, I know this ‘feels’ real; I know it hurt at the time. But it was from the past, and I certainly don’t need to empower it.” Doing this – identifying the wounded thought and choosing not to empower it – will help move us out of the wounded energy and help us release the wounded beliefs.

Another important point. We’re often tempted to fight with these wounded beliefs and “dive into” that anger and injustice associated with the “attack” (and the “attackers”). But doing so only keeps us in the wounded energy and tends to recharge the pattern. These are “sticky” thoughts, so it’s often best not to fight with them or to “entangle” our emotions with the “attackers.”

Seeing ‘the Lie’

Indeed, it’s important to understand that those who advanced these wounded beliefs (the “attackers”) simply weren’t able to see us clearly. In fact, they didn’t see us at all, but were looking at us through their own unworthiness and pain. This is a very key distinction, so let’s make this clear. Steeped in their own wounding and frustration – and unable or unwilling to look within – these “attackers” could only project their wounded view towards us. They simply did not or could not see us.

Now, as unjust as this “projected” malice may seem, focusing on this “wrong” will not help us. Again this only empowers our feelings of being victimized. [For more on this, see Meditations2Go Article: The Most ‘Delicate’ Stage of Healing.] But it is our job to acknowledge the attack as a “projection” and simply choose not to accept their distorted view – their “lie.” In doing so, we rightly reclaim our power to see ourselves truly.

Moving out of the ‘critical energy’

“Attackers” aside, all of us to some extent tend to see others through the same harsh “critical” view we see ourselves. In learning to love ourselves, therefore, it’s very helpful to move out of that critical energy altogether. That is, we should not only resist the habit of judging ourselves, but also the inclination to judge others. Beyond being a kind practice to our fellow men and women, it’s amazing how being nonjudgmental toward others helps us be nonjudgmental toward ourselves.

The reason this works so well is that criticizing, comparing, and judging has its own very distinct “energy.” It’s a way of looking at things, it’s a position. And it’s really impossible to look outwardly in a critical way and look inwardly in a loving way. Whereas love is an open, expansive energy, criticism and judgment are narrow, constricting energies.

Seeing without judging

Just try – at any given moment or in any given situation – to switch from a “critical” position to an open, objective one. This can be a bit tricky because we tend to be critical almost instinctively, a sort of “default” position. So just try and look carefully for that initial urge to automatically “see what’s wrong with a thing.” And when that “critical” impulse kicks in, pause, take a breath … and then relax this impulse. Relax altogether and simply see the thing: just be aware of it, without judgment.

You’ll immediately feel the difference: a tension and strain will lift from you – as well as from the given situation.

When we shift out of the critical energy, our own energy opens and our view widens out, and we’re able to see more clearly. Learning to move into this more open position – and unlearning that “critical” impulse – will go a long way in disempowering those old hostile patterns and beliefs about ourselves and our lives … so that we can see ourselves more truly and open to our true worth.

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Love is not something that is earned; love is given. Love is your legacy. If ever you feel confused about your worth or feel unworthy of love, know that at this moment you’re simply not seeing yourself clearly. Your view is clouded by wounded beliefs, distorted by judgments. At such times, just acknowledge this … and try to let these “lies” go. Don’t quarrel with them. Knowing them to be distortions, choose to give them no weight.

And then do one thing more. Choose to treat yourself with patience, kindness, and compassion … to remind yourself you are worthy of love … and to realign yourself with the greater love that always sees you clearly.

For a full list of audio meditations to complement this article, click audio meditations home.

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