I forget who I am all day long.
But there's a difference now.
Now I remember that I am forgetting
And I return to remembering —
All day long.
What follows is a process of self-inquiry I did recently. I thought I'd share it as an example of the work that allows me to uncover the peace that otherwise lies buried underneath stressful thoughts. It seemed to be a clear example of how to consciously move away from a place of story-running, self denigration into a more forgiving state. Self abuse is a place where many of us get stuck …Learning to forgive and accept ourselves, especially if we’re not living up to some notion we have about what we’re supposed to be like, is not something many of us know how to do very well.
Here’s how the process unfolded for me….
That morning, I had connected some low frequency feelings I was having with thoughts from the day before when I'd felt disappointed in my effort to share a new process with my group of students ….
Having made my feelings of disappointment conscious I began to inquire deeper into the thoughts behind the disappointment … thoughts like, “Who do you think you are anyway?” coincided with inner images of myself as I thought others must be seeing me … a braggart who goes off half cocked trying to look like I know as much as those who spent years learning the process I was attempting to teach… how pretentious and unskilled I decided I must look! Such thoughts had me cringing. I saw myself as an impostor … what in the world made me think that I had anything unique to offer anyway??? Yada … yada … yada ….
As I began to question these thoughts something began to shift ….
“It’s pretentious for me to think I have something to offer …”, is that true? What’s the reality behind this thought? That question helped me locate the underlying , driving belief …. And, much to my surprise, I found it to be quite innocent, after all.
It suddenly became obvious to me that I’d been operating out of a belief that whatever I experience as inspiring and helpful should be shared IMMEDIATELY with others. I have felt almost obligated to pass on any and every thing I learn – “It’s what I’m supposed to do…” Not only that, but “since I’ve been given these insights for the purpose of sharing – they should flow through me effortlessly and be delivered expertly”.
And then when they don’t … like yesterday, for instance … I blame myself for failing.
I’ve been going through a tremendous process of awakening this past year (and more) … Much of this has centered around an internal alchemical process activated through a body practice that has been totally alive and life changing for me. Because it’s been that for me, I have longed to pass it on to others … but every time I’ve tried to share it with others I’ve fallen short … it seems to be an intensely private process and perhaps that’s the way it will stay – I don’t know yet … . All I know is that so far when I try to teach it, I find myself unable to convey the true meaning and feeling of what I’m experiencing. I then resort to thoughts of myself as a phony or a failure.
But bringing understanding to the belief behind what was driving my desire to teach helped tremendously. I suddenly began to ease up on the inner assault on myself. I could see that it wasn’t a matter of my trying to presume superiority, I’d simply been coming from my belief that because it was good for me, I was supposed to pass it on to others! As a result I’d been awkwardly attempting to pass on something I hadn’t fully integrated or assimilated to the point of being ready to teach … yet.
Since I trust that there is a plan greater than my own … that Reality calls the shots in a way that ultimately serves me best, I trust that I’m not supposed to be ready yet – and that there’s a reason I’m not. I could see suddenly that I’m being offered an opportunity to see my judgments and negative story. How else would I have known they were running my mind except through such a situation? … I am being gently shown how unkind I’ve been to myself with such self persecution.
To be continued tomorrow …
I noticed this morning during my morning practice that there was a story running in my mind about a recent gathering here on the mountain. I knew I was tired and even uncharacteristically irritable after the participants left … but it wasn’t until the next morning that I connected my low frequency emotional state to thoughts I was believing about the way I led a particular part of the day.
The feeling, when I finally took time to identify it, turned out to be disappointment — I was disappointed in the way I'd facilitated.
Not only was I thinking that I didn’t lead it well, but … that it was “grandiose to even presume to teach … as if to think I might have something unique to pass on to others! What in the world possessed me to even WANT to teach anyway?” — Thoughts such as these left me feeling tired … and down. I was definitely experiencing a merciless bout of self-abuse.
What did I do?
I did the same thing that I recommend, over and over, to you ….
I initiated the Byron Katie process of self-inquiry, (“four questions and the turn around”) followed my feelings and thoughts in until I located the low frequency belief behind it and then met each unhappy thought with her four questions and turn around. Within moments I felt sanity return.
I'm deeply grateful to have access to such high frequency resources. They allow me to discover and uncover the peace I’ve buried beneath unquestioned assumptions.