. . . Those parts of you that you so often see as unlovable or unworthy are the parts of you . . . that call most clearly to you for acceptance and for understanding and for the warm embrace of acknowledgement. . .”
Just when I start to think I’ve faced all my demons, cleaned out all my closets, aired all my dirty laundry, dealt with all my you know what . . . I stumble upon yet another unexamined and unacknowledged piece of my oh so examined life. There’s nothing quite so humbling as finding another part of me that’s been hiding, especially when I’m the one who scared it away and ordered it to leave me alone.
After another such revelation following one more round of unintentionally cleaning house, I wondered to The Shower Team about the skeletons still rattling around in my closets—and what they might need other than a great big sheet thrown over them . . .
So many of you so often operate under the assumption that you should show only what you regard as the best of you not only to others but even to yourselves. In your never ending quest to be the best you that know how to be, you will often end up banishing those parts of you that do not please you or that you cannot easily understand or face or find a way to accept as part of who you are.
Essentially you hide from you, treating these aspects of yourself as shameful or unworthy, pushing them back to the darkest corners of the remotest closet, literally treating these parts of you as skeletons in that closet and refusing to acknowledge much less love them as the lovable and just-as-worthy parts of you that they are.
We do not encourage you to fixate on the things about yourselves that hold you from your joy or from your innate understanding of the well being that always abounds. But neither do we encourage you to deny the truth—the full and inescapable truth—of who you are. We convey to you repeatedly that you are brilliant beings of light, here to expand your experience and awareness of joy and well being, here to create the blessed life that every one of you is capable of, that every one of you intended when you came forth.
You find limitless ways to limit yourselves and one way in particular that you do this is by refusing to really see yourselves . . . see what you call flaws and imperfections, what you call weaknesses and wounds and failures, what you call shame and embarrassment . . . what you see as shadows blocking or diminishing your light.
You push away these allegedly unlovable parts of you, unable or unwilling to recognize that in fact those parts of you that you so often see as unlovable or unworthy are the parts of you that hold you nearest to the larger part of you that is Source. For they are the parts of you that call the loudest for the light, the love that ‘is’ you . . . the parts of you that call most clearly to you for acceptance and for understanding and for the warm embrace of acknowledgement and yes, even for appreciation. They are the parts of you that you so often label, ‘wounded’ or ‘human’ . . . as though there were some disgrace inherent in that label . . . as though any part of you could be held in the loving eye of Source and seen as anything but pure and dear and worth every bit of love that flows to you in every single moment of that experience you call ‘human’.
We would like for you to understand that you will never know the fullness and the blessedness of who You really are as long as part of you is kept in hiding. You can expect love from Source that is always unconditional, that never requires anything of you but you . . . but you will only find the full experience of that unconditional love when you allow yourself to offer it to yourself, when you can turn and see every part of you as worthy of that love.
Then and only then will you be free to give and to receive the love that each and every one of you came from, and that each and every one of you came forth to be, and that each and every one of you will fully and unconditionally return to the moment that this perfectly imperfect ‘human’ experience for you ends.
I guess it’s worth remembering that sometimes cleaning house means finding things we’ve lost or hidden that should not be thrown out like so much garbage or even shoved into a dark corner of a dusty and forgotten attic or basement or drawer. It may still be a little early for Spring cleaning but perhaps the time is exactly right for digging up what’s buried in the back yard and deciding if it deserves a second chance to demonstrate its real value.
Parting aFLOWmation: “Love you. Mean it.”
“There is never anything about you that is lacking or failing except your decision to believe you are lacking or failing.”
Do you ever wonder (imagine my best Andy Rooney impersonation) why it is that we seem to have so many moments in our lives when happiness feels like something we’ve lost and just don’t know how to find?
It’s sort of like the keys we’ve misplaced or the item on our To Do list that we just can’t seem to remember. Try and try as we may to find it-or to remember where we put it, it continues to elude us. We search and search, we read books (and blogs) about how to find it. We go to workshops, we seek out gurus, thinking maybe we’ll stumble upon it, but often those efforts have the opposite effect-they only seem to make us more aware of what we feel is missing.
I asked The Shower Team to help me get a handle on how we get ourselves into such a lost place. How can such a seemingly simple, easy idea as being happy, be so hard to get our hands on?
“Where is my happiness?” you ask. And we say, “Right where you left it.” Then you say, “But I can’t find it anywhere. I’ve looked and looked. I’ve done everything I can think of to do. I’ve paid attention to what other people told me. I’ve listened to advice. I’ve read dozens of books. I’ve made continual efforts to be and to do and to have the things that I believe would bring my happiness to me . . . “
And we say, “There’s your trouble.” You’re looking for happiness the way you tend to look for love: in all the wrong places.
The one thing you so often neglect in all your striving to be happy is to allow yourself to know what you already know-that happiness has nothing to do with any of the ‘things’ you believe it is attached to. You believe a lie when you set out to find happiness by acquiring anything outside of yourself. You confuse ‘happiness’ with the always fleeting satisfaction of some achievement or acquisition or some change in your circumstances.
By doing so, you live as though it were law that your conditions control you. You are basically creating a life based on conditional love, on the notion that you are completely subject to whatever conditions you encounter. Another way of saying this is that you are a victim of circumstances, a prisoner of whatever momentary conditions you are finding in the world you came forth to enjoy.
When you decide that happiness is attached to anything-ANYTHING-outside your own knowing of who you really are . . . then you have essentially decided to remain unhappy for the duration of your time on this planet, because there will never be a ‘happiness’ from any external source that stays around long enough to truly satisfy you. As soon as you have achieved or acquired or somehow manipulated your circumstances in some way that you like, something will change or you will become bored or the variety of your experience will once again point out to you something you want that is not yet present. And as long as you are continuing to agree with the idea that you can only be happy when you have something you don’t currently have . . . then the happiness that you desire will continually elude you.
You set up this vicious cycle for yourselves and then you shake your fists at the forces of the Universe that you are convinced are conspiring to prevent you from having what you think will make you happy. But in fact, your happiness is always right there, waiting for you to see it and feel it. . . waiting for you to claim what is your birthright, your true nature, waiting for you to stop long enough to recognize that what you want is never lost, never gone, never out of reach . . . only that you have removed your attention from it.
You will argue and argue about “the real world” that you must live in and you will insist that the ‘things’ you want or the things you think you need are necessary for happiness in that ‘real world’ when in fact that ‘real world’ is simply an illusion that you have decided is fact. You have decided that happiness is contingent upon some particular or specific sort of experience in that world, when You always know the truth-that you brought your happiness with you when you came forth into this world and that you will take it with you when you leave . . . that in fact ‘happiness’ or joy or the unfailing sense of boundless wellbeing is really the only continuity that you have from one lifetime to the next.
You can always choose ‘happiness’ as easily as you are choosing dissatisfaction or despair or discouragement or frustration or sorrow or anger. But you don’t wish to believe this because to do so makes you solely responsible for whether or not joy is the nature of your experience. When you can no longer blame the conditions of your life for how you feel . . . then you must accept the reality that you do in fact create your reality. Then there is no one left to ‘blame’ but you for the experience you are having.
You can use any situation you choose as your excuse for holding yourselves back from joy. But it will never change the fact that joy is still available to you if you choose it-no matter what circumstances you may find yourselves in.
And you will say, “But how can anyone be expected to be joyful under these conditions??” And we say, “The same way you expect-and thereby create-any other outcome: by the attention that you are giving.” You can choose to continue striving and struggling to make your circumstances what you think they need to be in order to feel good. Most of you take that approach, and even though it’s the longer, harder route, most of you still manage to do pretty well.
However, when the striving and struggling no longer seems to be working, and you find yourselves feeling lost or separated from what your heart truly desires, it is always because you have decided-consciously or not-that what you ‘need’ to feel good is something you are missing. And what we most want to remind you of and to help you remember, is that nothing you ‘need’ is ever truly missing. There is never anything about you that is lacking or failing except your decision to believe you are lacking or failing.
You get to decide the criteria for your joy or success. You decide who decides whether your life is a happy one or not. You can give that power away. You can look around at others and compare your experience to theirs and you can decide that yours doesn’t measure up somehow-even though you have no clue what their experience really is.
Or you can decide that your experience is really the only one that counts when it comes to how it feels to you. And you can decide that you want to feel good about that experience, no matter where it stands at any given moment. The fact of the matter is that nothing you’re experiencing, nothing you’ve created is permanent. Your experience is by nature temporary, whether it is currently described by you as good or bad. Either way, it is fleeting. Something else is always on the way.
You can have much greater influence on what is on the way, by choosing to see yourself as already being all that you need to be in order to feel happy. You CAN choose that perspective. You can practice a point of view where there is nothing lacking, where you have all that you ‘need’ right there with you and in you. You cannot hold that perspective and at the same time feel the lack or shortage of joy or satisfaction. You cannot see yourself as you really are and not feel happiness.
You can continue to reach for things outside yourself, to strive for things you have not yet held in your hands or observed in your experience and you can continue to tell yourself that happiness will only come as a result of that thing you are striving for. And as long as you do this, you will keep wondering-over and over and over-”where is my happiness?”
Or you can recognize that the asking of that question is the ‘problem’ for as long as you continue to ask it, you are actually refusing to see the answer-right there in front of you, waiting for you to claim it and feel it-right where you left it.
You’ve probably noticed-like me-that in practically every case where I think I’ve lost something-where I can’t find something that I want-in virtually every case, nobody else had taken it. No one else had secretly or furtively or maliciously or even mistakenly appropriated what I was looking for. It was right where I’d put it.
And each time that I eventually found it, more often than not I remembered putting it there. I recognized that the ‘losing’ of it and the finding of it-was all up to me.
It’s both a comforting and a somewhat sobering thought-the idea that the only Lost and Found box that matters is the one I make, and that no one has access to it but me. There’s something about it that helps me feel a little more found-or at least that suggests I know where to go for whatever I’m looking for. Who knew that being told where to go could feel so good?
Parting aFLOWmation: “Happiness is usually the last place you look.”