Imagine meeting your ever-evolving self with unconditional acceptance and allowing your accepted self to radiate out to others, just imagine. From the time of conception until we take our final breath, we are evolving in all our wondrous humanness. Loving-kindness toward self allows us to unconditionally accept our own humanness, however that looks. So often we are able to extend compassion to others, yet we harshly judge and shame ourselves. We demand change, and the merciless war against self ensues, and suffering becomes our constant companion.
Welcoming. Suffering comes when we attempt to change others or ourselves because of misplaced expectations and old voices and patterns. Changing one’s life for the better can begin with welcoming. Welcoming means that we are no longer denying what is present within us. The more we attempt to repress what we consider unwanted or unacceptable behaviors or beliefs, the more we demonstrate those behaviors and beliefs in the world. Instead, we embrace awareness of our humanness and welcome everything. Richard Miller, PhD, founder of Integrative Restoration (iRest), explained: “Awareness is like fire. Fire purifies, and awareness purifies” (2010, p. 33). Welcoming with awareness frees us from self-hatred and self-loathing, and brings forth transformation with compassion and grace.
Grace. “The child suffering is Grace. The child in joy is Grace. Peace is Grace. Even war is another face of Grace” (Miller, 2010, p. 69). Grace abounds in our laughter and our sadness, in our successes and our failures. Grace is ever-present and in everything. Grace is forgiving. Anne Lammott stated: “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” When we make peace with grace, we open the door to freedom—unconditional acceptance of self, and there we will find true change. When I say make peace with grace, I mean when we are able to open our hearts to the truth that we are worthy of non-suffering.
Miller, R. (2010). Yoga Nidra: A meditative practice for deep relaxation and healing. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.