There’s nothing wrong with you
My personal problem with the whole “motivate myself with guilt & self-condemnation” approach is that it rests on what I perceive to be a flawed assumption about human nature.
It assumes that who you are is essentially bad and can’t be trusted. If you are left to your own devices, you will ultimately self-destruct or at least wreak a great deal of havoc. Your essential being is NOT intrinsically creative and unless you are motivated by discontent, dissatisfaction, and disapproval, you’ll just sit around all day doing nothing good or productive.
According to this view, the worst thing you can do is accept yourself unconditionally because then you’ll become complacent or perhaps even a sociopath. In other words, something is fundamentally wrong with you. Guilt, self loathing, and the rules that usually follow are there to keep you in line.
You are more than free to adopt that perspective if you wish, but I’d like to offer you an alternative view.
It’s not you. It’s not me. It’s our ideas about you and me.
I invite you to entertain the possibility that your true nature is essentially good; that you are an intrinsically creative being and when left to your own devices, you will innovate, invent, and inspire at every turn; that you don’t need guilt to keep yourself in line because you’re not some screw up just waiting to be turned loose; that self acceptance, contrary to popular belief, actually brings out the best in you; that when you love your wounds, you heal them; that when you forgive yourself, your sins are dissolved; that when you accept yourself as is, your hidden beauty truly begins to disclose itself.
I believe that love is alchemy. Whatever we love is transformed by the light of that love. The power of love transmutes whatever it’s focused on and causes its inner radiance to shine forth. Like the princess who kisses the frog and thereby turns it into a prince, the daring posture of unconditional self-love alchemizes our lives into something that proves worthy of adoration.
Every time you hate yourself, the devil smiles.
“But aren’t we all sinners in the hands of an angry God? Are we not fallen creatures who can’t be trusted? What about the whole Original Sin thing we learned back in Sunday School?”
This concern arises from the story of the Garden of Eden found in the book of Genesis. According to that story, Mankind lived perfectly until an act of sin caused them to “fall from grace” and inherit a corrupt nature in the process.
Here’s my two cents on that:
I am on the side of those who believe that at a prior time in history, we once knew who we were. At some point, humanity “went wrong.”
The question we must ask, however, is “where did humanity go wrong?”
I’m sure there are many answers to that question, each of them with varying degrees of depth. What follows is not the full extent of what can be said on such a broad philosophical topic.
My contention is that Humanity went wrong when we bought into the lie that life was something other than already perfect and complete.
Man was already created in the image of God and didn’t need to do anything special to become God-like, abundant, or happy. These states were his already existing birthrights.
According to the Genesis story, itself, the fundamental cause of sin and death was man’s decision to believe that his life was missing something and in order to fill the void, he needed to compensate with his own achievement. Dr. Myles Munroe said it this way:The root of man’s frustrations is his misconception of self.
When we treat ourselves as if we’re something less than expressions of God, we reenact the tragedy depicted in the Garden of Eden story and we perpetuate the problem of human suffering.
Every time we hate ourselves, the devil smiles. For he knows that in our act of self-rejection, we have temporarily deviated from The Source of all love from which our true nature arises.
Let us abandon all ideas which point us away from the truth of who we are.
Let us return to the Reality of Unconditional Love that created us.
Let us affirm our worthiness of that love; a worthiness not based on effort, but a worthiness grounded in the fact that we are made out of the very substance of this Love and cannot be separate from it except by our own choosing.
So I challenge you to STOP, RIGHT NOW!! Right where you are…in THIS moment and not the NEXT….EMBRACE YOURSELF!
Love yourself, respect yourself, and affirm the very best of yourself.
“But…but…I wasn’t positive today.”
Well, be positive about THAT.
Make peace with who and where you are now BEFORE you prove yourself to God or the world and you’ll be amazed at what starts to come out of you.
At least that’s the way I see it.
How do you see it? Better yet, how do you see yourself? Why?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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