Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 20 -- Season for Nonviolence--Self-forgiveness

[From The Season for Nonviolence, 64 Ways in 64 Days pamphlet]
"Feb. 18 SELF-FORGIVENESS Knowing that who you are is greater than what you have done or not done, have or don't have, forgive yourself for forgetting the good that is you."

People who know about forgiveness always say that self-forgiveness is the hardest. I have a lot of trouble with it myself. I have historically been harder on myself than on anyone else.

I like a book called Start Where you Are by North American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. This concise, funny, warm book tells us how to start with the messy, dark, yucky parts of ourselves and to just sort of roll around in them and embrace them. Note to addict readers: this does not mean suddenly go out and drink, eat, er, embrace someone/something. This means to put your head in the lion's mouth and say "eat me, do your worst, I am not afraid of myself and my feelings any longer."

My experience is that only by turning and facing, and loving the dark parts of myself, myself exactly as I am, am I able to turn around and love others. Start where you are.

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