Being human is a hot mess express. It is a twisted tangled tango. It is an adorable fluffy cat with sharp claws gnawing at my back. I don’t really believe that it is supposed to be any other way. Once I can accept this truth with some grace and a big dash of acceptance-I believe I can embody the art of being human. The art of learning how to accept the mess and express it with some dazzling elegance.
This past weekend I spent two full days in meditation. Deep meditation is always like a magnifying glass- allowing me to witness so many patterns that I desire to dodge and sprint away from. When I first started this weekend retreat I felt super grounded, clear-minded, and enthusiastic. By the end of the retreat I felt messy and confused. The resentment towards this outcome only created more somatic and emotional tension within my being.
I believe I had this experience because of the expectation I was holding onto: what I ‘should’ feel like after I meditate or participate in a weekend such as this. I actually reversed the effects of meditation because I was so attached to the idealized results. I did not accept the messiness with elegance. I did not cultivate art in the moment. It wasn’t until I realized I needed to accept all of the icky-ness that I was feeling that I felt the inspiration to write this.
Life becomes a fine piece of work when we learn how to accept life on life’s terms and ourselves exactly the way that we are. The only thing blocking a masterpiece is judgement and criticism. Judgement keeps energy from flowing and working its unique colorful miracles. Expectations of any kind are the biggest blocks to miracles(peace and joy) . Expectations are the building blocks to judgement and resentments, especially the expectation of ‘how we are supposed to feel’. This one is a killer!
Even though I want to resist how I feel and how I express myself in particular moments, I trust that each moment is expressing itself with Divine perfection for my soul’s evolutionary process. I realize that being at peace does not mean that I will always be at or feel peace. Being at peace with myself entails having unconditional acceptance of who I am in the moment. Being at peace entails trusting that underneath everything that I am not initially fond of, is actually utter brilliance, a rich expansive open canvas.
I cause my self SO much unnecessary suffering because I don’t always naturally accept myself as I am in each moment. There is the good old saying ‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional’. I believe that suffering is birthed in this frequency of non-acceptance.
I also believe SO much in the intrinsic strength and power within me-within all human beings. I very often forget that within my greatest vulnerabilities this power is just as ever present- possibly even more present, because it is offering me the greatest opportunity to not resist myself and find self-love. Accepting myself is nurturing the Divine within me back into my conscious vibrant awareness. It is the teachings and practice of non-duality.
Personally, the reason self-acceptance is so radical and challenging for me is because of the expectations that I have for myself. It can really hurt when I do not live up to them them-it really hurts to be an imperfect human. It is inspiring to have visions of who I have the potential to become, but most importantly I need to love who I am RIGHT NOW! If I don’t love who I am in this moment, I will never be able to melt into my soul’s full capacity. This potential is my basic goodness. When I reject my naked momentary essence and treat it as it is bad or ‘wrong’- I forget who I truly am, I get caught up in the myth of the shadow. This self-rejection creates a tornadoesque dark vortex- creating havoc in my consciousness where the truth of my being is totally buried and hidden-but never destroyed. Momentary acceptance is how I unlock the heavy doors that seem to be blocking the sunlight of this eternal radiating goodness.
Carl Rodgers states, “The curious paradox is is when I accepted myself fully just as I am, then I can change.” When we open up to a healing path, old patterns begin to naturally bubble up to the surface of our conscious mind in order to be accepted and transmuted into the light. Darkness is really unripe consciousness, like a green banana wanting to transform into a bright yellow- the sunlight of acceptance allows the banana to ripen into its most vibrant state of being. When I have a strong aversion to who I am in the moment I keep myself from ripening- I am not evolving to my fullest capacity. Embracing myself, no matter how far I fall under my extraordinarily high ideals, allows me to continue to evolve into my most open and expansive self.
When I accept myself and open up to my basic goodness, it does not mean that instantaneously I am going to feel like a god damn rockstar. It does mean that I am taking strides to blaze forth in confidence although. I believe that shame, or self rejection, is the root of disempowerment. Shame is not believing in one’s fundamental goodness and potential. It is doubt. It is fear.
I can keep making the choice to reject the sometimes incredibly painful experience of being human, or I can allow the Universe to paint a colorful canvas out of these messy emotions- I can embody the art of being human by accepting what arises with grace. Shambala teacher Chogyam Trungpa states, “For the warrior every moment is a challenge to be genuine, and each challenge is delightful. When you let go properly, you can relax and enjoy the challenge.”
I am offered so many invitations to let be(I prefer this instead of ‘let go’) and relax into my basic goodness through duality everyday. I believe that this is why there is duality in this Earthly classroom- every dark loveless moment is a gift to keep remembering the intrinsic goodness and light that lies within.
I believe that acceptance of what is is the most pure form of cosmic love- it is a miracle, it is the healer of all. It doesn’t need to make sense how the acceptance heals one’s wounds – it just does, it is a mystical process. Unconditional love floods the heart like Niagara falls and opens us up to who we are and were from the very start- one eternal spirit, bodies made up out of stars.It feels good, it feels right.
The goal of my existence is to be able to remember this as much as possible, and when I don’t remember, there again is another gift to accept myself for being human. My overall greatest intention is to be able to relax into myself- into all of my flaws, quirks, and ‘unacceptable’ qualities- to be able to witness them with a mature loving presence. My intention is to allow humor to bubble up when mad neurotic patterns arise instead of rejection. My desire is to create art out of the suffering- not to wish for it to go away, or to wish for a pain-free existence, for that would be ignorance-but to turn tears into glitter and resistance into love. The greatest masterpiece of life is learning how to hold everything that is perceived as ‘un-acceptable’ with the spiritual vision of understanding and a warm welcoming hug. This is the art of being human.