Picture in your mind an infant. This child is fast asleep in bed, nestled amongst soft velvety blankets. The fresh scent of baby powder and shampoo permeates the room and next to you are the sounds of a soothing lullaby from a music box on the dresser. Slowly, the child begins to stir. First an arm is stretching; tiny fingers appear one by one until the soft delicate hand comes into full view. Next a leg gently kicks and in the process you hear a soft coo. As the child’s eyes open, a smile begins to spread across her face.
When you imagine this child what are some of the feelings and words that come into your mind?
Do you smile?
Does your body relax and sigh?
Do words flow through your mind like precious, or beautiful?
Do you see this child as worthy, innocent, loveable, pure?
Now, I want you to imagine this child is you. Do your thoughts or feelings change? If they changed, how did they change and why?
We are each deserving, unique and deeply lovable people. It is our essence, the core of who we are, and it is our true nature. If you have a hard time believing you, or others, could think of you in this light, face the abyss, take a leap of faith and jump back into your own arms. One way you can do this is to sit quietly and begin to peel back the layers of beliefs, or mis-beliefs you have accumulated about yourself. Be curious; find what lies beneath the negative tapes in your mind. As you journey to your core you will find your uniqueness and lovablity, and much more.
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Carl Sagan
When we are first born we have what Shunyru Suzuki calls a “beginner’s mind.” We see our world for the first time, daily. We marvel in what we find; we are open and excited, and when we are in need we seek solace. As we grow we are taught, by our families, culture and society, to think critically of ourselves as well as others. Over time we begin to question ourselves, am I good enough? Did I do that right? We begin to worry about how others perceive us. It is through these fears and the resulting confusion that we can begin to separate from ourselves, from our true nature. As we separate we begin to build a false self, an image who we believe we “should” be. Our false self is our protection; an armor we wear so that we can project the self we believe will be accepted by others.
“What can we gain by sailing to the moon
if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us
This is the most important of all voyages of discovery
and without it, all the rest are not only useless,
To build, or maintain, a connection to the essence of who we truly are, strengthens our ability to connect deeply in our relationships with others and to our world. When we love ourselves, we can truly believe that another can love us also. From here we are able to receive the love of another through the eyes of a “beginner’s mind,” open and excited, marveling in the moment.