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Excerpt from  Chapter 12


“Coming Home” 

 

“Just keep coming home to yourself.  You are the one you have been waiting for.”

                                                                                                                               ~ Byron Katie, Loving What Is


     Each one of us is our own author. The stories we tell about our experiences are our creative expressions. As we grow to care more deeply about ourselves, our stories become less dependent on the ups and downs in our lives. As we become less critical of ourselves and others, we find a growing stability because we are less swayed by what others think or do toward us. We rely more on our own internal guidance system, and our stories will reflect this.

     Believing in ourselves is an evolving process. It requires shifts in the fundamentals of who we are, which doesn’t happen overnight. It is something to which we commit and then watch as the ripples of change move slowly through ourselves and our surroundings. As our belief in ourselves takes hold, we see it when we feel affection for ourselves where in the past we would have taken ourselves to task, when the people around us gradually shift from judgmental to loving and encouraging, and when we comfortably cleave to decisions we know to be right even though those around us disagree.

     We don’t want to deny those parts of our personalities that need to be understood and worked on. At the same time, however, we want to hold close a realization that at our core we have a spiritual essence that is fueled by our love for ourselves. Then we can look at our stories and rewrite them with compassion and understanding.

     Jamal Rahman, a Muslim and Sufi minister at the Interfaith Community Church in Seattle, wrote about his grandfather, a spiritual teacher who often spoke to his students about learning to be compassionate toward themselves. He would ask them to add a word of endearment to their names and to use that affectionate term whenever they talked to themselves. This practice, his grandfather said, allowed one’s divine identity to step forward.

     We are usually our own harshest critics. It’s often much easier to make allowances for others’ shortcomings than to forgive our own.

 

 

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