"Here is where our real selfhood is rooted, in the divine spark or seed, in the image of God imprinted on the human soul. The True Self is not our creation, but God's. It is the self we are in our depths. It is our capacity for divinity and transcendence."
-Sue Monk Kidd
From the moment of our birth we enter this world possessing an inherently deep, inner connection with God. This connection is the source of spiritual wisdom and power – a sustained link between our true self and the Divine. It infuses our young hearts to explore the wonder of the world and Universe. This connection nurtures us with unconditional love and joy. As we grow we develop bonds of love, dependency and security with parents and other family members. We also start to forget this connection with the Divine, especially as we place more of our sense of security and self-esteem upon external relationships around us. At some point while growing up we inevitably experience emotional trauma stemming from rejection, betrayal or abandonment. The first form of betrayal may not have been a big deal in the eyes of the betrayer, but in our personal world, it could have been devastating.
The result of any of these three wounding actions introduces new beliefs in us. Negative beliefs.
I’m not lovable.
I’m not wanted.
I’m not valued.
I’m not worthy of being loved.
I’m not worthy of…(fill in the blank).
Such beliefs, which strike the psyche in the speed of a thought, generate shame. Without the maturity or ability to discriminate against negative thoughts, these beliefs become absorbed into our subconscious at a young age, influencing our perception and inflicting their nefarious damage.
We instinctively seek to cover our shame and hide from what we think is the truth about our nature by masking- putting up fronts that convey what we want others to believe about us – that we are lovable, smart, funny, attractive, desirable, worthy or valuable. The masking and external validation from others feed our ego (our false self) and numb us from the pain generated by the shame, fear and our inability to accept ourselves. Our efforts to distract us from the quiet suffering include excessive behaviors, such as indulging in entertainment, shopping, surface-level associations or addictions. We sometimes embark on fruitless “new me” escapades to discover more of life and connect deeper internally while simultaneously refusing to address these core issues, healing them and replacing the negative belief systems.
The protective walls we surround ourselves with interfere with our ability to deeply address and release our fears, insecurity and self-hatred. These walls also restrain us from drinking in the genuine, unconditional love and acceptance we may receive from others and from God. It is hard for us to accept from others what we don’t accept from ourselves.
By surrendering the narratives we hold in our minds about what we believe falsely about our true nature, we gradually disrobe the masks. This entails a sort of awakening into one’s soul and sparks a process of self-enlightenment. Negative, acquired emotions may eventually dissolve in the light of newfound, newly embraced truth - the truth about who we truly are, and the spark of the light of the Divine that is in us. This truth sheds a healing influence upon us, empowers us and ignites a hunger for transcendence.
How do we do it? How do we face the fear, the shame and the deep insecurity so we can reconnect with our true self? How do we have the courage for change and accept truth and enlightenment?
This will be the purpose of my next blog post, Limiting Belief Systems (Part 3 of 3). We'll explore healthy self-acceptance and self-love, as well as the tools used in reprogramming belief systems and how Qigong can play a part. In the meantime, please enjoy and ponder this very relevant quote from Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly:
“Shame resilience is the ability to say ‘This hurts. This is disappointing, maybe even devastating. But success and recognition and approval are not the values that drive me. My value is courage and I was just courageous. You can move on, shame.’”