Growing up, I didn’t like my name. It didn’t feel right to me. Instead, I wanted to be a Steven or a David.
Nor did I like being the short kid in class. I wanted to be tall. At least tall enough to make the basketball team.
And I especially didn’t want to be the only Jewish kid in the neighborhood. Why couldn’t I be a “normal” Christian like everyone else?
That’s the nature of “self”. Our identity is wrapped up in it. My sense of who I am, my sense of me-ness is literally embodied in that self.
And the self will never be perfect. There will always be holes or flaws or limits. So we wish for a better “self”. A better name. A healthier, more robust body. A less painful past. A more suitable background. And so forth.
We seek for completion and acceptance in our self. But we never find it.
“Seek but do not find” remains this world’s stern decree, and no one who pursues the world’s goals can do otherwise. (M-13.5)
It’s not until we come to the realization that the key to transcending the self lies first in accepting the self.
However, self-acceptance does not mean that we see our body as perfect. Nor that our name and reputation are stellar.
Rather, self-acceptance is the awareness and understanding that all stress and pain and sadness come from believing that “I” and “my sense of self” are one and the same.
Wayne Dyer was fond of saying that we aren’t human beings on a spiritual path, rather, we are spiritual beings on a human path. In Course parlance, we’ve forgotten that our true identity is bound with spirit and now believe we are these bodies having experiences in the world.
By returning to our mind, we become observers of this “human path” that our body – and every other body – is traversing. We see the small pebbles and large boulders that impede each person’s journey. And we recognize that we are all the same.
We all have the same wrong mind of the ego that convinces us the path is real, the rocks are substantial, and that “I” am not enough. We all have the same right mind that softly reminds us of our eternal, unbreakable connection with Source. And we all have the same decision making ability to choose which one will serve as our source of identity.
Self-acceptance sees no meaningful difference between any of the selves that are walking this painful journey. Self-acceptance hears the pleading cries from everyone begging “please show me that I am loved.” Self-acceptance embraces every body, especially our own, with a warmth and tenderness that gently whispers, “You are not alone. You are accepted. You are loved. And you are love.”
That is self-acceptance. And true self-acceptance leads to the glorious realization of Self, our union with the blissful oneness of heaven.
Join me in Thursday’s Zoom discussion where we’ll dive deeper into the concepts of self-rejection, self-acceptance, and practices we can use to become channels for peace. I look forward to seeing you then.