Everything you say to yourself, you also say to the divine life within you.
The tone of the day, and the whole shape of your life, shows up in how you think about yourself when you look in the mirror first thing in the morning. This is when any tendency to judge, blame, criticise, or be generally negative about yourself will show up.
When we are young it is much easier to find things in the mirror that we like; as we get older it is maybe not so easy. Unless we have as strong habit of self-encouragement we will gradually see in the mirror more and more things to be down on ourselves about; more wrinkles, more blotches, less hair in the places we want it and more hair in the places we do not want it.
When we look in the mirror, if we internally stand back and look carefully, we will not only see ourselves, we will see how we relate to ourselves. Is it a good, happy relationship – or not?
What is a good relationship with ourselves? How can we relate to ourselves in ways which helps us have a happy life and be an enjoyable person to be around? It is fairly obvious that being around anyone who is highly judgemental and critical does not lead to a good relationship with them. Likewise if we are highly judgemental and critical of ourselves we will not have a good relationship with ourselves. Parts of us will shy away and become isolated – and generate the unhappy moods and feelings which come with that.
Things in life tend to either get better or get worse. Our pattern of behaviour towards ourselves will either have been getting better, or getting worse, over the years. We could have drifted into being harsh, or unkind, to ourselves without realising that we have done so. It could have become so “normal” for us to unthinkingly throw cynicism, constant doubt, or negativity towards ourselves that we assume it is the right thing to do. We might assume that as long as it us that is doing this to ourselves then that is okay.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
We are here to acknowledge and encourage the growth and development of the spark of divinity within us. Our job is to create an environment, through our inner and outer life, where that spark can grow into a flame and increasingly direct and influence our life. As the divine life within grows it “discovers” itself and “realises” its true nature.
Notice that the word “realise” has two meanings. It can mean “to become aware of something” and it can also mean “to make something real” in the world. Therefore, as our inner divinity realises itself it becomes itself – it becomes real. As it becomes aware of itself it extends itself into the world; as it extends itself into the world it becomes more aware of itself.
There is a deep mystery in this so no point getting too caught up in trying to figure it all out with the mind. We just need to be aware of it and help it to happen. The more we free up our inner divinity the freer we become as that is who we truly are. Ultimately, nothing can stop the growth of our inner divinity – except us. We can resist it, block it, and obscure it – temporarily at least.
Now consider this. Is what you say to yourself helping to awaken your inner divinity or not? Is what you most tell yourself is true about you, and your life, of service to your inner light or not?
Do not confuse feeling unworthy with humility. Humility is a happy feeling not a miserable one. In true humility you recognise and enjoy the divine life within yourself, this then causes you to automatically recognise and enjoy the divine life in others. Accepting that there is a divine life within you, which seeks to emerge, is the only thing which leads to true humility. It is through the divine life within you that you experience you connection with all (rather than just thinking about or theorizing about this connection) and this breaks you out of the separation of the ego. This means that accepting that there is a spark of the divine within you – and all that implies – is really the first step into humility. Maybe that is the real reason why the ego wants you to avoid recognizing your divine spark, whatever it pretends.
Are you obsessed with wrinkles, lack of hair (or too much), blemishes or whatever? Do you habitually run through a list of the mistakes you have made and cringe as you remind yourself of all the times you got things wrong? Are you focussed on what is wrong with you, wrong with your life and wrong with the world?
Is that what will awaken the grandeur of your spirit? I think not. It is more likely to leave you prey to the grandiose fantasies of the ego. You then have more to be down on yourself about as such fantasies are always out of reach; whereas your true worth – the light within you – is always available. You just need to stop blocking it out and covering it up with self-fulfilling negativity. We cannot feed our inner light with a concoction of self negation (which is what you would be doing if your are habitually hard on yourself) and expect to have any kind of good life.
What are you telling yourself is most important about you? What, by your commitment of time and energy, do you give your soul to work with to help its emergence? Can you feed your soul with miserable petty thoughts and miserable petty feelings about how unworthy you are – and how you don’t deserve this or that – and expect to have fulfilment? No, obviously not.
If you have been doing this then time for a change, because you cannot get away with that for very long. It will gradually break down your health, your vitality and your ability to succeed. If it goes on long enough eventually your inner flame will decide, “Can’t do much more here, its time to go.” and it will depart. This departure might inconvenience you a little as it is will cause your physical death. You will have killed yourself slowly by a thousand cuts of self negation and self criticism.
It is much better to feed your inner self on what you like about yourself and what you like about life. Next time you are in front of the mirror find something you like about yourself, or at least stop criticizing yourself. In spare moments tell yourself “I like being me.” and follow it up with thinking about what specific things you like about yourself. The real nature of your divine spark is love and love will do the most to help awaken it. However, if you are not ready to direct love at yourself (which often means you are not really ready to direct it at others) then “like” or anything kindly and compassionate will more than suffice for now.
Everything you say to yourself, you also say to the divine life within you. Speak the good about yourself and the good will emerge. Of course, be discerning about speaking about what is good about you to others (as they might assume it is arrogance or direct their own self negation towards you), but as you tell yourself what is good about you that good will emerge more strongly. If you are unable to do this yet, then find the healing that you need so that you will be able to. It will change your life for the better in deep and profound ways. You will then have a happy “marriage” within yourself. You will realise that the most dear friend that you missed for so long was yourself.