You are inherently, objectively, totally, and forever a daughter or son of God. You cannot gain that or lose that by any achievement or failure whatsoever. God doesn’t participate in the honor/shame system. Christianity’s role is always to tell you that you are a child of God! Our primary job is to keep proclaiming the true identity of things, and not to create contests whereby some few can attain their identity—if they are good enough. Yoga and meditation help us have a bodily experience of the Divine alive inside of us!!
But much of religion has bought us right back into the honor/shame system. All we did was change the cultural rules to religious rules. Now there was yet another way to be superior—by being pious, publicly religious, and “moral” about one or two things which are usually not central issues. Yet Jesus’ teachings against status-seeking and building up religious reputation tell us again and again, “Don’t go there!” (Examine Matthew 6:1-21 and Luke 18:9-14.)I used to be one of those people with a fairly low level of self-awareness and compassion and then I began a meditation practice. Nice enough….BUT, I used to expect people to know inherently that change was good for them. If you were my friend, I made it quite clear that you were "NOT ok" just as you are....you probably had some changing to do. Of course this all stemmed from something deep in me that I then reflected out into my world. I am so happy to say that I have learned that not only am I "enough" but that you are too!!
Fortunately, about two years ago because of a concern over my memory declining, I pursued a holistic approach to helping myself and came across "How God Changes Your Brain". This miracle of a book not only taught me how to meditate, but helped me find my calling. I had spent 5 years after staying home to raise my now teenagers, trying to figure out how best to share my gifts with the world. Meditation was not only making me a nicer person but I was letting go of the anxiety over whether I had signs of early Alzheimers at 46. I had a deep desire to bring awareness to when I was being a jerk (joking, but not really).
After about a year of almost daily practice of sitting with intention and following my breath, I had a profound message come through regarding change. My soul was relaying this in no uncertain terms ; You have it all WRONG and quite backwards! God is not waiting to use you when you better resemble Mother Teresa. God does not want you to work at changing yourself at all. You are already connected, whole and equipped. All I was being asked to do was practice and show up. I had been afraid changing was my responsibility and would be painful. In actuality, this was a huge relief that God would use me right in the midst of my imperfection, that change would occur pretty painlessly.
It seemed like almost overnight, I was experiencing a deep level of self-compassion.
Now I have a much easier time accepting myself and everyone else exactly as they are. My level of trust and surrender are deepening. I also have better control over my thoughts and words which results in more peaceful relationships. An aha! moment for me came at 5a.m. this morning when I realized I always was called to be an agent of change because as Marianne Williamson best said,
'The greatest force of personal liberation is the decision to widen our circle of compassion, moving from focus on self to focus on service.'
But there is no need to muscle it. It's more about surrender and practice. Now I teach meditation and yoga classes weekly in two local prisons sharing my story of God's graciousness.