The Gentleness Beyond Self-Blame

A soft reminder, by lilo aurora

Today I came across one of the greatest reminders again for when you are feeling like you’re messing things up and are failing.

It is one of the ego’s most used tricks to say you are doing it all wrong, and that you simply are wrong. It will try to have one stuff thoughts and emotions down when feeling the slightest hint of fear and sadness, stating that one must be doing terrible in life when allowing tears, emotions and thoughts of fear and hate to arise. But as we know, when stuffing things down and not actually allowing them up into awareness, it is kept locked inside. One will bottle it up and project it out onto the world, entering into a vicious circle of blaming and judging others and certain situations without dealing with the underlying emotions, thoughts and beliefs on a mental level. This is how the ego keeps one distracted from heart-openings, true connection, and living in and from the present moment and divine providence.  

But the Spirit of the Heart will tell the complete opposite, and is cheering one on when starting to be more attentive to any darkness that wants to come up for release. It knows this is a necessary step into feeling true happiness and peace and to live in harmony.

While going through Dylan’s 5-step inquiry, a tool to work through an upset, I really loved when the question came in, “Do these thoughts reflect the ego or Spirit?” This question can help one discern between what thought system one is listening to—unloving or loving thoughts, ego or Spirit—and depending on which one, peace will be experienced entirely or not. This is such a simple and clear reminder of, “Who are you listening to? And if it isn’t loving, then you don’t need to keep listening and believing in it.” 

The ego’s thoughts only cultivate fear, strain and suffering in the mind and once this is clearly seen, it makes no sense anymore to keep holding on to whatever story it comes up with. The Spirit always has an answer to whatever question seems to be arising, and there is loving and simple guidance ready whenever asked for.

Later in the day, I heard David Hoffmeister speak about exactly this, reaffirming that the only thing one needs to do is to be very attentive with how one is feeling, without the need to go into analyzing the past and keep dangling around in unhelpful stories, asking why this or that happened or why he/she said this or that in the past or what if this or that will happen in the future. Staying very present with one’s own thoughts, emotions and beliefs and to give these over for release is all one can do.

Near the end of the 5-step inquiry example, there’s a great line reminding one how wonderful it is to have become aware of the darkness that wanted to arise and that one can be grateful for the people and events that helped get one in touch with what was running unconsciously. Now one no longer has to believe in being an innocent victim of a certain circumstance, and can come to recognize the cause of happiness is never outside oneself.

And so to release any self-blame and self-punishment for what seemed to have happened in the past, believing that you are now doing worse than ever because of the emotions and thoughts that are coming up, A Course in Miracles comes with one of the most helpful reminders:

“You cannot distinguish between advance and retreat,” (T-18.V.I) meaning that the ego’s judgment about a situation and how one is doing is never reliable. It doesn’t know what is an advance and what is a retreat. That is why this is one of my all-time favorite reminders in this practice and mind-training. Whatever the ego judges as a major setback is actually a major blessing and advance according to the Spirit.

How wonderful one no longer has to hold onto old and unhelpful beliefs, knowing it is a blessing that it is being seen and that it can simply pass through exactly as it comes up without judgement. 

Assured it is all okay, one can stay gentle with oneself while riding the wave of life, knowing one is always perfectly on track, held and supported in whatever seems to be playing out in life. 

All my love,

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