When I speak about freedom today, I am speaking about freedom from an invisible prison. The prison is a metaphor for stress. Stress is caused mostly by fear and guilt.
Yes, you can say that stress is caused by someone cutting you off at an on ramp. But if you examine it closer, you have a fear that you might get in an accident and anger comes to you that this person might have caused it by being careless. Or, you are not afraid of an accident and you just think that person treated you like you don’t matter: guilt. (Today I will talk about guilt because fear will be the 10th thing I talk about.)
Why should we feel guilty when other people treat us like we don’t matter? We shouldn’t! (Don’t Should On Yourself!) But we do anyway. Even rape victim blame themselves immediately. And this is often reinforced by other people agreeing with them. “Why did you go there with him?” Please try not to ever say this to someone who has been raped! They are already beating themselves up. The raper is the raper, not the raped.
I have a secret for you. If we didn’t feel some bit of blame or justification when other people judge us, criticize us, abuse us, or otherwise treat us like we don’t matter, we would never notice it, it would not bother us, it most definitely wouldn’t stress us out. This is true freedom. They can only judge us if we are already judging ourselves for the same thing. Even if it is deep down inside somewhere that you are not really conscious of. (Let their judgment make us conscious of it so we can let it go!)
If you didn’t buy in, at least a little bit, their comments or actions wouldn’t even register on your radar. See, they wouldn’t be part of your reality. And so you wouldn’t take them in. And I’d even venture to say that other people couldn’t even do it, they couldn’t even treat you bad if you were totally free. This is true healing. Because as you heal yourself, you are healing others, too. We are all so connected that if you truly were absolutely free from guilt, no one who be able to criticize you–at all! You heal both of you and so everyone in the world.
The other side of that is knowing that they are treating you bad because there is something in themselves they are judging to be inadequate. People are not mean to us because they don’t like us, but because they don’t like themselves. As you model true freedom, they can connect to it, too, and heal that part of themselves. It is not a win-lose world like we have been raise to believe. It is a win-win world. The ultimate healing is in a win-win world.
This is how we are going to change the world. It is hard to imagine! But all we have to do is forgive ourselves wholly and completely for ever thinking that we are not good enough! We have to change each and every belief that supports our inadequacies, one by one. Ask to see them, ask that they may be revealed so that you can let them go!
“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” -Pema Chodron
What are you willing to let go of to get the ultimate healing?