Love Includes Everything (or today is the day I don't go to war with myself)By Rythea Lee
December 31, 2006
What are the ways in which we go to war with ourselves? In this article, Rythea Lee talks about the process of banishing certain feelings, thoughts, and aspects of Self, thus beginning an inner war that cannot be resolved until we welcome all experiences. Peace is the gift that is offered when we include everything, all our pains, into our loving.
What does it mean to go to war with oneself? For me, it happens when i try and get rid of undesirable parts of myself; my feelings, my thoughts, my memories, my impulses. Neediness comes up, I banish it. Fear arises, I ignore it. Judgment surfaces, I judge it. War occurs as soon as I see my current experience as wrong or other. As soon as I decide " no, I don't want to feel that way" or "that is not who I am," I begin the internal war.
My Essence loves all, accepts all, welcomes all. My wounded self is not in touch with my Essence, nor does it trust my Essence. As pain arises for healing, the wounded self rejects it, protects against it, resists it. This is natural, the human inclination to escape pain. The problem is, when we run from pain, we become pain. How ironic. The very thing we run from can claim us when we give it that much power, when we don't invite it into our loving.
So how do we offer Peace to ourselves? We include everything! We welcome the fear, shame, resistance, judgment, grief, into our wholeness, like lost children who need to come home.
When I truly welcome my pain, I see it for what it is; separation. For example, I have had chronic neck pain for a year and a half due to a car accident. For a year and a half, I have gone to war with this pain, trying all kinds of tactics to get rid of the pain- meditation, massage, baths, rest, exercise, physical therapy, chiropractic, etc. Even when I thought I was opening to the pain, often my underlying intention was to love it in order to get rid of it (which is very understandable). Only when I finally welcomed the pain as a teacher, as a lost aspect of self, was I able to be in physical pain and be at peace. Before this, I believed I could only be at peace if the pain went away. Now the pain is not my enemy. I don't have to spend my time getting all worked about about something that needs healing. What freedom to have the pain become part of my Essence!
The war we see in the world is a reflection of how people as a collective feel about themselves. It is an expression of our consciousness. I invite you to continually and lovingly ask the question, in what ways am I going to war with myself? Then watch the insights unfold.
(This article is dedicated to Gangaji, a teacher who has inspired this reality of including it all)
You can read more of Rythea's writing by checking out her book "Trauma into Truth:Gutsy Healing and Why It's Worth It" at Amazon.com
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True compassion starts with oneself. If you extend compassion to others before giving it to yourself, you are giving from an empty place and your compassion may be manipulative. But if you give it to yourself and then extent it to others, you are giving from a full place within. Then your compassion is truly loving and healing, because you don't need anything back.
By Dr. Margaret Paul