One of the most challenging practices in our human experience is to get real. Self honesty can be really paralyzing and intimidating. Why is that? For starters, we need to take off our masks, we need to reveal ourselves, get closer to the edges, the corners where we hide.
And this process is uncomfortable and challenging.
Self honesty requires the courage and willingness to be in place to create an opening to see that our basic suffering always comes from our unseen, unfelt, unincluded parts and the defense mechanisms we build rise to the surface when we need to pull away from this suffering. This is exactly when the stories, reactive emotions, the justifications, the distance appear. Underneath it all, it's just fear. we
I suffered a lot during high school, I just couldn’t fit in. I didn’t feel seen or included. As a result, I created a bunch of strategies to cope with these unmet needs and affected parts of me, and to this day I’m undoing them.
The thing is our whole sense of self identity can get organized around these mechanisms/strategies and because we do it so very often, we become so familiar and so unaware of it. The ways we control, the ways we crave something, the ways we blame (us and others), the ways we get fixated.
Buddha describes suffering as when we forget our true nature. We forget! Our vision gets narrow and cloudy, we live life with a false sense of self.
We distance ourselves from our true nature, our presence and we become inclined to our defenses, to the ways we feel secure. This is all programing. When we feel harm, we shrink into the defensive self. When we feel reward, we grasp to get what we want.
Learning to see, to name, to contact what’s there moment to moment, bringing awareness, getting closer to the edges, speaking about where it hurts, seeing the defense strategies can only happen while we open to compassion. We need the compassion because most of the challenge of self honesty is the fixation and the belief in our own “badness”, that “something is wrong with me”. We turn in to judgement mode.
With compassion we allow ourselves to know it’s ok to be where you are no matter what, with no need to cover it up. To know it’s safe to be honest, to be open. To understand we are not failing while we struggle to integrate those parts of us that hurt, that feel unseen and unincluded. To realize the freedom on embracing who we are, to get closer to our authenticity, our true nature, a similar feeling children carry with them, with the reminder and the courage to show up as we are.
This and other concepts are what we are working on EGO: online workshop. This is a 5 day online workshop, you can access from anywhere in the world at your own pace and schedule - it doesn't need to be done in consecutive days. It's a series of practices, guided meditations and texts to support you to expand. $38 More info and sign up here.