Letting our Light Shine
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | January 2019
We can find the light in ourselves and others. Our harsh judgments interfere with peace of mind and fracture closeness.
Recognizing the light in ourselves is essential before we can react and enjoy the light in others. When our inner-world is dark and scary, our mental energy is focused inward. Fear obscures our vision, interrupting connectedness. The fears of the outer-world overwhelm cognitions and we seek peace through intense self-awareness, neglecting others. To escape turmoil, we often adjust reality by assigning hurtful meanings that blame others to placate the anxious workings of the mind. This cycle of pain, distorted vision, and destructive action must be broken. It leads nowhere.
If we want to see clearly, and appreciate others, we must start with some self-directed compassion. Self-hatred strengthens the noxious self-protecting cycle.
"The fears of the outer-world overwhelm cognitions and we seek peace through intense self-awareness, neglecting others."
Self-kindness is not artificial propping up of the ego against reality. We don’t praise the king for a suit of clothing he is not wearing. Compassion invites clarity in vision, recognizing our nakedness. We aren’t beyond reproach. We all need improvement; but we are “wonderful.” But being wonderful isn’t dependent on perfection. Having self-compassion simply implies we care and respect the self, exhibiting patience with our failings. Through compassion, we show kindness to ourselves. We carefully treat our hurts, and work with the weaknesses; like a caring parent attends to a skinned knee.
When we are gentle, creating a comforting inner-environment, the threatening outside world transforms. Compassion can’t be self-contained; it must project outward. We must also be less demanding on others; no longer needing them to satisfy our sense of lack. Through the light of self-appreciation, we recognize the beauty in others, celebrating their successes, without needs to magnify discovery of their flaws or demean their accomplishments to boost our own fragile ego. They are who they are; and we are who we are. So, let that internal light shine, appreciate the uniqueness of your existence, without boast or arrogance, and together with the lights of others we can break the darkness in the cold world of selfishness.
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