Our job is to move away from the inner critic or inner condemner and move toward divine love and compassion.
We all have a desire to be happy and free from depression, anxiety and trauma symptoms. These challenges were particularly common during the intense period of the pandemic, and many of us continue to struggle with its residue.
Meditation teacher James Baraz offers us hope with the story of his then 89-year-old mother Selma. He noticed that she struggled with finding gratitude in her life. She was so used to complaining that the power of negativity usually trumped any light of positivity.
He tried to relate to her through her everyday experiences such as how she would react if there was a problem with the reception on her TV. She perked up on this issue and was open to growing in gratitude.
After a while, she agreed to play a game with her son. Each time she turned to complain, he would remind her to add “and my life is really very blessed”. Over time, this game had a very positive shift on her mood.
Without pressure, she kept tuning into a sense of blessedness until it became a habit, and the change was revolutionary. The simple shift toward grateful consciousness made an amazing difference (Awakening Joy).
The famous poem Footprints in the Sand can also inspire divine compassion and love within us. It tells the story of a man looking back over his life with his compassionate friend.
He becomes upset because he sees two sets of footprints in the sand during the bright sunny days of his life, while there is only one set of footprints in the sand during the very dark and gloomy days.
The man sees clearly in the end when his compassionate friend tells him that he didn’t abandon him during those deeply challenging times, but he actually picked him up and carried him.
This inner presence is also available to us right now, to free us from any guilt, shame, fear or anguish. To fill us with confidence and happiness, to burst out in laughter!
Our journey of healing is not an easy one. But with our compassionate friend and a habit of gratitude, we can face the challenges of our time.
We can make love and compassion our home and experience it in our bodies.