Awareness and Compassion
This work is not about trying to get rid of fear and shame — because what you resist persists and intensifies — but about bringing your fear and shame into your conscious awareness.
When you bring light to the darkness, the darkness is illumined. When you become conscious of your fear and shame, their destructive power is diffused.
When you learn to see and hold your fear and shame compassionately, you begin to embrace the angry little kid inside who does not feel loved.
Once you have awareness (light), you can bring compassion (love). That is what this work asks of you — to bring light and love, awareness and compassion — first to yourself and then to others.
The Core Self
The Core Self is the innocent part of you that lies behind your shadow. It cannot be seen unless you look with love and acceptance. Everyone has a Core Self, but few people are in touch with it. That is because they have not yet learned to look with love and acceptance.
The Core Self is whole and complete. There is nothing lacking in it. There is nothing in it that needs to be changed or fixed. The Core Self contains all the gifts and talents you possess, in their potential. It is the blueprint you are born with. Connecting with the Core Self creates a pathway for the integration of the shadow and the restoration of wholeness in the psyche.
When you are connected to your Core Self, you are connected to all that is. You live in relationship to your Source or higher power.
The Goal of all Spiritual Practice
Reestablishing the connection to our Core Self is the goal of all spiritual practice. It is also a necessity for real healing to take place.
The wounded child cannot heal himself, because he feels unworthy and has no love to bring. Someone must connect to the Source of love within and become the bringer of love to the child.
This someone is you. You are the bringer of love to your own experience. Unless you bring love to yourself, you cannot heal. You cannot experience peace in this life.
Truth and Illusion
The Core Self is the light behind the shadow. When we look compassionately at the shadow, we realize it is all illusion. It is a construction of our shame and our fear. It is not ultimately real. What is ultimately real is what stands behind it.
Until now, the light has been hidden behind the shadow. But when we meet the shadow without fear, we can see the light behind it. Beneath your guilt is your innocence. The latter is real. The former is not.
Opening the Prison Door
Each one of us will have an experience of the world that conforms to his beliefs about himself and others. This experience may be painful, but it still may be difficult to challenge.
People think “this is just the way it is.” But in truth it is just the way “they perceive it to be.” Whatever a person perceives seems “real enough” to him. He identifies with what he perceives, accepts it as truth, and lives his life according to that truth. But that truth might not lead him out of suffering. It might not help him to live a happy and fulfilled life. Indeed, it may be the primary cause of his suffering.
Yet, until his pain is very great, he may not question what he believes to be true. He may not know that he has the power to liberate himself, just as he had the power to put himself in prison.
The False Self and the True Self
When you try to act without a connection to your Essence, all that you create is wound-driven. Every attempt to act without this connection is simply wrongdoing. It leads to wrong relationship, wrong livelihood and all other expressions of self-betrayal. These are the activities of the False Self.
When you meet and align with your Essence everything you do is congruent with it. As a result, you spontaneously honor self and other. This leads to right action, right livelihood, right relationship. These are the activities of the True Self.