“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and in thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.”
~ Lao Tzu
“The expectations and distractions of our Culture may have seduced you onto a slave ship that you boarded at some point in your life, and now you’re rowing along with everyone else not realizing that there are no iron shackles, only mental ones, and at any time you are free to stand up and walk out without punishment, and take your own one-person kayak, that’s been right there waiting for you all along, and take it in any direction you choose.” – Albert Pellissier from a Meditation on Compassion.
If you want to be free you must be able “to be”. You’ve got to learn how to give all aspects of who you are a permission to exist. This means we must stop judging ourselves. We must forgive ourselves for being human. We must forgive ourselves for being imperfect. Because when we judge ourselves, we automatically judge others. And what we do to others, we also do to ourselves. The world is a mirror of our internal selves. When we can accept ourselves, and forgive ourselves, we automatically accept and forgive others. Make peace with the sometimes contradictory aspects of your self. – from “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers” by Debbie Ford
In his great book, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, Nathaniel Branden talks about the importance of Self-Acceptance. He tells us: “As a psychotherapist I see nothing does as much for an individual’s self-esteem as becoming aware of and accepting disowned parts of the self. The first steps of healing and growth are awareness and acceptance—consciousness and integration.”
“Whether you like it or not, if you’re human, you have a shadow. If you can’t see it, just ask the people in your family, or the people you work with. They’ll point it out to you. We think our masks keep our inner selves hidden, but whatever we refuse to recognize about ourselves has a way of rearing its head and making itself known when we least expect it.”
~ Debbie Ford
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us “universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty.” -Albert Einstein