“Part of spiritual and emotional maturity is recognizing that it's not like you're going to try to fix yourself and become a different person. You remain the same person, but you become awakened.”
I'm embarrassed to say, that it has taken me lo these many years to realize that no amount of therapy, meditation, or prayer is going to change me into a different, and better person. All my traits were laid down along with skinny legs and unmatched ears before I was ever complete in my mother's womb, and reinforced like crazy during the first five years of my life here on planet Earth. They are as permanent as Mount Rushmore. I started this work-project of personal change in my twenties, and four decades of toil and labor later, I am still the very same person I was when I started. I have good traits, and boy, do I have some bad ones. The only difference is, I'm conscious of all of them now—well, maybe not all of them, but enough to recognize them as first cousins. They pop up like ugly trolls, and I think, “Oh, yeah, I know you. Aren't we kin?”
The good news is, consciousness is everything! When we're awake, we recognize that the brooding, critical, angry voice inside our head belongs to us and not someone else. We may be able to conjure up ten people to blame for its being there, but at this point, it's ours to keep. We have to name it and claim it. But let's not forget the other side—the good parts. The voice of compassion and praise, the side that identifies with the wounds of another and feels empathy also belongs to us. The trait we tend to have the hardest time recognizing as our own is the light shining from our open heart out into a hurting world.
I am, and you are, the very same person as when we started life, but if we have awakened, if we have become conscious, we are less likely to project our bad traits onto others, and more likely to love others in spite of their imperfections. We're also more able to see our own goodness, and embrace our flaws as part of who we are—even skinny legs and a bad temper.
In the Spirit,