Throughout life we encounter a sea of voices.
Voices exclaiming fear and unworthiness, voices that fiercely echo, “I can’t, I won’t, I’m not strong enough, I don’t deserve, I’m selfish for wanting, dreaming or having.”
We downplay our success, power and inner truth.
Within the depths of our vulnerability and innocence we can easily succumb to the onslaught of our inner critic.
This isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Some of the most prominent figures in our lives helped to shape these core beliefs.
I’m a firm believer in the concept of Karma.
Karma, as described in Hinduism and Buddhism is defined as, “the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.” ~ GoogleDefinitions, 2016
Many of our learned beliefs about ourselves and the world originated in our families.
In childhood, we are open and receptive. Our energetic fields are porous and malleable, continuously taking in information to provide feedback for the development of our core identity and self.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if we specifically chose or “hired” our family system as a means of furthering the Karmic growth and development of our soul?
There are a lot of spiritual ideas that suggest that we are responsible for choosing our family of origin.
In a Marriage and Couples counseling class, I was introduced to the concept of “hiring our partners.” In this concept, we hire our romantic partners, or friends to help us play out the dynamics learned within our family of origin. Our family of origin is the catalyst for many of our major relationship habits. We are often playing out the unhealed wounds with our parents or siblings.
“If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” ~ Ram Das
It’s amazing how a weekend with our families can dismantle our self-image and restore us to the young, vulnerable and reactive child or teenage self.
On a recent phone call with one of my parents, it was as if I’d been hijacked. The person who I knew myself to be was no longer present. A more primal, wild and defensive part of myself had completely taken control. When looking back at that moment, I realized that my behavior was synonymous with the feeling of a knife being stuck into a core wound or painful belief about myself.
The part of ourselves that feel deeply defensive and wounded are filled with feedback for our learning and growth.
With practice, we can begin to learn that those triggers can often be the key to unlocking the doorway of our greater truth and potential. If instead we become lost within the trigger or wounding, we are buying into the sea of voices crusading for our demise.
To find ourselves again, we have to choose to no longer crumble under the incredible force of our inner critic.
With space, gentleness and compassion for ourselves, we can begin to develop the tools to become open and curious about our wound. We begin to sniff around the edges of our hardened shell. The more awareness and curiosity we have, the greater our potential is to soften toward our beliefs and change our wounds into gifts.
“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” ~ Rumi
In the moment, it might be hard to recognize the incredible pearl of wisdom residing within the depths of our pain. In this place we often feel powerless and unworthy. We might even feel vengeful and destructive. Our instinct is usually to find the quickest exit away from our suffering.
Through my own commitment to self-love and compassion practice, I have found that it is possible to be grateful for the emergence and unveiling of a wound. This is by no means easy. At times, finding gratitude while being in a place of pain or trigger feels impossible.
Yet, what happens when we begin to develop the ninja skills to welcome the voice of our inner critic, family member, friend, co-worker and/or partner? What happens when we can stay with the pain and discomfort and bow in gratitude for the wisdom within each voice? What happens when the critical voice begins to help us transform our core beliefs and wounds and become fuel for our growth?
We practice sitting with this pain.
Through this practice, we are learning not to identify with the painful belief or voice, but to utilize the pain as a vehicle and reminder to love ourselves more fully and deeply. With practice, the voice of fear and criticism becomes a challenge. We learn to bow before the challenge with ferocity and grace to welcome the truth of who we are at the core.
Our core essence is an unstoppable force of light, love and unlimited potential.
By cultivating our capacity to utilize our wounds as a vehicle to love and accept ourselves more fully, we learn to transcend our limiting beliefs and further the evolution of our highest self and soul purpose.
Our limitations and deepest fears become the keys to our freedom. It is the epitome of the Hero’s Journey.
Author: Sandie Bershad
Image: flickr/Tif Pic
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock