Beginner's Heart

via pixabay

via pixabay

The quote comes from an old ’70s song; I forget the artist (sorry!). I always liked the sentiment — it’s so very hard to love anyone else if you can’t stand your own self.

And trusting yourself? Even harder. How many of us second-guess our choices, our decisions, our plans? Wondering if we’re screwing up even after we’ve thought things through carefully? Where’s that come from? What’s it about??

Today’s Story People put me in mind of this. If you don’t know Story People, you need to. Here’s the link to today’s drawing & words of wisdom. And here — for those of you who don’t like clicking through — is the great advice: There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling rain and remember it is enough to be taken care of by myself.

Wow. How profound is that? To be that kind to ourselves? How can I delude myself I’m  practicing beginner’s heart if I can’t find it in me to forgive the person I know best of all? What good is the Golden Rule, as I often say, if we don’t love our own selves?

via google

It goes waaay back, this ‘ethos of reciprocity.’ All the Chinese philosophers, the Greeks, the Babylonians even — they call for treating others as you would be treated. It’s a lost art today — or perhaps just a lost value. I hear people wanting their rights respected, when they refuse to recognise the rights of others. I see people insisting on ‘fair treatment’ that privileges them ridiculously. And through it all? All of these people espouse compassion, thinking they are following their wisdom traditions.

There is NO wisdom tradition — no religious belief — that says ‘I’m more important than you are, and I get to treat you poorly.’ Nope, not a one. But it all starts so verrry close to home: with our own fallible selves.

My beginner’s heart is often appalled at how ignorant, opinionated, and judgmental I can be. Ouch! But if I can’t love me anyway, how the heck will I ever learn to tolerate — much less accept — the flawed beings all around me? Human beings, we call them… Not perfect. Not always kind, or compassionate.

But we have to try. We have to continue putting ourselves out there, trying to understand what lies beneath racism, hate, unjust law. Because at the heart of each of these infinitely frustrating human hearts is just that: a human heart. And it has to be worth saving. As our own are. Trust me. And then? Trust yourself. It’s the start of something profoundly important.

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