I believe this was from Dandapani who I don’t even really click with or like all that much to be honest. Not judging just a personal preference. And not that I follow anyone’s teachings.
But this phrase clicks with me as so true the longer I spend on my self discovery and healing journey. Some will immediately know what I am talking about, others will have no clue, which is more than ok. Everyone’s journey is their own.
I have long understood that I have struggled with my self image, with depression, with anxiety, with self hatred, with a sense of loneliness and longing so strong it threatens to break me. For so many years I ran from myself, I denied my feelings, I numbed myself to the pain. Alcohol, antidepressants, sleeping pills, weed, video games, porn, online friends instead of in person friends. I was a desperately lost person in denial of my own suffering. Things improved vastly before I even discovered meditation but since I have, I’ve grown to understand myself so much more clearly. The road left to me is long and bumpy, filled no doubt with much more pain. I still have vices and bad habits to let go of. But I can say for the first time in my life in the past year or two that I’m genuinely starting to understand what it means to love myself.
Meditation has not been a “fun” process for me. I have found and experienced peace during my meditation sessions yes. But the overall clarity and self awareness it brought into my daily life has not always been pretty. If you are to be serious about meditation make sure you understand that you will uncover your true self. Both that which you may like and that which you may not.
Of that which I have struggled with, I know myself now as a very insecure, fear filled, self hating, shallow, lonely, desperate man. This is not a negative judgment of myself. These are not ‘bad’ things in and of themselves, indeed they are that which I must accept for they make me the whole “beautiful” human being that I am. And I must accept them if I wish to change. They are the lines etched in the skin that give me depth. They are the pain that can lead to wisdom if I allow for it. They are truth. But they are still things I struggle to accept daily. I am very aware that I am still a fear filled human being. One end to the other fear as ruled my life and as much as I have made it my motto to not allow fear to run my life I would be lying if I said it doesn’t still play a central theme. But brutal honesty and acceptance is something else that must come with meditation, that and compassion for ones self. I can not flick a switch and turn off the fear, the pain, the loneliness that haunts me. I can merely allow it to be there and attempt to learn from them. Allow them to be my guide. Some days are easier than others. Some days I feel no sense of presence, some days I feel only fear or paranoia, other days I can see the empty sky behind the clouds.
Meditation takes courage for in time it lays everything bare. It clear cuts the forest in the mind leaving no room to hide behind. One must accept what one finds of themselves, the good, the bad, the ugly. Much can be changed of course but first must come acceptance and compassion.