Most of the people I work with (including the guy I counsel in the mirror) are tormented at times by an inner judge whose stance is always critical – and often quite harsh. Last Thursday in group, as part of an ongoing effort I make to invite mercy into our inner lives, I shared this passage from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo.
"We do ourselves a great disservice by judging where we are in comparison to some final destination. This is one of the pains of aspiring to become something: the stage of development we are in is always seen against the imagined landscape of what we are striving for. So where we are – though closer all the time – is never quite enough.
The simple rose, at each moment of its slow blossoming, is as open as it can be. The same is true of our lives. In each stage of our unfolding, we are as stretched as possible. For the human heart is quite slow to blossom, and is only seen as lacking when compared to the imagined lover or father or mother we'd like to become.
It helps to see ourselves as flowers. If a flower were to push itself to open faster, which it can't, it would tear. Yet we humans can and often do push ourselves. Often we tear in places no one can see. When we push ourselves to unfold faster or more deeply than is natural, we thwart ourselves. For nature takes time, and most of our problems of will stem from impatience." (p. 251)
Be gentle with your petals. Flower mercifully.