In this lesson, we will talk about seeing your goodness.
Often, we have a negative attitude towards ourselves. We see all the flaws and we discount the good things about ourselves. We blame, criticize, and are harsh with ourselves.
What I’d like you to do is to see the goodness that is underneath all that difficulty. We spoke before about the tender heart and it is always there. If willing, you can go one more layer below, to the basic goodness. Every action we take, even if misguided and the strategies don’t work well for us anymore, come from a place of goodness.
Procrastination for example, is a strategy that we developed as children. At the time, it gave us some relief from the fear we were feeling. The strategy worked then but its doesn’t work now. Underneath that procrastination is the desire to be free of fear. To not have to face the uncertainty an discomfort. There is a basic goodness underneath that harmful action. Even if we are angry or become violent, there is a tender heart defending itself feeling attacked. Under that tender heart is a basic goodness that just wants to be happy, wants people to like it, wants to belong, wants to be free of difficulty. The anger does not help, but is a strategy that goes back to childhood that we use as a defense mechanism to protect our tender heart.
Protecting our tender heart is an action that comes from a basic goodness, even if it is a misguided one. Every action, harmful or helpful, comes from a basic goodness.
- Notice any kind of difficulty you are feeling right now. It may be feelings of anxiety, stress, frustration, anger or worry.
- Notice the tender heart under that. Under the pain. Maybe you have gone through some loss, received bad news, are worried about your job, or feel bad about your actions. Whatever difficulty you feel, notice the tenderness under the stress. Perhaps it’s in the chest area. Notice the tender area.
- Notice under that tenderness there is a wide, open goodness. It can be seen as a peaceful, calm, wide ocean. This is a basic goodness that we are born with and that al people have. This goodness is wider than our physical bodies and we can envision it connecting to all other people’s basic goodness and to the world around us. This wide, open, expansive, loving basic goodness. You might see it as an open sky with all of our difficult emotions floating over that basic goodness. Under those difficult emotions, we can feel this wide, open, expansive blue sky of basic goodness. This blue sky is at peace and the clouds just float over it. The blue sky is pure love, pure joy, pure kindness. We obscure it with our difficulties, pain, stories, distractions. If we can sit still, we can tap into the tenderness under the pain and the goodness under the tenderness.
- Wish for your own happiness, peace, and an end to your own suffering. Our pain becomes a way to access our tenderness and, in turn, our basic goodness. The stress and difficulties we face become a doorway to this goodness. They become a path to this beautiful place in our hearts. If you are not noticing it now, practice it over day after day. Practice the tenderness, practice the goodness. and the wish for your own happiness, peace and an end to your own suffering.
This is your practice:
- Notice the pain
- Notice your tenderness
- Try to see the basic goodness under that
- Wish for your own happiness, peace, and an end to your own difficulties
- Wish this for other and for all beings
Thank you, my friends.
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