“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” — Rumi
The thing is when we want to change the world, quite often we have omitted a very important first step – changing ourselves. Changing the world appears easy relative to changing ourselves.
Changing me means I have to see me clearly. That leads to owning all my parts – the dark side of the force, as well as the light side of the force. I was teaching a class on this subject a year or so ago. To make my point I said repeat after me: “I’m a bitch!” The next woman in the group said: “You’re a bitch?” Well, there you go. It’s very difficult for our conscious minds to own whatever we have labeled dark – even in the middle of a class concerning our unowned parts.
Learning to see clearly is a long journey into ourselves. First you have to have the desire to see yourself clearly. It can seem easier to go through life seeing everyone else’s faults – maybe even blaming them for your own disappointments. The problem with that approach is it doesn’t work. No one else can live your life – they will get it wrong every time.
The really amazing, magical thing about inner work is it helps you see your own magnificence – love as a state of being. And, yes, your lessons. Lessons have the potential to bring you great freedom, wisdom, peace. The Buddha advised we cultivate a beginner’s mind – always learning.
Seeing the parts you have labeled bad or dark is freeing. The wild thing about being able to say “I’m a bitch!” is it takes the power away from the bitch inside and brings it out here in the light of day. Owning whatever you have labeled dark begins the process of integration. The balance inside begins to shift.
Life is just plain more fun, more magical when I walk my path with great honesty and curiosity.
I’ll end where I began, with Rumi: “And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”