In my journey, I find honouring of self a very tricky affair. I have identified new values that make my life workable. They are honesty, respect and justice.
Now, identifying is the easy part. Honouring those values is where the work is. It is a risky undertaking. I find that it takes courage, effort, independence of thought and action; which is fine. However, all these have to take place in the context of relationships for the honouring to be successfully consummated.
A major obstacle in honoring myself is I struggle with self forgiveness. I have a great life. I say great because it is not driven by fear or addiction as it once was. It exponentially gets better as i continue working on myself. The increased understanding has opened the way to the possibility of wisdom, acceptance and freedom.
The struggle with self forgiveness is largely brought on by guilt from the past and the opinion I have shaped of myself as being unworthy of a great life or, more than that, God’s love. I believe in God and His Love. My sense of shame tells me I am unworthy of his love.
Today, I am grateful because I have chosen to give up the struggle: to pick a new fight, a new battle, a new outlook. I have chosen to relax and loosen up because I realise there is nothing that I can do that would make God’s love for me any less. or even more. It just is . He just is. By honouring that belief, I see that, by extension, I honour myself.
My country has lost at least 160 lives through two man-made totally avoidable fire incidents. Several more were injured. Note, I call them incidents not accidents. Whenever I call them accidents, I do not take personal responsibility for being the cause. For instance , I will blame the media for sensationally highlighting those incidents to the exclusion of others. I bet that this week alone, we lost other fellow citizens throughout the country the country to other incidents. However, the headlines would not have been catchy enough to compel you and me to buy that newspaper or dash to the nearest television set to catch the latest news bulletin. I will get straight to the point lest I am accused of being insensitive; to which, in a sense, I plead guilty as charged. I am, however, present to the fact there are grieving relatives and friends. And that’s as it should be. The question I am asking myself is, “What is MY part in ALL of this?” Now it becomes personal! There is ownership and absolutely NO apportionment of blame: not to the government, politicians, the media or to employers of this or that ethnic community. No one but me. I lit those fires just as much as I perished in them. I swallowed the news wholesale just as much as I wrote those headlines. No, my fellow citizens, he or she did not do it. I DID! I AM GUILTY! And, before you rush to arrest me for committing these heinous crimes, please note that my sole accuser, prosecutor, judge and jury is MY conscience. I am guilty as charged and I am willing to do my time. To make amends. Hard labour, if need be. Then, and only then will I see the bondage I am in. That’s when, and only when, will I see the possibility of the freedom I truly crave. I can then go out there and create that freedom for you and me, with no one left out. The greatest irony of this prison , is that I also hold the key to my cell. I get to say how long I stay in or when I get out. It is an opportunity to grow or to groan. I have this sneaky suspicion that I am not the only one in this prison.