“We don’t know who we really are. This is because we have never stayed ‘home’ long enough to experience the truth about ourselves. We were not encouraged to do this. Instead we accepted as true what other people told about ourselves. (…) Before too long (…) it became very confusing because we were defining ourselves and forming our self-images based on other people’s contradictory evaluations of who we are.”
– Erich Schiffmann
I believe that for us Westerners to want to be present and “at home” with ourselves we need a basic inner friendliness, one which does not feel conflicted. As Erich Schiffmann points out in the quote above, there is a tension built into our psyche around the question “who am I, really?” We haven’t had a chance to find out for ourselves, to truly gain clarity there, and because of that we feel vulnerable to being judged. And we judge ourselves. This limits our natural ability to feel home in ourselves and to live whole-heartedly.
Based on this compassionate inner friendliness, I love to explore simply being, just being aware, just breathing wherever I am. In those moments I love to contemplate our “basic goodness,”which is a foundational view in Buddhist cultures.
Maybe it’s easier to find and remain “home” if we allow ourselves to sometimes replace the inner tension by the thought or the practice of our basic goodness. Resting in this might open the door to feeling a bit less conflicted, maybe even at ease and still “at home.”
Enjoy a good week,