Basing Our Goodness on Others
When people interview me, they frequently ask me questions within the same vein that go something like this:
“Can you share with us your 3 secrets to happiness” or “How do you stay positive?” or “What’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?”
“Okay, so what’s the most useful thing I’ve learned?” I paused.
“Uhm, That I’m a good person.”
I know we are all searching for the inside scoop on self-help, the one thing that’s going to unlock our happiness and make our lives fall into place; but the truth is, there are no real quick steps to cure it all. There’s no “life hack” for this one.
It’s not necessarily a sexy answer, but learning to believe that I’m fundamentally good has been one of the most difficult things I’ve come to understand in my journey so far.
Think about it: Many of us start out our day by digesting a bowl full of self-criticism, and we’ve become accustomed to fueling ourselves on this diet. It doesn’t really nurture us, feed our soul, but it doesn’t starve us either. It feeds the loop of, “I’m bad, so now I’ll do something to feel less bad."
Rinse and repeat.
We tell ourselves, “I should or shouldn’t have said/did/done that” or “I don’t deserve to buy this or that.” “I wish I was more like him/her,” or “I’m too much of this, and not enough of that.” We tell ourselves, “I’m unworthy” and our lives mirror this reality back to us. Or maybe you’re more subtle, and you just tell yourself, “I’m not thaaat bad” or “I do some good things.” But we certainly do not believe we are all good.
Everything around us feeds this lie we tell ourselves.
I’m bad, but that over there… that is good. Or let me list out the “good things” I have done for you to see. This is where the illusion of the separation of self from Source/God or whatever you prefer to call it happens. The fundamental belief is that we are not part of the Infinite. This begins the road of duality for humankind, a lost soul searching to find Source/God. We doubt our own knowing- and we push ourselves away from the truth of who we are.
But the truth is waiting- waiting for us to accept it. Take it in.
My understanding of all things is that there is a One True Light Consciousness to which we are all connected and an integral part of. We are not born with original sin; we are loved unconditionally. The journey is about our lessons learned, not about keeping little tic marks or tallying up our transgressions. The truth is, we’re pretty hard on ourselves already. We beat ourselves up. God doesn’t have to!
Now I’m not saying that there isn’t bad in the world, because darkness does exist. But even when we do bad things, the heart of who we are is purely good. And I think we’ve all done things that we feel bad about. I’ve said things I shouldn’t have said, I’ve been called a bitch, and I’ve been treated badly. I’ve taken these human shortcomings and listed myself on the “naughty list” so to speak. The tally includes: talking too much, my imperfect physical health, allowing myself to be walked all over, being overweight just to name a few.
Somedays even my fundamental desires and characteristics would slip into that “bad list” category: laughing too loud, wanting to ride my motorcycle, the desire to have loyal friendships, or desiring affection. Somehow these good things were now also categorized as “bad.”Some days
We all have blind spots in our life, things that we don’t think we’re perfect at; but fundamentally we are perfectly imperfect. We are good, and we’re just trying to do our best with what we have.
The problem is that we have been raised in a society filled with religious doctrine, original sin and judgment day, so to speak. Regardless of whether we’ve been raised as Christians, Buddhists, Spiritualists, Atheists or some other belief system, we have been taught to place value on the opinion of something outside of us. We worry about whether we will fill the giant shoes that have been placed in front of us by those belief systems. When we place external expectations on ourselves, we lose our self-perspective. We lose our self-realization. It takes us out of knowing ourselves, because we can never truly fill the expectations and needs of others.
So how did I come to this realization of self-goodness? The truth is, it’s a continual process of accepting the truth of who I am. It’s not like just one day you wake up and love yourself. There’s no magic pill.
You are a good person. Always have been, always will be.
PS. Share this with the good people you know ;)
PPS. Watch this feel-good music video from Luke Brian – I believe most people are good