“Do not fight against pain; do not fight against irritation or jealousy. Embrace them with great tenderness, as though you were embracing a little baby. Your anger is yourself, and you should not be violent toward it. The same thing goes for all of your emotions.” Thich Nhat Hanh You Are Here
We are often so hard on ourselves when discovering our limitations. Thich Nhat Hanh invites us to accompany our breathing with the mantra, "Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out." Today I adapt it to, "Breathing in, I know that I am human. Breathing out, I accept that I am human." The invitation to embrace all of our emotions tenderly, even those that want to shame us, brings me back to a time of meditation in which I lost myself in remorse and shame while pondering past behaviors. The vulnerable child within me had long since introduced herself to me and I had taken first steps to welcome her back. But the embrace of her humanity still alluded me. In this meditation I felt a strong impulse moving me onto the floor before my little altar. Without thinking, without words, I gathered my knees to my chest and rocked and weeped in that fetal position until the words finally flowed, bringing profound healing, "Margaret, I love you so much. I don't want to be ashamed of you again. I treasure your vulnerability for all that it teaches me." Since that time, it's easier to accept my humanity. But when the shadows return, I become the woman nestled in the womb of the Crescent Moon, where I rock for a while to recover from the utter surprise that I am human! Breathing in, I know that I am human. Breathing out, I accept that I am human. May it be so.