EBUP64: A Technique for Self-Acceptance
Eric Butterworth Unity Podcast #64
In this talk about self-acceptance, Eric Butterworth says “So, if a Goliath is taunting you with threats and boasts, then like David, go forth in the name of the Lord and take with you the smooth stones of humility, which means to let go. Really let go all of your sense of inadequacy, self-appreciation. Realize that there is a divine process within you, a great God self and knowing this, knowing that you are a unique individualization of God, give yourself a pat on the back occasionally, and self-acceptance…”
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As I’m sure you might understand, a person in my position deals with a lot of people, and I have had personal contacts and relationships with a lot of people over a lot of years, and I’ve come to the conclusion that very high among the dominant problems that face people, sometimes apparent, sometimes lurking in the shadows is the grim specter of insufficiency, which has been popularized through psychology and the term inferiority complex.
Had a letter from a woman one time, and I’ll always remember it was certainly a very poignant thing that she pointed out about herself, but still it touched a whimsical note in my consciousness.
She said, “I have suffered with an inferiority complex for over 80 years. Can’t you help me?”
I found myself whimsically feeling that one would think that after 80 years, a person would decide to let bygones be bygones and just accept himself, but then, of course, we can’t make light of it because anyone who has had this monkey on his back knows that it’s not all that easy to change from the feeling of insufficiency, from the feeling of self-rejection, and to get a sense of self-acceptance.
Today, there’s a great interest in human rights and I think understandably, certainly injustice to individuals is a sad thing to behold, but I wonder if sometimes we’re not just as unjust in our dealings with ourselves and the way we treat ourselves.
When was the last time you said “Well, I’m probably wrong. I usually am. Just like me, I always say the wrong thing. They’re laying people off at work and I guess I’ll be the first to go. I might as well get used to it. I’m not very important around here.”?
Now, of course, none of you has ever said anything like that because you’re all good with students, but you’ve heard that said, I’m sure. Well, that implies a lack of self-acceptance or inferiority complex. What does this mean? What does it mean to have an inferiority complex? I’m sure many folks here would say, “Well, I don’t know what it means, but it certainly is terrible,” but what’s it all about?
I suppose we could define it by saying it is a series of emotionally toned ideas ranged around one central idea, disbelief in oneself, a feeling of self-rejection or the inability to believe that what you are and where you are is adequate or acceptable to meet life, at least the kind of life experience that you have facing you.
Now, this 80-year-old person who wrote to me, and I certainly don’t want to make light of her or her problem because this is certainly a very sad situation. This woman had obviously been acceptable to life as her fourscore years prove after all she had lived to life in a sense somehow had found her acceptable, but she didn’t think she was acceptable.
So, the difference, the great paradox then is between what she was and what she thought she was. This is so very subtle and yet it’s so much a part of the life experience of all of us. I love that witty comment of Elbert Hubbard who says, “Man’s not what he thinks he is, but what he thinks he is.”
So, if you think you are insufficient, if you think you are inadequate, if you think you are unacceptable, and obviously, this is going to color your whole thought process, it may have nothing whatever to do with the actual facts. You’ve known many persons who tell you or reveal an evidence that they feel terribly insufficient, inadequate, inferior, yet you look at them and you analyze them and you say, “But you’re superior. You have everything. You have so many things, so many talents, so many abilities and so forth,” but the person thinks he is inferior and so he’s inferior as far as he’s concerned.
Now, the interesting thing is a person may have real handicaps and inadequacies, and yet they may spur him to compensate and, thus, to succeed overwhelmingly in certain areas of life. It is true that a handicap can and often does color one’s thoughts about oneself, but you see, the thing that we must understand is that we can choose the colors.
Life is growth, so everyone comes into life with some growth need. I’ve often thought that if I were perfect, I wouldn’t be here, and that’s true of you. So, the very fact that we’re here means that we have some growing to do. It’s the same thing as a person who is in school. If you have a person, you’re a teacher, and you have a child in the third grade and he’s sort of acting up as little children in third grade age do, you say, “What on earth is he doing here?” Well, he’s there because of what he is in consciousness. He’s there because he has a need to grow.
It’s like saying in a hospital, “Why are people in the hospital?” Because they’re ill. You expect to have ill people in a hospital, don’t you? You expect to have people who need growth in an area that is involved in growth experiences. Sometimes people look around about them in a truth meeting and they say, “Why do people have to be so obnoxious?” They say, “I would think that if people who study truth, they wouldn’t be this way, but in most cases they’re studying truth because they’re that way, because they realize they have a need to change, the need to grow, you see.”
So, that this doesn’t mean that you’re going to find all wacky people who study truth, but it does mean that you should be a little understanding about the fact that other folks have a need for growth like you have and their growth needs may be a little different. So, that everyone comes into life with some kind of a growth need and it may well be a handicap. It may well be an insufficiency, but if you feel that you have some sort of a handicap or some sort of an insufficiency, this is your opportunity. It’s not your cross.
If you meet it positively and if you decide that you’re going to choose the colors of your thought, certainly, life is not a playground, life is a school room. So, when we discover our particular insufficiency, then we have found meaning for our life, and if you find meaningful your life, then you have something terrific. Some folks go years of their life trying to find what’s it all about anyway. What it’s all about is accepting the fact that where you are is the point where you should be because it’s the thing that provides the groundwork on which you can grow and become the kind of person that you’re created to be.
Remember, Jesus said, “To this end was I born and for this cause came I into the world that I should bear witness to the truth.” Now, this means that Jesus’ life, it means for Jesus’ life that he had discovered that he had to make the grade in perfection. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about this or not. Some people get a little bit uptight when I refer to Jesus in this way, but can’t you just imagine how inadequate Jesus felt sometimes?
I can just imagine some people hate to think, “Jesus would be inadequate. After all, he’s the son of God. Is it?” Well, you’re the son of God, too. The distinction is, do you know it? He knew it a little bit more than we did, and a little bit more, and a little bit more, and a little bit more, and a little bit more until ultimately achieved the goal.
The point is the meaning for Jesus’ life was discovered when he realized that he had to achieve perfection. Now, he had to achieve it. He didn’t start out with that. He had to grow through it. He had to constantly rise above inadequacies, and limitations, and so forth. Can’t you just imagine that there were times when he thought, “It’s too much for me”?
Well, I have the gospel on my side because at least in one instance when Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he’s facing the final examination, and he says, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” He felt insufficient, but he rose up as he always did above these times, and took hold of the dynamic God possibility within him and he said, “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.”
You see, when you become aware of what you think of as your particular deficiency, to this end you were born. This is why you’re here, to bear witness to the truth. So, where you are in growth is why you are here at this time and in this place. That’s a very important thing. It doesn’t mean you stay there, but that’s the starting point. That’s why you’re here.
So, accept it as your grade level, the inadequacy, the difficulty, the the weakness, the hardship, whatever it is. Accept that as the grade level where you are and then get on with it. Begin to take the steps beyond that and know that you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have the power to rise above it because life is growth.
Now, I love the bible story of David and Goliath. Always takes me back to my Sunday school days, and I suspect that there is a little bit of the child within all of us. So, maybe we respond to this kind of a biblical story. You may recall there was a war between the Israelites and the Philistines and each of them, each side held a hilltop with a Valley in between and they were gathered on the tops of the cliffs on either side, and they were shouting insults across the valley at one another.
You may recall as the story tells it in the bible that the Philistines had a giant, and the giant was named Goliath. Now, he may just have been a giant of a man who sometimes we refer to a man as a giant. He may be seven feet tall. On the other hand, he may have been a giant that was nine or 10 feet tall, I don’t know, but anyway, he was a big man, and there was never a soldier equal to him.
He paraded up and down the valley challenging the Israelites, and he called out, “If you have a giant who defeats me, we will be your slaves, and on the other hand, if we defeat your giant, then you will be our slaves.”
Then, of course, the rev was he knew very well that they didn’t have a giant. So, they were caught in a dilemma. So, the impasse went on, but suddenly down from the hills came a little shepherd boy, boy of about 20 years old, very slight little fellow, and he heard Goliath and he was wondering, “Why doesn’t somebody take him on?” He was young and full of pep and vigor, and he felt he could lick the world. So, he went to King Saul and he said, “Let me do it. Let me add him.”
Of course, the King said, “Well, you’re just a lad. You can’t do anything about this.” Finally, they realized that they had very little recourse that no one else was around to make an effort and they thought, “Well, why not? Let the young fellow try it.”
So, they tried to dress him with heavy armor and he didn’t have the strength to even carry the armor, let alone put on a shield and a sword. So, finally, he convinced them to let him do it his way. So, without any kind of armor and only a little boy’s sling, he went out to do battle with Goliath and he paused at the spring and he took five smooth stones from the brook and he put them in his pouch. So, he was strode forward to Goliath. When he got within a certain distance, he took a stone out of his sling and made ready.
The giant, of course, saw him there, this little strip of a young man and he said, “Go back to mama. I’m going to feed you to the birds.” David shouted forth with a great sense of confidence, “You come with sword and spear, but I come in the name of God whom you defy. This day will Jehovah deliver thee into my hands and I will take your head away from you.”
So, he took his sling with the one stone and he struck the giant in the forehead and the giant fell dead, and then using the giant’s sword, he cut off his head and the Philistines all fled, of course, and the whole problem of the Israelites was resolved for that moment.
It’s a very interesting story, but like so many of the stories in the scripture, there’s a tremendous personally symbolic meaning, and this is what the bible is all about. It makes a lot of sense if we can see between the lines and see it as a metaphysical treatise on the unfoldment of every person, including yourself, and especially yourself.
So, this struggle between David and Goliath symbolizes the conflict between the ideas of our spiritual heritage and the human belief in limitation. In other words, Goliath represents the belief in powers and forces and personalities greater than oneself leading to a sense of inferiority. When the Goliath of your own consciousness taunts you and lords it over you, of course, you cower in self-insufficiency and you feel that you’re inadequate to meet life.
David in the story symbolizes your inner potential. He implies that the Israelites looked into the mirror of truth and they asked, “Who am I?” and they came up with that same wonderful realization that Peter came to, and Jesus asked him the question, “Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.” This is the kind of realization then that came out of the person looking into the mirror of truth and getting the realization by which he could overcome this specter of insufficiency.
So, David represents every person or having a very personal sense, represents you bearing witness to truth, facing up to the Goliath of your human consciousness, facing up to your feelings of inadequacy. When he selects for five small stones from the brook, this has a deep metaphysical meaning, this gives the key to the whole overcoming because they represent five very simple realizations of truth: humility, self-appreciation, self-acceptance, determination, and faith.
Let’s think of these because I think they’ll help us in a little quest throughout our own consciousness to define some of the difficulties within us and to ever so slightly you change the course. Remember, as we said in the beginning, a slight veering of the course by which suddenly our life becomes different.
Let’s think about humility first, and this is a very startling thought to begin with because it would appear that feelings of inferiority are already evidence of too much fawning humility, but this is absolutely untrue. Goliath, it could be said probably, was the one that felt inferior because of his size, which accounts for his bullying behavior. He knew that he was not accepted as a man, so his conceit and his aggressiveness simply covered his inner emptiness and self-doubt. This helps us to understand the behavior of a lot of people around us.
On the other hand, the Israelites were overly self-centered because their self-rejection and their inadequacy before Goliath simply fed their ego. This is the startling thing about human consciousness. In other words, they were probably saying, “We must be very important because we’re so worth condemning.”
A psychoanalyst said recently that whenever a patient is berating himself for picayune, feelings of self-limitation, inferiority, he always says, “Who do you think you are?” In other words, quite often, the inferior person is saying, “I feel that people are always looking at me. I feel that people are always judging me. People are always eyeing me and questioning me and so forth.”
So, again, we need to say, “How self-centered can you get? People have other things to do than to think about you. They’ve got their own problems. They’re probably wondering if you’re thinking about them.”
In other words, as David did, if you come in the name of the Lord without sword and spear, you will find that you have a new awareness of yourself, but if you do not come in this consciousness, you will be concerned with what other persons are thinking about you, concerned about the problems around you, and you will be totally unaware of the tremendous potential within you.
In other words, you need to be concerned with what you can give rather than what others are thinking about you. It’s like a story of a man who came to this country from Europe. Before he had been here for many months, he became a rage of the lecture circuit. He had a tremendous ability to stand on a platform and have an audience in the palm of his hand for a very few minutes. So, someone was asking him what his technique was, how he was able to do this because he had a communication problem, he didn’t speak the language very well, and he had a very heavy accent and so forth.
He said, “Well,” he said, “I discovered one thing a long time ago, especially about Americans.” He said, “When Americans come to Europe, they get off the boat or off the plane and they look out around them and they say, normally, ‘Well, here I am.’” He said, “I’ve discovered that there is a better way. So, when I step out on the platform, my very first thought is to look at the audience and to say, ‘Ah, there you are’”. He said, “That’s the only technique that I know.”
It’s a marvelous realization, you see, because the reason a person who is doing public speaking or before people in any way, the reason he feels unconscious, self-conscious, I should say, he feels unconscious, too, and I can tell you sometimes you feel unconscious. The reason he may feel self-conscious is because he’s so terribly concerned. He’s there and he feels that he’s supposed to do something. Something’s expected of him, you see, but if he can immediately turn the thought around and look at the group and say, “Ah, you’re there,” you see, and forget about himself, and then he’s involved in trying to give, to express, to share something that he has. He wouldn’t be there if he didn’t have something to share, you see, and suddenly forgets himself.
This is the power of humility. Thomas Merton has a marvelous thought about that. He says, “A humble man can do great things with an uncommon perfection because he’s no longer concerned about accidentals like his own interests and his own reputation, and therefore, he no longer needs to waste his efforts in defending them.” So, humility, you see, is one of the very vital realizations that leads toward this overcoming of the so-called inferiority thought.
The other stone represents self-appreciation. A person who is plagued with feelings of insufficiency or inferiority has strong desires to do something outstanding. In other words, the person may well feel inferior not because he has few ideals, but because he has so many. In other words, there are times when one needs to give himself a pat on the back. He needs to look at himself and say, “Hey, I’m not all that bad because I know that I am an expression potentially of a divine process that’s working through me,” as Olga would say, “I’m a divine original and I have something unique to give,” you see. So, “I’m not all that bad. I have something very powerful within me.” So, occasionally, a pat on the back.
To realize with Browning, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp. Else, what’s a heaven for? Sure, I have ideals and they’re far beyond anything I’ve achieved, but let me at least praise myself for the fact that I have the ideals.”
Keep your mind stayed on possibilities rather than weaknesses and inadequacies. Remember, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within you,” and this means you. It means all persons, not just a select few, not just disciples, not just a master, but the kingdom of heaven is within you. The fact that you set high ideals means that you have sensed this kingdom potential within you.
So, in a way, as the scriptures would put it, you’re chosen. We’re told, “Many are called, few are chosen.” You are called as evidence of the ideals that you hold. The choosing, of course, is yours. You must choose to call yourself by the name of the Lord. This means to identify yourself with the I am in the positive awareness of the truth about yourself.
So, appreciate yourself. Praise yourself. Pat yourself on the back occasionally knowing that you are the expression and a potential outworking of a divine original of a tremendous God self that is seeking unfoldment within you.
Of course, there’s the thought of self-acceptance. These are all very subtle and very closely related, of course. The trouble is when we talk about truth and talk about these great, powerful, metaphysical absolutes, sometimes we even give intellectual assent to them and repeat them by rote. Many of us learn affirmations and treatments, so that we can rattle them off, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, over and over and over.
When it comes right down to it, if we want to be honest with ourselves, many of these things we are saying over and over and over again not because we believe them true, but because we wish they were true. In back of it all, there is a sense of if you’re really honest, and I know this from talking to a lot of people and occasionally looking in a mirror and talking to myself, I know that in back of it all, there is often the feeling of, “But you see, I’m different.”
I know that this is true. I know it works and sometimes we can be very positive and we’re telling somebody else. When you’re telling your friend or your loved one or your husband or your wife, “This is the truth. Do this, do this,” and you’re very positive about it there because you’re dealing with it on this intellectual level which you have given assent to, but when it comes to taking that same fundamental spiritual truth and directing it toward yourself, you may say it over and over and over and over again.
In back of that, there may well be the feeling, “Gee, I wish it were true. Maybe if I say it enough, it’ll be true,” but when it gets right down to it, so often, there is that feeling, “Well, you know, I’m really different because you don’t understand my problem. You don’t understand my preconditioning. You don’t know how badly people have treated me. You don’t know all the difficulties I have. You don’t know all the things that have led to the point where I am right now. Oh, if you only knew the troubles I’ve had. I’m different.”
So, the point is the world will generally accept you at your own evaluation. It’s obviously true that if you ever give people or the world around you, the impression that you lack confidence or that you’re afraid, you will be side-elbowed and imposed upon at every turn. You may recall the story, I’ve told it often. It’s a little parable of the dog and the cat. The dog is strutting down the street and the cat is sitting on the stoop of one of the brownstones. The dog, of course, being a dog is very aware of cats and cats are very aware of dogs, and they’re mortal enemies, normally.
So, the dog is strutting along and he’s looking out the corner of his eyes at the cat, and the cat is sitting there wondering what’s going to happen next, and he’s watching the dog. The cat sits tight and the dog struts along. Finally, when the dog has gone just a little bit past and the cat seeing an opportunity to escape turns and bolts the other way. The dog sensing that the dog or the cat is running turns around and chases after the cat. So, it’s up and down the street, up and down, finding into a dead end alley.
The cat has nowhere to go. So, the cat turns around and ... The dog stops, blinks a few times, and turns and walks away. It’s the story of life, you see.
So, the point is if we give the impression to people that we lack confidence or that we’re afraid, then everybody pushes us around. If we heal self-confident, people step out of the way. You ever thought of that? You ever had a person? People tell me so often. I don’t know what’s the matter with me. I walk into a Macy’s bargain basement, and people are all fighting for bargains, and they push me aside. I can’t even get up to the counter.
Another person will say, “Well, I don’t know why it is, but whenever I walk into a sale like this, I walk up to the counter and people step out of the way,” and they probably do because this is the way consciousness works, you see, from within.
The person with the inferiority complex can give many reasons why he knows he’s inferior to people and to life. He knows it’s true because he knows it’s true, and he can prove it because he can prove it, you see. One thing is important. By the very evidence that you are alive, you have a place in the universe. You’re not a divine happenstance. Your life has meaning. You’re here because you’re here because you have some growing to do, and because you are the infinite process expressing itself as you, and that infinite creative potential has nothing whatever to do but to work through you and is seeking to express through you something that cannot be expressed by any other person in all history and in all the world.
There is that of you that’s an integral part of the spectrum of life, which would not be quite complete without you. Now, you may not be what you want to be, you may not even be what you are potentially created to be, but you are what you are. This is the best possible starting place from which to begin to go on to become what you can be.
So, accept yourself and walk on. It doesn’t mean to accept yourself as being there, but accept yourself as being on the way, and that it’s that it’s right that you are where you are. It’s right that you have even the insufficiencies that you think you have, but walk on, and accept that it’s good, it’s right, and it’s in order, and the next step is the next step.
Then there’s the thought of self-determination, another of these smooth stones. Overcoming feelings of inferiority is not easy, right? Anybody like to nod your head to that, it’s not easy, but then what important accomplishment in life is easy? What is it? Whatever is there that you want to do in your life that is worth doing but just comes like this? You may kid about how it was duck soup, but you’re usually rationalizing afterwards that that you’ve worked very hard at it and you’d like to prove that you’re a pretty good after all, but anything that’s worth gaining takes effort and persistence.
People who accomplish great things in life are not necessarily people who have more ability than you or even people that are more self-confident than you are, but in most cases, there are people who don’t give up easily, people who keep on and on and on.
Press past what William James calls the first layer of fatigue and keep on and keep on keeping on. This is the goal, determination. People fail normally because they’re afraid they will fail. Many more people fail to even make the attempt because they’re afraid that they’ll fail. So, the important thing is to affirm for yourself and decree for yourself and know it, “I can start this thing. I can tackle this thing that I have to do because I know that the divine activity, the creative processes within me.”
A famous neurologist who had a stroke and it paralyzed one side of his body and rendered him speechless, and it didn’t seem there was very much hope for him ever to live a normal life again. One day, he called for a slate and he wrote on the slate, “I will recover. I will walk. I will speak,” and he did. As a result of it, by the discovery of what had happened to him in his own demonstration, he found the revelation of a great scientific truth that helped him to help many, many other persons to recover normalcy after similar experiences because he realized that even if there was an injury in the brain, an uninjured area could take over by what is called compensation, and learn to perform the tasks that the injured area can no longer carry on. So, that even that kind of a so-called brain damage could not hold back the determination of “I will recover. I will walk. I will speak.”
David was bold not because he had strong muscles, not because he was a big person, not because he had the armor and a spear and a shield. He was bold because David had something that the great have always had and the difference between the great and the small. He had the realization of he that attends me, the realization of the divine process within. He knew he was not alone. He knew he was a divine original. He knew he had that creative process working through him.
So, as the Bible would put it, he came in the name of the Lord, in the awareness of his inner potential and not simply him trying to keep up with what he thought the world expected of him. He didn’t have to give bluster and show. He just strode out confidently and did what he did naturally just by being himself. If we meet life with boldness and determination, there is nothing that can come to us that we don’t have the commensurate powers to meet and overcome.
How do you know that? By the very fact that you’re here, the very fact that you’re breathing, the very fact that you have life, you can know that you have that divine possibility within you to overcome.
Finally, the last little stone is the stone of faith, and this is all important because this is perhaps the focal point in seeking to overcome this so-called inferiority complex. Faith in ourselves and the faith that leads us forward in the face of our personal Goliath, how do we get this kind of faith? Faith is an abstraction. We talk about, “Yeah, just have faith. Just believe everything will work out.” How can you achieve that kind of faith?
I love the words of of Browning in his poem Song, for in his poem, David exclaims, “I believe it. It is thou God that give us his eye who receive. In the first is the last, in thy will is my power to believe. All is ones gift thou canst granted. Moreover, as prompt to my prayer, as I breathe out this breath, as I opened these arms to the air.”
There’s a keyword there, “Thy will is my power to believe.” “Thy will is my power to believe.” In other words, each and every one of us has within him the potential power of faith and more than that we believe all the time there is no such thing as a person who doesn’t have faith. We believe in something. The same power by which we believe in a Goliath has a power to stand in our way is the power to go forth as a David and to conquer him.
The same power that believes yourself to be inferior is the power to believe yourself equal to life or anything that life can bring you. To believe in yourself is to believe in God, and just think of this poor little woman who has believed in her inferiority for over 80 years. That is a marvelous demonstration of faith, one centered, one purposed faith, believing in her inferiority year after year after year after year over 80 years. That’s tremendous demonstration of faith.
Just think of what could have happened if she had only just turned slightly from that position, just one degree as we said at the beginning away from that direction. Over the years and the years and the years she would have been poles apart and said she would have felt herself the Christ, the son of the living God, just by slightly turning away from that thought, “I’m so terribly inadequate.”
In other words, you are capable because God is capable, and the power of God which sustained your life is the power of God that is ever working in you, never leaves you, “I will neither slumber nor sleep,” says the Bible. It’s not enough to just say as some people say, he’ll become very ecstatic in a Pollyanna way, “Oh, God is great. God is wonderful. Isn’t God tremendous?”
Whenever I hear somebody waxing ecstatic about how great God is, I always wonder if this isn’t the Goliath consciousness, and if there isn’t a scared of the person somewhere inside because sometimes the person with the greatest sense of insufficiency is the person who gives emphasis to superlatives in discussing God.
Certainly, God is wonderful. God is wonderful, and I am wonderful, and you can’t have one without the other, not really. If you say, “God is wonderful but I’m so inadequate,” what you’re really saying is, “My God is inadequate. I wish I knew a God that was great enough, but I really don’t, so I can only cover up by saying I love God.”
A lot of folks who are always saying how much they love God, “Oh, I love God, I love God,” actually are people who have a tremendous inadequacy in terms of their sense of love and this is a cover, you see.
The point is you can’t have one without the other. Faith in God is faith in yourself and vice-versa. If you really have a strong feeling for God, then really, you have a strong feeling for yourself, and the other is true.
Now, incidentally, when you take the stones and you go forth in the name of the Lord, as David striding forth to meet your Goliath of insufficiency, ultimately, it’s the stone of faith that slays the giant. In other words, when we truly believe in ourselves, the specter of insufficiency fades into nothingness and actually loses its head.
So, if a Goliath is taunting you with threats and boasts, then like David, go forth in the name of the Lord and take with you the smooth stones of humility, which means to let go. Really let go all of your sense of inadequacy, self-appreciation. Realize that there is a divine process within you, a great God self and knowing this, knowing that you are a unique individualization of God, give yourself a pat on the back occasionally, and self-acceptance. Accept yourself. Accept where you are is the best possible place to begin to go on to be what you want to be, and determination. Be bold, continue, keep on and keep on keeping on. Finally, faith. Certainly know that God is great, but know that you are great, and have faith in that, and you will be free forever to be the person you have always been, but which perhaps you may have been overshadowed by the giant specter of inferiority. You can be what you want to be. You can overcome. You can achieve self-acceptance.
This is not enough, of course. I would like us to get still for a moment. Let’s see if we can make that slight variation in directions of consciousness. I want you to just imagine for a moment that you are entering into a great hall, and before you go into this hall, you pass a check room, and the check room is there for the sheer purpose of depositing all the preconceived notions which are in any way self-limiting.
Check your packages. So, one by one, decide that you’re going to let go of your feelings of insufficiency. You don’t have to let them go forever. Most of them are pet belongings and we feel lost without them, but just decide for a little while you’re going to lay them aside. They’ll be there afterwards when you come out. Maybe by that time you won’t want them.
So, lay aside your preconceived notions and just for a moment, walk into this great hall clean and free, without any baggage at all. It’s a great hall of mirrors. When you walk into the hall, you look on every side and you see mirrors on the ceiling, on the floor, on the walls. Lo and behold, it’s almost as if the mirrors are magic because since you are free from all thoughts and feelings and burdens of insufficiency, what you see is not at all what you’ve been seeing in yourself.
You see light. You see radiance. You see a person tall and straight with an air of confidence. You see a person of beauty, a person of command. You see a person of great creativity and ability and you stand in awe as you look at yourself in the mirrors from every side, but suddenly you know that you’ve entered into the kingdom, and this is what the kingdom of God really is.
It’s not a place in time and space, not really a place at all, but as a place where you see yourself as you really are, and that kingdom is always within you right now within you is that radiant, wonderful self of what you are. So, just look around you in this hall of mirrors. Drink in the wonderful fulfillment that comes and knowing yourself to be the kind of person that you’ve always dreamed of being.
Remember this hall of mirrors is also a great performance hall, only instead of having a stage and a proscenium, and an audience, you are the stage and you are the audience, and your performance is just being. So be.
Just for a moment, see that there’s nothing more important in all of life than just being, nothing to say, no show to put on, no one to convince, no one to sell, no one to impress, nothing to receive, no plots, no praise, no materiality to be distorted by. Just be. Stand at the center of this great stage of the hall of mirrors and just be radiant, wonderful that what you are the divine original.
As you feel this wonderful sense of fulfillment in knowing yourself to be what you really are, whispering a thought of gratitude, perhaps as Olga would say, just saying yes to it all. Once again, walk out from the hall and you go to that check room where you’ve left your feelings of self-limitation and suddenly miracle of miracles, not only do you have no desire to pick them up again, but the room isn’t even there.
Suddenly, you realize that both the self-limiting thoughts and the room at which you checked them was all a part of your own feelings and it’s gone. So, stride forward now as you walk out into your life, to your homes, to your work, to your relationships with people feeling free, consciously aware that you have within you the capacity, which is your own God-given uniqueness to cope with any situation, to deal with any problem.
Praise God for this, so you’ll walk forth confidently, and this ever slightly changed direction in your thoughts, in your motivations in life will lead you along the way of a life that Jesus referred to as life more abundant. Praise God for this. Praise God for this experience. Praise God for the truth that sets us free.