All of us carry deep within us dark secrets and scars that control our behaviors, our relationships, and our attitudes. No one really knows what goes on behind the closed doors of our hearts and souls. The irony is that most of us don’t even know ourselves. There may be some rooms in our personal mansions that we have not even visited since our births.
Those scars come from experiences that we had as children, which shape and form us in our adult life. While many of those childhood experiences are good, just as many are painful negative experiences that have caused havoc on our behaviors and our perceptions.
It is very important to have the awareness of all those insidious factors that have distorted and warped our perceptions. To awaken our awareness is really to see yourself as you are without any denial. It is to see yourself through the eyes of an honest observer- without any bias, or personal agendas. To really know yourself requires you to become an impartial judge of your past with both the good and the bad influences that have shaped you as you are today. It is important to know the futility of defending your egos. A big ego will block your authentic view of your true self.
As Zen master, Suzuki Roshi, said, “If your mind is clear, true knowledge is already yours.”
Discernment is weakened when we perceive through hopes for a different picture or through resistance to the current scenario. In other words, we have a story of hope or fear that we overlay on reality and we interpret everything through that story. AA, on the other hand, looks at reality, unblinkingly, and tells no story about it. It simply deals with the existing situation as it is. Clear discernment comes when we feel whole in this way, when we have no need for reality to conform to our fantasies in order for us to be happy. While it is only natural and human to have preferences, discerning awareness knows that we win some and we lose some if we look at the big picture of life.
In coping with life, it is important to know what we can control; what are the things that are beyond our control; and surrender to God all those stuff that we can’t control. The AA members who have learned the art of surrendering the uncontrollable to God have also mastered the art of healing and recovering from their disorders. In other words, our experience of life becomes that of surrender to what is. In this surrender, we would find ourselves just flowing along with life’s circumstances. In the words of Catherine Ingram, the author of “Passionate Presence”,
“When we surrender in this way, we find ourselves just flowing away with life’s circumstances. The actual feeling of surrender is sweet in itself, like floating downstream…our own desires become merged with this flow and we find ourselves saying yes. Yes to whatever is.”
When we know the art of surrendering, we would have learned the art of letting go of our emotional burdens of the past. This is the key to inner peace and calm for those victims suffering from wounded self-esteem.
Submitted by David YKK