“If there is no action you can take, and you cannot remove yourself from the situation either, then use the situation to make you go deeper into surrender, more deeply into the Now, more deeply into Being.
When you enter the timeless dimension of the present, change often comes about in strange ways without the need for a great deal of doing on your part. Life becomes helpful and cooperative. If inner factors such as fear, guilt, or inertia prevented you from taking actions, they will dissolve in the light of your conscious presence.”
(From Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”, 1999)
What is Conscious Presence?
I imagine, it’s a two-part action:
1) To be-hold yourself gently:
– what you already know or still don’t know
– what you can and cannot do now
– who you are and who you’re not
2) To love yourself wholeheartedly
– your lightness and heaviness
– your strengths and weaknesses
– your passion and aggression
Where we judge ourselves is also where we tend to judge others.
What we cannot love in ourselves, we cannot love in others.
What we do not have, we can’t offer to others.
All good, healthy relationships start from BEING a good, healthy person, first to ourselves. And then, our love can naturally flow out to others.
This is not being selfish or self-indulgent. It is also more than self-care.
It is learning to GIVE yourself and HOLD yourself at the same time!
That’s the fundamental lesson I gained when learning ballroom dancing.
Usually when we are less confident about our own abilities, we tend to depend more on our partner to lead the dance. If our partner is very strong, the dance will still flow very nicely and maybe we can become stronger thanks to our partner. But if we still don’t learn to hold ourselves, the dance will breakdown at some point, when our partner gets tired or is unwell, or doesn’t show up one day!
That’s when we suddenly realize – actually we don’t really know the steps or how to dance by ourselves!
Therefore, learning to give yourself and hold yourself requires that we must first learn to KNOW ourselves, inside out. I really like this allegory below:
“Deep within each of us live a leper and a wolf…. We must first encounter and embrace the leper and wolf inside. If we haven’t been able to kiss many lepers, if we haven’t been able to tame many wolves, it’s probably because we haven’t made friends with our leper and wolf within. Name your poor leper within. Nurse and tend her wounds. Name your inner wolf; tame him by gentle forgiveness.”
(From Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, “Francis and the Lepers”, October 7, 2019).
When I know I can be fully present with myself, I know I can love anyone as much as I love myself.
Article by Dr. Ng Wai Sheng