And so my mother was a raised as a Catholic, a very reasonable one. Not extreme, never harsh, and did not enroll me in the Catholic school system. She had another set of ideas about what would be helpful in my educational training. Thank you, mom. Public and private schools have been my path, fabulous training each place I have been. And I have learned so many different perspectives about how to “do” this life.
When I was a little child, and would do something naughty, my mom would give me a penance–a list of prayers to recite and she would tell me to think and feel about my behaviors.
She was never punitive about it but was soft and direct and then it was done. As I put my mind into my prayers, I had a wide range of thoughts and feelings. I was a bit torn about who God was, about who exactly I was talking to–was it the man hanging on the cross, or the baby in the manger, or the ghost who I never saw an image of. Was it actually Santa? I wondered because they seemed to have a lot in common–miracles and gifts and powers of all sorts. I prayed but not with great clarity.
As my life has now progressed across many decades, I find I continue to confess. I am talking to a Source, a God, a Heavenly Spirit and Magnificence which I have a faith in. I appreciate the idea that in my faith I am encouraged to believe in myself, to embrace the idea that I am loved and forgiven, no matter what. It brings a sense of peace and calm to me. I find myself advising my patients and clients to do the same, even if it is not in a Catholic setting, just open up and release what has hold of you and what you need to forgive your self for.
My mother and dad taught me well, from early on, to love myself, the core of me. I am so thankful for that. So many people are not introduced to that idea and even those of us who are, stray from it and get lost from time to time. We would each do well to genuinely embrace the person, the spirit, the mind, the body that we are. I invite you to do it right now. There is a beauty within you that is precious and fleeting–tend to it, allow it to flourish, it is the strength within you and it is yours.