You Are Worthy of Unconditional Love And Acceptance
Uplifting the Consciousness of Prisoners
My very wise, courageous and loving mother
does self-empowerment workshops in prisons.
She goes every week to uplift
the consciousness of the men she works with
so that they can believe in themselves.
She tells them that they are
limitless within and that
their true nature is love.
The message in and of itself is beautiful,
but the way she delivers it is what
really makes this program so amazing.
When she looks into their eyes and tells them
that they are pure love inside she really believes it.
The intensity of her belief and
the burning fire of her love
penetrate all their defenses.
Even the most difficult of attitudes
and closed hearts are melted.
I’m the Chauffeur
Every week I pick her up at her place
and drive her to the prison
for her to do her work shop.
I hang around for a couple of hours
and then go pick her up afterwards.
When I arrive there are often
a few of the guys wandering out of the class.
They usually look dazed.
Their eyes are kind of glazed over
like they’ve been hit in the head.
Actually the truth is they have been hit in the heart.
Today when I went there one of the men
was helping her pack up her stuff.
I ended up chatting with him for a little while.
He Had a Lot To Share
I Was a Good Audience
I asked him:
“So what did you learn today?”
“I learned the power of my thoughts and words
and that I have to be very careful of what I say.”
He actually had quite a bit to say.
He proceeded to explain to me
his thoughts about what he had learned.
I was a willing and enthusiastic audience for him.
Seeking to be More Authentic
At one point he said that we often act in certain ways
to try and get people’s approval,
but when we do that we’re not being authentic.
He explained that he wants to try and be more authentic
because he feels like when he drops his mask
and reveals more of who he really is
he will attract the right people into his life.
Make Our Kids Feel More Accepted
When he said this I told him
that I teach parenting courses.
I said that one of the main messages
I give to parents is to make their kids
feel accepted and valued just as they are.
I said that if we can do this for our kids from the beginning
they won’t have to spend their lives trying to seek
the same acceptance from the outside.
They will feel more free to express their authentic selves.
Kids Are Too Often Told They Are Wrong
In normal parenting practices
we tell our kids that they are wrong
over and over in so many ways.
This goes into our consciousness
and we end up feeling that there is
something fundamentally wrong with us.
We spend the rest of our lives dealing with this pain
and it makes us act in so many self-destructive ways.
Now that we are adults we have to give ourselves
the unconditional acceptance that
we didn’t receive as children.
If we can be our greatest supporters,
if we can really believe in ourselves
and love ourselves
then we can eventually be free from our past
and live fully in the present.
This Message Affected Him Very Deeply
As I was expressing this to him
he suddenly became very still.
He was listening to me intensely and
I could feel that he was deeply moved by it.
I got the sense that this resonated with him.
I could almost see him looking back
to his own childhood and
feeling the very things I was mentioning.
We All Need To Know We Are Worthy Of Love
It struck me right then
how powerful this message is.
So many people need to really know
that they are worthy of love and acceptance.
The next time you are around a group of people
take a look at their faces, look deep into their eyes
and you will see the longing to feel this.
You will see the effects of a lifetime
of being told they are not worthy.
If you listen you can almost hear
the thousand and one ways their parents told them
they were not good enough when they were kids.
Learning to Love Myself for Many Years
I myself have been working on
reclaiming my belief in my worth
for well over 20 years now.
After all this time I am
beginning to make some progress.
Almost every day I take a moment
and pay close attention to myself.
I draw myself close and say:
“Vivek, I love you.
You are truly worthy of unconditional love and acceptance.
You’re doing the best that you can and you’re a good guy.”
There’s No Time Like The Present For Love
As a matter of fact since I am writing this
I think I will take the opportunity to do this right now.
Give me a sec…
Ah, that feels so lovely.
It’s like a warm shower on a cold day
a cold shower on a warm day.
Nourishing and refreshing at the same time.
It Took Some Time To Believe It
Of course when I first started doing this practice
I didn’t really believe myself even when I said it.
I would think “Who are you kidding?”
Slowly over the years though
I have come to believe it more and more.
Don’t give up!
The More I Love Myself, The More I Can Love Others
I have also noticed very clearly
that the more sincerely I am able
to tell myself that I love myself
the more authentic it is when
I tell someone else that I love them.
Without directly saying “I love you”
this is what I told the inmate that I interacted with today,
this is what my mother tells them every week
and this is what I am telling you right now.
I love you
and you are worthy of
unconditional love and acceptance.
Try telling yourself this every day
and believing it a little more each time.