”The very word practice invites misunderstanding. What would you practice? Perhaps you could begin by simply practicing awareness. Practice being aware of your guilt, your fear and your attack. Do not disguise them, deny them, or project them onto other people. Merely look at these phenomena as they arise within your consciousness.
When you feel angry or depressed, simply ask “Why am I angry? Why am I feeling the need to defend myself? What am I afraid of? Continue to ask these questions until you begin to see the source of your anger and fear.
Once you get through these layers of emotion, ask yourself “what is my guilt here?”
What guilt you ask? All negative emotions in your life arise from your unconscious guilt/shame. This must become conscious. It must be brought into your awareness so that you can release it.
Your feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness create your fear of retribution. If you believe that there is something wrong with you or that you have done something wrong, you will be afraid of being punished. And if you are afraid of being punished, you will defend yourself against all imagined attack. Whenever you feel that someone is questioning your self worth, you will be ready to pull the trigger.
This whole scene of guilt and retribution is happening only in your own mind. If you project it, you will bring others into it and you will need to work it out together. This just ups the ante. Working something out with another when you are not aware of your own complicity in the event is unlikely.
Better to begin by bringing awareness to your own thoughts. For not only will you find that guilt is the root of all suffering, you will also find that self-forgiveness is necessary. Without self-forgiveness, there is no release from guilt. So the drama or redemption is also happening only in your own mind.
In your mind, you establish your innocence or guilt. It does not matter how many people abused you. Blaming them will not help you. You are the judge who pronounces sentence. And so long as you are blaming someone else for your problems, you are refusing to offer forgiveness to yourself.
Judge and jury live within your own thoughts. You established your guilt and now you must dissolve it. Until you undo your guilt, you cannot find your innocence. That is what the forgiveness process is all about. It has nothing to do with forgiving others. It has everything to do with forgiving yourself for establishing your guild.
This is the realm of practice. There is no situation where this work cannot be undertaken. The whole scenario of your life is territory for self-inquiry.
Bring your awareness to every thought and every feeling and you will soon find the source of your guilt and your subsequent suffering. No one can escape this work. It is an essential part of the curriculum of awakening. The sooner you realize it, the easier it will be for you.”
Source – Love without conditions – Paul Ferrini