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Unconditional Self Knowledge

I know it's a tricky title, isn't it? Usually it's self-love we talk about as being without conditions. Well one is a prerequisite for the other. You got to love all of you and you can't until you see it and accept it. And this is me looking in a mirror. I had to put on some good sufi music to make my plunge a gentle and forgiving one, as much as possible. No one said this was easy. Of course I love making things hard, that's one of my specialties. The starker and harsher and more painful it is, the more suffering involved, the more value it has. Having fun? That's a waste of time, your's and mine. I don't mean to mock it, though I'd love to. I do it mostly without awareness. See, I spend a lot of time making people look in the mirror, not letting them get away with anything. And I've always thought that included me, but I may not have been completely straight up with myself. Let me name some of my less savoury parts out loud (you know what I mean). I have violence. I've been violent with my son. I've been unkind to myself. I've tried to get people, mostly men, to rescue me. It's kind of like the way I relate to them. Thing is, lately, or almost as long as I remember, I've believed I need rescuing. Save me, save me. I can't do it alone. I need help. Then I look at myself, and I do most things alone. I have some really good friends, but I spend most of my time alone--even without strangers around. Let me not say most, but half? But let's get back to the violence. I've been aggressive, blaming, and really really angry-like teeth clenching and wanting to throw a book at him. His smirk, his dismissal of me, it's so intolerable. Is that a special weakness I have? Do all moms feel that when confronted with their tiny, it really hurt to bring you out of my uterus, children telling them to just be quiet and saying "no, I won't help you; you gave me a choice, didn't you?" I'm sure all moms would be a little hurt, bummed out, surprised, but not all would press their child to the ground and sit on them and yell at them to stop this back talk. And I take my own unhappiness or anxiety or stress out on my son. Often. He either receives it or gets blamed for it. Now I know what my teacher would say: he'd say that unconditional self-knowledge means knowing all my parts, including my more admirable human ones, as well as my divine nature. But let me be sure I'm covering the big uglies, without lingering over them or flagellating myself too much. Shoot, I just had a beer and spoke to an old friend of 13 years who lives and teaches in Korea at Seoul University and I think that's all I've got in me for now. Just now, ya Latifa, that you are mahbuba, beloved. And forgive yourself. But I have this old habit of self-blame and bummed-out redness. How can I just give that up to be light and grateful and happy? I'll let you know when I don't need that to be part of myself anymore, okay? with love,

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