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Tuesday, December 30, 2014


James Richardson, poet and aphorist, wrote as his 23rd entry in the book Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays, "All stones are broken stones." To me this immediately said; 1) all stones are broken, not just the one you identify with; and 2) all stones came from something bigger, a bigger stone, a oneness, a wholeness, a whole stone, an earth, a planet.

2014 was the year I was going to end self-loathing. That was my resolution. I am not done yet (may never be done), but I have made significant strides, thanks in large part to the podcasts (available free on iTunes) of meditation teacher Tara Brach, who teaches that one inclusive response to the vagaries of the world and of the self is "This too".

Novelist Marianne Fredriksson said in her book Simon and the Oaks (translated by Joan Tate), "I find it difficult to be with people who don’t like themselves. They let other people pay such a high price for it." Not only is it unpleasant to be with people preoccupied with self-loathing, it's also true that such people (I know from experience) are busy ascribing ugly motivations to the people who do put up with them, for there must be a twisted reason anyone would choose to be with such a loathsome individual as the self. When you let go of self-loathing, you let go of blaming and disliking others as well; when you can forgive yourself, it becomes nothing to forgive others.  And you learn, as the comedian Marc Maron once said, "Feelings aren't facts. Yadda yadda yadda."

So 2015 will be the year I continue to let go of self-loathing. After all, as sung by the band Over the Rhine, "All my favorite people are broken." You could do worse than taking the time to listen to the whole gorgeous song (because whole is gorgeous, and so is broken) here.

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