In my Meditation Today: I noticed that I was actively withholding love for me as I decided whether something I had said to someone was ok. The question unconsciously repeating itself in my mind was “Was it something a person I considered “ Good” would say? “The feeling of scrunched up energy in my center was an indication that I had decided that it was not and that I did not deserve my approval or love. Beginning to realize that one of the biggest and possibly hardest lessons to learn is to hold me in love regardless of what is going on in my external world. Deciding to learn to love me unconditionally first before expecting it from anyone else.
The Sapta Shloki consists of seven verses from the Devi Mahatmyam – the Grand Story of the Divine Mother. Reciting these seven verses is considered equivalent to reciting the entire 700 verse scripture.
The fifth verse in the Saptashloki is
Sarvaswarupe Sarvese Sarvashaktisamanvite
Bhayebhyasa Trahi no Devi
Durge Devi Namostuthe
Sarvaswarupe – You who exists in all forms / You who are the essence of all forms
Sarvese – Controls everything
Sarvashaktisamanvite – The embodiment of all Power
Bhayebhyas Trahi No Devi – Remove our fears Devi
Durge Devi Namosthuthe – I bow to you Devi Durga
This verse reminds me to remember that all forms are manifestations of Durga, i.e., I am a manifestation of Durga and therefore by definition I am the embodiment of all power. The sense of not being enough or judging myself as not good enough and therefore withholding approval for me is equivalent to withholding it from Devi.
Have you noticed what happens to you physically when you are judging yourself? For me, it is a sense of emptiness in the center of my being. My shoulders hunch upwards, my chest moves inward, and my whole upper torso is bent forward as if to protect the empty space in my center. It does not take much to hollow out my center. A raised eyebrow from my husband; a response to my text from one of my children that is not as effusive as I expect it to be, or an off the cuff remark from a colleague that I take as an indication of my not being valued is all it takes. A hundred different things during the day when I am telling myself that I am not quite enough.
Recently a casual comment from a friend suggested that I was too involved in my adult children’s lives. My interpretation of her comment was that I was a mom who did not allow her children to make their mistakes and grow from them. Interestingly, she had never actually said those words.:)
Needless to say, that the reason it struck a chord was because I have judged plenty of other parents using this yardstick and could not face the fact that I might be guilty of the same crime that I had accused so many parents of. Even as I write this, I am tempted to point out all the ways in which I am not an over-protective parent :).
In any case, the comment hit home, and I carried it around for days. My insides felt hollow; my shoulders hunched up, and self-judgment was relentless. As always after several days of wallowing in this mess, I knew that this was something that needed deeper work. I set the intention to heal as I started my daily meditation.
As I worked through the SaptaShloki and came to this verse, I felt my shoulders move down and back, and my chest thrust forward. I became aware of three separate parts of me. There was the ME who was wise and centered and settled into my relaxed shoulders and open chest; there was me in miniature who occupied my center and had curled up in a ball of shame and then there were the judges, tiny forms of my children, standing upright a little off center and wagging fingers at the crunched up me. As the meditation progressed, my wise and centered self, the Devi within, took the curled up me by the shoulders, stood me up, hugged me. She then turned me towards the wagging fingers of my children. As I looked at them with Devi’s hand around me, I realized that they were just creatures of my imagination, a reflection of my constant fear of not being a good enough parent that I was projecting onto them. As the realization grew, I was able to let the judgment drop and lean back into the love and compassion that the Devi within me embodied. I was Devi manifested in form. I could not be anything but enough and good and good enough.
The energy in my body which had fragmented into the judged and the judge merged with my wise and centered self. I had healed and was whole again.