“Your concept of the world depends upon this concept of the self. And both would go, if either one were ever raised to doubt.” Gifts from a Course in Miracles
I recently saw the movie “Still Alice.” While I have been in and around an industry that deals with dementia and more specifically, Alzheimer’s disease, this movie, starring Julianne Moore nailed the disease in a way that made it very personal for me. If you have not seen the movie, I would highly recommend it if not for any reason at least for an appreciation of who you are.
Throughout this movie you watch the main character lose herself to this horrible disease yet struggle to maintain her sense of self through activities to remember and hold on to who she is. However, there was one specific part of the movie that reached in and grabbed me in a way that made me shed tears over the imagined death of a self that has been my best friend and the precious ethereal line that bridges me to it.
Throughout my own life, I feel like I have and still do continually create and look for relationships, work and an environment that reflects and expands my innate or authentic self and not just the learned identity created by culture, society and family. Still, I take so much for granted when it comes to “me” that inner precious self. I realize now through an even greater awareness the importance of being a best friend to and with myself.
In the worst of times, my greatest, judge, jury and prosecutor have been myself. I have fought with me and critiqued unmercifully. Even in a time now, when the worst is behind me I sometimes forfeit the reality of how truly a wonderful creation I am when I beat myself up pointing the finger of accusation.
We sometimes long and wish for things to have been different when we lose a loved one. We grieve or wish we could go back to hold them one more time, but how often do we embrace ourselves with that same compassion? We fall in and out of love with others and with self. We fear intimacy of self for fear of what we might encounter and have to deal with. You are all you have. Without you, there is no recognition of other and without kindness to you there is no kindness in the world.
I will think before I take myself for granted again. Early in the morning, when I pray or meditate, I will imagine a light cupped gently in my hands, fragile yet strong needing my protection, my love and my respect. I will treasure “self” in a way I did not before raising it with as much love as I would a small child. It is my link to all that is real and all that is true.