At the end of an interview, it’s common to be asked the big finale question: “Tell our listeners how to get unstuck. Give us three secrets to happiness. What’s THE most useful thing you’ve learned?” No pressure.
I have a lot of possible answers, but recently, I surprised myself with this one:
“What’s the most useful thing I’ve learned?” I paused. “That I’m a good person.”
There aren’t three quick steps to that. No hack. I don’t know if it translates into anything helpful for anyone. It’s not particularly innovative or sexy. But it’s my greatest success so far.
Many of us learn to subsist on a criticism diet, in a kind of pain that eats us. We turn the pain we feel against ourselves, using our hurts as evidence that we must be unworthy—not awfully bad, but certainly not wholly good.
All oppressive systems feed this lie of unworthiness, of “not goodness”. This is the damning illusion of separation from Source.
But the Truth is waiting, like eternal Truth does: You’re born good. DNA goodness. Spanning all of time fundamentally good. Even when you’ve done bad stuff, the heart of your matter is purely good.
I’ve been all kinds of things I felt bad about. I’ve been called bad things, treated badly. I’ve taken most of my human shortcomings and with accountant-like precision put it in the “bad person” column. The tally included: the difficulties I had forgiving some people, my bravado, my imperfect physical health, my introverted ways. Some days, even my fundamental needs would slip into the “not good” category, including my need for privacy, affection, laughter, warm spaces, cleanliness, gluten-free options, encouragement, loyal friendship, and real Love.
We all have blind spots and addictions. Still, fundamentally, we are good.
Greed. Despair. Harm. Still, fundamentally, we are good.
A lot of religious doctrine preaches otherwise. Advertisers don’t want you to know that. People have forgotten to remind you of this because a lot of people failed to remind them.
To trust your fundamental goodness is a victory. It’s the return to Love that every mystic announces.
So how did I come to my own conclusion of goodness? It doesn’t matter, really. (It’s the work of a lifetime.) What matters is that you lock eyes with your own Soul and believe when it tells you: You’re a good person. Always have been, always will be.
That’s some very useful information.