Pathways SU24 Digital Magazine


Do Unto Me As I Do Unto Others

until consciously learned or traumatically-imposed new patterns take their place. Each time deeply ingrained habits such as recalling shame- ful events and bullying oneself with them are unconsciously reawakened, they grow stron- ger. I am acutely aware of the times my ignorance or care- lessness resulted in harm to others — the ultimate breach of “do not do unto others…”. My shame and guilt had a bo - nus partner — regrets. My “if onlys” … if only I had stayed alert, if only I hadn’t been so lazy, if only my supposed best had been worthy of what was entrusted to me. Sometimes I was mean to me.


We are all engaged in a shared Love-Learning Journey. Ask your - self, “Do I love myself enough to do unto me as I do unto others?” From my earliest awareness, the Golden Rule made sense. It was my guiding star: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Later, I encountered the more proactive, “I will not allow anyone to do anything to anyone that I would not want done to me.” Immedi- ately, I knew this was mine. Its focus is external — about being caring, kind and respectful of others. It has proven its effectiveness in building peaceful relation - ships — personally, locally, internationally. However, one omitted re- lationship falls through the cracks: being caring, kind and respectful with oneself. Ask yourself, “Do I treat myself with the same respect and loving kindness I give to others?” If not, what’s going on? Are there self-judgments and cruel assessments lurking in the dark cor- ners of your mind? Guilt, shame and blame are a terrible trio that many of us have dragged through life. We may have subdued it intermittently, but like a beach ball pushed under water, when it gets slippery enough it es- capes. Guilt, shame and self-blaming raise their ugly heads and erupt with berating statements like, “How stupid can you be?” and “If others knew what I know about me …” There is no evidence that any of us are prewired for guilt and shame. They are learned behaviors. A scary thing about learned behaviors is they tend to be transmitted to successive generations. What was done to me, I may unconsciously use as the guideline for what to do to my offspring. Neuropathways, established in childhood, remain in place

Outwardly, I could say all the right things and support others in learning to love themselves while inwardly experiencing the antithesis of self-love. Richard Rohr declared, “All of life is a lesson in learning to love more deeply and truly.” I had to release living conditionally, being a chameleon and believing that “If only I was (you fill in the blank),” I would be lovable… I would be loved. I was unskilled and ill-prepared to enter into giving and receiving genuine care and concern from and

Brighten YOUR LIGHT .

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50—PATHWAYS—Summer 24

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