The other morning, I asked god, "Why do I not feel grateful throughout the day; why do I not feel wonder within me? The answer came in a flash: "self-loathing."
I was dumb-struck. I have not been aware for years that I harbored that feeling; I thought I had long ago freed myself from that and loved myself unconditionally. That was a large part of my 12-step work.
But if god spoke to me so, I knew it was true. And as I sat with this and worked through it, I knew that this self-loathing was a result of my never having forgiven myself. I remembered a video I saw once; Sister Sharon Johnson (one of my favorites) said that if you don't forgive yourself, you will suffer. And I had to acknowledge that despite all my 12-step and Buddhist work, I never forgave myself the harm that I had caused myself and others I loved. And so now I have been forgiving myself as part of my daily practice.
The other part to this puzzle is that to progress on the path, to implement your intents, you have to change your subconscious – it's not just changing your habit-energy, it's changing where that energy is coming from; otherwise you will keep doing the same thing over and over again because that is your habit-energy. And I realized that no matter how often I said that I turn my will and my life over to the care of my true Buddha nature, and said "your will, not my mind's," I had not changed my subconscious. One must be specific in one's intent.
And so part of my daily practice has now been to place the child of the universe that is me (see my post,"The Miracle That Is You") in my subconscious so that the light that it radiates creates a force-field that my ego-mind/mara/the devil cannot penetrate and so not enter my subconscious.
Only time will tell if these efforts are successful in finally bringing me to the spiritual place where my soul is freed and I am indeed one with the child of the universe that is within me. Then there will be no self-loathing, rather an embracing of the past. I will truly be at peace.