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What do you see in the mirror?

When we're in the midst of a challenging experience, we can't see it for what it is. All we see is the pain of it, and all of our energy is focused on surviving it. We go into defense mode and our subconscious strategies kick know, the ones that don't help.

It's typically months or even years after an experience that we can finally sift through the rubble from a place of witness rather than victim, and see it with new eyes. Having the courage to look opens the door. And taking the time to explore bears the clarity and healing we yearn for.

It's hard to look at ourselves, really look, and to admit our errors. We don't want to be victims, but we don't want to be perpetrators either. Sometimes it feels easier to be a victim than it does to take responsibility for our pain or the pain of others. Victims get support. Victims can justify their feelings and actions. Victims can be the "good guy."

Perpetrators - people who hurt - don't get much support. They catch a lot of blame and are held as the "bad guy." Even when the hurt is unintentional, we don't want to hold it. It feels too personal and heavy.

The problem is that none of us are 100% perfect or evolved or enlightened. None of us get out of here with a clean record, even as hard as we try. Heck, even Jesus had emotional reactions, and he was about as spiritually awake as a person can be!

Imperfection doesn't make us bad people. It makes us humans with a lot of emotional and spiritual maturing and growth to do. What's not helpful and where problems enter our lives is when we deny our need for this maturation and growth, point fingers at others, ignore our sacred responsibility to love, and place our personal power in the wrong places when it belongs in our own heart.

To rise above these egoic strategies, we must come to realize that we are all players in a sacred soul dance, a flow of life. It's sacred because every part of it serves to awaken and uplift our souls. But we have to open to and receive the gifts to benefit from them. And that takes a great courage.

When we feel like life has let us down, it hasn't. It's giving us an opportunity to heal something deep, deep within our individual (and collective) psyche, our soul, to uplift us. It's not life that lets us down. It's us who let life down, because life is love and we are just not that great at genuine love.

But we can get better, which is what the women in the HELP program and guidebook are doing: healing their hearts, ditching their ego strategies for choices that serve, and getting better at genuine love. Way to go, ladies! You know who you are…

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