In her book, Comfortable with Uncertainty, Pema Chodron discusses the importance of humor and openness towards ourselves as we begin the work to undo all of the past agreements we have made in our lives that have caused us suffering.
“Learning how to be kind to ourselves is important. When we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering. We’re discovering the universe. When we discover the buddha that we are, we realize that everything and everyone is Buddha. We discover that everything is awake, and everyone is awake. Everything and everyone is precious and whole and good. When we regard thoughts and emotions with humor and openness, that’s how we perceive the universe.”
The work of undoing old agreements is challenging at first and, in order to create new agreements, we must be willing to look at our suffering with an open heart at our past with a bit of irreverence. We must treat ourselves with the utmost compassion and respect and be okay with the mistakes we have made, rather than berating ourselves for them. If we can do this for ourselves, then we begin to do this for others….we offer them compassion and respect as they make mistakes….and we laugh at ourselves for those mistakes…..and then we learn from them, from ourselves, from each other….and WE MOVE ON.
The more we make ourselves or others pay for old mistakes repeatedly, the more we force ourselves to be prisoners of our past and in fear. When we can let go of the mistakes, we start to live in the present with love.