Mask Off Session: “I’m bad. Look at what I’ve done!”

There was always the thought that there is something wrong with me, and I'm bad. I think I'm good. I try to make it look like I'm good, but I'm really bad. Look at what I did to people in my life. Look at what I did to my ex-wife. Look at how I neglected my son. Look at my humanity. Look at my humanness.

For the longest time, I couldn't face my own guilt and shame about what I had done to other people, so I became very charming, distant, and calculated. I was very good at pointing out everyone else's flaws, because I didn't want any spare second to potentially be directed at me.

In a moral world, I had done others wrong, and I hid from it. I hid the less desirable parts of myself from myself. We all do that. We're all human, but the rapid increases in well-being, peace, performance, and happiness have come when I have faced myself. I have faced my guilt, shame, anger, desperation directly.

I've wept. I've cried. I've fought with other men to release my anger. I've sat in stillness and observed all the self judgment. And what has been hiding behind all my deception is God's love. If I cannot have compassion for myself, I shut off God's love. I cannot embrace my humanity, my mistakes, my authenticity. No one will get to be themselves around me.

No one can be perfect around me, because I cannot see the perfections in my own mistakes. The more I have cultivated compassion for myself, declared that I will go of any judgment of myself and kept doing it day after day at times, the more people got to be themselves around me. The more they could face their own mistakes, fears, anger, sadness, regrets.

And as a result, I have helped thousands of men and women to release their own anger, resentment, regrets, and shame. This is what we do for one another. The deeper one of us goes, the deeper all of us can go.

edward kennedy