By MARYMICHELLE LOTANO
I came upon the idea to write about Core Positive after listening to many deeply held religious convictions that we are born as sinful souls, requiring saving by our surrounding humanity and immediate forgiveness from a power greater than ourselves, namely God. The concept that we are born in a state of less than grace is extremely pervasive in many of our traditional religions. And, before anyone lets loose on me for making such a statement, I can assure you I have lived this dicta firsthand. I was raised in a large Italian Catholic family. Very little more needs to be said with regard to the power of sin and guilt and the eye of concern for my soul.
As a result of time and thought and years, I have recalculated my ideas on whether we are truly born in a state of “dis”-grace. I no longer believe that any of God’s creatures—be they plant, animal or human—come into this world in a way that requires an immediate and ongoing cleansing of our essence. We are not meant to live believing we have a propensity for sinful behaviour. Nor are we supposed to accept the philosophy that we are perpetually broken or constantly coming up short in the eyes of our creator. I now believe that, in our purest capacity—the one with which we take our first breath—we are as uncontaminated as the source we came from. The only thing we begin our human journey with is the capacity to love completely and deeply.
Hence, we are born with a core self that contains all of our most positive attributes. We arrive with a spirit that glows with pure potentiality, pure generosity and pure kindness. We begin our lives with unique gifts and talents that range from an extraordinary capacity for empathic connection, to the ability to sing with a voice that moves others to tears, to a mind that can calculate and problem solve in a manner that combines our uniqueness and capacity for human emotion in a way that far surpasses the abilities of our best smartphone.
But we are challenged along the way. As we age, we are confronted with experiences and decisions that can bring out a side of us that is less than our core. We receive behaviours that hurt our feelings, frighten us, abuse us and contaminate our ability to tap into the true beauty we are born with. If our core experiences rejection, we withdraw from engagement. From criticism, we become judgmental. Intolerance makes us impatient. If our core experiences anger, we become antagonistic. When we are confronted with these undesirable happenings, our core dims and it loses its way to the surface. We might even inadvertently or intentionally hide our core in an effort to protect ourselves and reduce our sense of vulnerability.
As we grow and experience all of the positive and negative events and emotions available to us, our core is called upon to respond and expand in a manner that enhances who we are. Those behaviours or experiences that are painful, or lead us to perpetrate less than desirable behaviours, are ordinary and expected. And while our core can be coloured by our encounters, we are not inherently the fallout from our core experiences. Instead, we are simply living our humanity and experiencing the flawed humanity of those we engage with. Overcoming these challenges is our avenue to knowing ourselves and growing ourselves.
Regardless of our experiences, our essence is never originally scripted to emotionally withdraw, judge others, react with impatience or respond with antagonism. Our core is in place to give us every opportunity to react in the world from our God-given goodness, from our place of kindness, compassion, empathy and love. We are always only a decision and a reaction away from being our purest core self.
Author of Circles of the Soul, Marymichelle Lotano has explored the areas of personal growth, meditation and art. Ms. Lotano is currently a full time writer and mother, residing in Carlsbad, California. Visit: circlesofthesoul.net.