Have you ever heard anyone using ideas of heaven or hell as a threat to gain someone’s compliance? Did anyone ever do this to you?

In Sunday School, I heard the nuns say things like, “If you think bad thoughts, you will go straight to hell.” “Only good girls go to heaven.” And, “You are a bad, bad child. You will surely rot in hell.”

In the fear-based, right/wrong reality, it is quite common to hear stories of parents or people in positions of religious authority making all sorts of irrational claims of punishment and reward in order to maintain the illusion of control.

You may have heard things like, “You can’t go to heaven if you ________ (fill in the blank: don’t go to church, aren’t baptized, get divorced, aren’t circumcised, are female, aren’t Christian, aren’t a virgin on your wedding night, etc.).” or “The ________s will all burn in hell (fill in the blank by race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, political affiliation or whatever).”

These are all examples of fear-based power, and have no basis in truth.

As a child, hearing things like that just made me so mad. I knew in my heart that what I was hearing wasn’t true, yet there was definitely a part of me that still bought into the idea that because I didn’t like going to church and didn’t believe what the grown-ups were saying I must be really ‘bad’.

There was one part of the Catholic mass that practically burned a hole in my brain that went, “Lord, I’m not worthy to receive you…” I didn’t repeat those words out loud along with the rest of the congregation, yet hearing them spoken by a large crowd every Sunday, week and week, for years of my life made a strong, negative impression. By the time I was a teenager I felt lower than the lowliest of worms. I judged myself as a horrible, rotten, no good, worthless piece of dirt.

Then I awakened, experienced heaven first-hand and learned the truth: we are all intrinsically worthy, we are all innocent and we are all innately good – there are no exceptions.

When I came back into my body after my initial enlightening experience, I still had all of my old feelings of lack of worth, shame and self-loathing yanking me down into suffering again. But I’d had a taste of heaven, and there was a part of me that was willing to do anything to be able to feel that Love again.

Over a period of time, I realized that my own self-judgment was standing in the way of my internal freedom. In order to get back to that blissful state of heaven, I first needed to drop all of the againstness I was holding toward myself so that I could begin to feel my own worthiness to reside in the Love and unity of that state of Being.

In what ways are you holding in againstness toward yourself? Do you judge yourself as bad, unworthy, unacceptable, incapable, not good enough, stupid, lazy, selfish or anything else? Be willing to look deeply at how you view yourself.

The truth is that you are a beautiful, innately worthy, fully acceptable and infinitely Loved Being of light, and that residing in the state known as ‘heaven’ is your natural state of Being… it is your birthright.

Most importantly, the state of heaven includes residing in a state of innocence; in order to experience heaven on Earth, you first need to let go of all shame, blame, guilt and self-judgment, coming back to the innocence of the child, knowing that each of us is simply learning and growing as a soul in a body.

Getting into a state of innocence requires dropping all againstness towards yourself, all others and all things.

For today, I encourage you to begin the process of dropping anything that you’ve been holding against yourself – any blame, shame, punishment, guilt, self-hatred, or judgmental labels such as ‘bad’, ‘unworthy’, ‘unacceptable’ or whatever words you’ve used to falsely describe yourself. Free yourself up and begin to see yourself as innocent as a young child. Say, “I am an innocent child of the universe, just learning and growing.”

Many Blessings of Joy and Vibrant Freedom

Action Step ~ Let go of any old, outdated beliefs of whatever dogmatic messages you may have heard as a child and claim your innocence. Declaration: “I am an innocent child of the universe. I’ve always just been learning and growing. I am worthy and deserving of residing in the peace, joy and unity of the Loving. The state of Being known as ‘heaven’ is my natural state of Being.”

Additional Support: Listen to this 9-minute closed-eye process on claiming the innocence of a child; please refrain from driving while listening.

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