Abraham from "A New Beginning ll" channeled by Esther Hicks.
I believe that one of the things that keeps us from feeling more joy, more at peace, and happier with the world, in general, is the nagging feeling that we are never 'good enough'. So often we feel that we need to constantly 'try harder to be good.'
I often 'pick on' organized religion as being the root of the problem from having a common cold to world wars. As someone once said: "All wars are religious wars; the main aim proving 'god is on their side' granting the right to destroy and kill in order to prove it." Except for the religions which have started to evolve from primitive to overt control ...they stand alone at the top for being responsible for mankind not thinking he is worthy of anything and in dire need of being "saved" from his dirty, sinful, and unclean state.
One doesn't have to particularly be a 'church goer' to have accepted this erroneous teaching...which has penetrated and saturated many cultures and societal living. Religion has most often served as a platform for forwarding the idea that we 'need to better ourselves' ...which is FAR different than wanting to learn skills and types of knowledge that one enjoys and benefits from. The failure to see this difference is a failure to see why one so often believes him or herself to not being 'good enough.' Allowing our cultures or society with all their conformist rules and 'laws' that accompany it, will determine how we judge ourselves. Thinking we are never 'good enough' is the biggest stumbling block there is that prevents us from becoming self-empowered and sovereign god-creator-beings. Believing we need some god or other humans to 'save us' means we will forever be dependant upon the approval and validation for others.
Imagine how wonderfully different life would be if we could raise all of our children to believe in themselves, in their own innate goodness, in their own power to create their reality. Some parents do their best in this area. I am not implying that others do not 'teach' us... but each child needs to be taught that it is their OWN 'law of attraction' that brings good things (or not so good things) to them. And this begins with love and respect of self which can then genuinely reach out to and benefit all others. Those who love, respect, and accept themselves as an inseparable part of Source will never do any harm to another. That is probably the most important sentence in this entire article!
People who love, respect, and accept themselves do not have to criticize, harm, or demean others...even when differences between them are glaring. It is only when we lack confidence and belief in ourselves that we feel the need to strike out at others and make others look 'wrong.' This can start between two people and end up escalating to any number of countries.
This doesn't mean we are now obligated to 'come down ourselves' for not loving ourselves enough! Getting past this can be a little tough... It usually comes down to a matter of being willing to drop the FEAR we have been programmed with;...and being brave enough not to care what others think; to realize that the kind of god figure that religion portrays is non-existant and can have no power over us...unless we allow it and create it that way in our minds. And. 'free will' DOES allow us to create even that which harms us. That is part of the Source power within each and every one of us.
Ironically, New Agers, or the people who consider themselves 'spiritual' instead of 'religious' can be harder on themselves than the religionists!! Many religions provide little tricks one can use to get one off the hook...whereas if one is spiritual, one faces only oneself... and this must be done if one is to find that seemingly ever-elusive sense of inner peace. It doesn't have to be elusive. One way we can attain the joy we really want to feel is by treating ourselves and thinking of ourselves in a loving, caring way, constantly forgiving, overlooking, accepting, and allowing way...like we would hopefully do for a very little child that truly means no harm. It's a good start anyway! Although I always recommend the teachings of the SPA...I would also recommend a booke called "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz...This little book, available at any book store, kindly and gently helps us to teach us how to love and accept ourselves....and to learn to contend with that inner Judge. Try it. You might like it!