The secret is that you are already a completely whole, perfect person. You are not damaged goods; you are not incomplete, you are not flawed, you are not unfinished, you do not need remodeling, fixing, polishing or major rehabilitation - Mavis Karn
I had a magical time with Mavis Karn on this week's Insightful Conversations. Mavis has such a lovely quality to her. After forty-plus years of sharing the understanding of the Principles, Mavis speaks from a place of pure love and wisdom. When I listen to her, I can't help but fall into that beautiful space within myself.
In addition to Mavis's remarkable work over the years as a 3 Principles teacher, she is also well known for a letter she wrote back in 1998. The letter, entitled The Secret, was a gift she gave to a group of young incarcerated boys she had worked with for over two years. When the prison-project was coming to an end, Mavis wanted to provide the boys with something to remind them of what they had learned during their time together.
Amongst the many things, Mavis shared with them was how their experience of life was created via their thinking in the moment. She taught them that they weren't their mistakes, their past, or their diagnosis. Mavis explained to the boys that they were designed perfectly, with everything they needed inside of them. She pointed them back home to who they were at their essence, which is pure love and pure potential.
As she recalled her time with these young boys, her love for them was evident. Her face lit up as she talked about them. She expressed how she wished I could have met them too. She said that they were of different ethnicities, hilarious and easy to teach. The letter was such a hit amongst the young boys; they made a poster out of it. Before long, it made its way into the adult prison. The message of hope and possibility was precisely what the rest of the prison population needed to hear.
In typical Mavis fashion, she doesn't take credit for the contents of the letter. She said the letter wrote itself. She doesn't lay claim to it and is happy to share with whoever may benefit from it. So, with her permission, I am going to include the letter here.
The Secret by Mavis Karn
Dear Kids (and former kids),
I have a secret to tell you; nobody meant to keep it from you… It's just that it's been one of those things that's so obvious that people couldn't see it…like looking all over for the key that you have in your hand.
The secret is that you are already a completely whole, perfect person. You are not damaged goods, you are not incomplete, you are not flawed, you are not unfinished, you do not need remodeling, fixing, polishing or major rehabilitation. You already have within you everything you need to live a wonderful life. You have common sense, wisdom, genius creativity, humor, self-esteem…you are pure potential…you are missing nothing.
The only thing that can keep you from enjoying all that you already are is a thought. One thought, your thought. Not someone else's thought. Your thought . . . Whatever thought you are thinking at the moment that feels more important to think than feeling grateful, alive, content, joyful, optimistic, loving and at peace. . . that's the only thing that's between you and happiness.
And guess who's in charge of your thinking? Guess who gets to decide where your attention goes? Guess who gets to write, produce, direct and star in the moment you're in the middle of? You! Just you. Not your past (stored thought), not the future (did you ever notice that it never, ever shows up?), not your parents (they all think their own thoughts), or your friends (ditto), or school or television or situations or circumstances or anything else. Just you.
Thinking is an awesome capability. Like any capability, it can be used whether as a tool or as a weapon against ourselves and others. And just like with any other tool, we can tell whether we're using it for or against ourselves by how it feels. When we think against ourselves or others, we get in trouble. When we don't, we usually stay out of trouble.
FEELINGS EXIST TO WARN US AWAY FROM USING OUR THINKING TO CREATE TROUBLE IN OUR LIVES AND TO GUIDE US BACK TO OUR NATURAL, HEALTHY ABILITY TO LIVE OUR LIVES TO THE FULLEST.
So, please remember that your thoughts are not always telling you the truth. When
we're in low moods, feeling down, our thoughts are not be
trusted…our IQ drops. When our thoughts pass and we lighten up, our thinking is
once again creative, positive…our IQ goes up.
The only way you can feel badly about yourself and your life is if you think badly about them… it's up to you, every single minute you're alive. It's always up to you!
This is the best, most liberating secret I ever learned, and I
want you to know it too.
With love, Mavis
I hope this letter touches your heart as much as it has touched mine and everyone else who has had the privilege of reading it.
With love and appreciation, Del 💕