David richo human becoming
There is a grace-full force in us and in the universe. It is a lively
energy that is always at work so that we will become fully human. To be fully
human is to be as loving as we can be, as free of ego fear and clinging, and as
generous as we can be with our innate gifts and talents. This takes
psychological work on ourselves and a spiritual practice. When we are
committed to such a program, we feel joy and self-respect because we are
fulfilling our deepest purpose in life.
In this booklet I present a collection of excerpts from my books and
manuscripts. I chose passages that present practical steps we can take to
grow in self-respect and compassionate relating and thereby become more
richly human. These bite-size essays are arranged in the order in which they
are meant to be worked with. Each reader can decide what fits for him or her
and what the best pacing may be for each practice.
I am hoping that some or all of the suggestions will become second
nature and that your life will thereby become lighter. Then perhaps the light
in ourselves may become a light for others.
The first section is about our identity and how it can become more
coherent and effective. Then we look at the givens in the world around us
and find ways to say yes to them. Our ego may balk at this and yet we can
discover a path to equanimity. This leads us to dealing with our dark side as
well as with fear, loneliness, anger, guilt, and hurt. Love follows and
blossoms into lovingkindness and compassion. In all of this we explore
mindful pausing as a central spiritual practice. Finally, we appreciate how
nature figures in as an assisting force and how wholeness is always and
already ours. Then we walk confidently to our sublime destiny.
Practical steps are about doing things in new ways. But doing is not
the whole picture. We are also receiving graces that assist us. We become fully
human not by our efforts alone but also by the assistance of a higher power
than our ego that complements our psychological work and our spiritual
practice. Abundant grace is surrounding us right now and can be trusted to
help us cross our next bridge or threshold.
WHO WE REALLY ARE
Here are five suggestions that may be helpful in discovering who you
really are and in acting that out:
1. Tell those close to you what you feel within yourself and in
reaction to them, no matter how embarrassing it may be.
2. If necessary, allow yourself to retreat from a distressing issue long
enough to regroup your strengths. Then come back and face the music with
3. Stop and hold every feeling, cradling it, and allowing it to have its
full career in you. Distractions and avoidances only alienate you from
4. Admit your fear, allow yourself to feel it, and then act as if it were
not able to stop you. This is how fear turns to excitement about an
alternative and how self-esteem increases because you now have the courage
5. Always be on the lookout for your deepest feelings, wishes, and
needs, and act in accord with them.
Here are some ways to know what these are:
Free yourself from inhibition and clinging.
Ask for what you already know you want and gradually you will
ask yourself — and others — for deeper things.
Set boundaries in your relationships and you will know a great
deal about yourself and your real needs.
What makes you happy and gives you a sense of fulfillment? What
do you do that flows from blissful choice and what is based on a
sense of obligation or habit?