Some of the earliest lessons learned come in times of heightened stress. I was raised to believe that you treat others the way you would like to be treated, and you love your neighbor as yourself. These golden rules are the guidance system for many, but what do they have to do with truth and oneness?
Oftentimes in life it feels as if you have been thrown a curve ball, or someone enters, or some situation arises that does not operate on your same frequency. It becomes difficult to wade through murky waters and stand true to what you believe. It can feel like you are being bullied, which we often think only happens in the hallways of yesteryear high school, middle school, and sadly elementary school for some. But these experiences still thrive off the pain and misery of unresolved conflict that lurk waiting to pounce even in the world of “adults.” We need only look at television, on social media, or pick up a smart phone to be berated by harsh tones and judgmental, disconnected people. In times like that, we need to find truth in loving more, to find the oneness where there is no separation between you and me. The 13th century Persian poet Rumi wrote:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other”
Doesn’t make any sense.
This place is surrounded by the motivating force of love. Love not in the romantic sense, but in the sense of connection to similarity rather than difference. This is the place of acceptance of what is, and awakening to understanding of what needs to be. Understanding does not mean standing in the firing line of another’s hurtful behavior. Love means trusting that you do not have to be the one to fix or change another and that the only way to create space for healing and harmony that will reunite or bridge separation is to love your self enough to detach. By detaching with love to take care of self, you help create the opportunity to allow that other person the time and space needed to find a more harmonious way to co-exist. You also create space for yourself, even at the risk of accusation, to recover your self.
If we allow our self to succumb to the accusation of betrayal and shrink back to complacency, we run the risk of betraying our self. If we are not true to self we are not being or living truthfully, and that would be the biggest betrayal of all, the betrayal to self. So even if someone is unkind, challenge yourself to stay in love and be true to you, even though an initial reaction may be to fight back. Stop. Think. Open. Pray.
How to love another as your self? You have to see your self in them. Were you ever at any time lost, confused, reactive, hurt, sick, or not in your right mind? If we can honestly admit that we, too, can fall into delusion and be filled with self-righteous indignation and reactivity, we find a way to understand, accept, not like, what is and move beyond the behavior to the similarity. Belief of perfection disallows there to be the love needed for acceptance and the ability to hold a space of understanding.
My Grandmother would say, “Ah, put them on a bead; they are a God job, and there but for the grace of God go I.” She wasn’t being arrogant; she was simply saying I step outside of this situation and realize that I am not the right power to help that person see the way they are acting, but I can find peace and power in surrender and acceptance of what is, and go back to what I normally do. For her that was praying the rosary, which she did quite often, and it became a regular thing to hear her say, “I’ll put that situation/them on a bead.” Praying is anything that silences your reactive mind and helps you find a practice that can restore sanity in situations that are unfair, unkind, or threatening our peace. Spiritual practice is any activity: quiet, journaling, walking, a good cry, walking your favorite dog, or whatever helps to relieve the pressure from living and juggling the day-to-day interactions and extraordinary stressors in life. Making time to practice can help you realign with your true self and become the answer to all your prayers.
These challenging times are definitely an opportunity for spiritual awakenings; but we don’t have to wait till catastrophe or calamity threaten our existence in order to dive in and get to know our self. Daily practice of quiet thoughtful contemplation helps steady the mind and allows a more quiet directed dialogue to happen within. With that comes the clarity, confidence, and character needed to hold the space that allows more connection and bridges the divides with love.
When we know our true self, our spirit and essence, we can find the oneness that connects us with another. This knowledge is our oneness and truth, which recognizes the value and the oneness in and around us. So practice daily actions and principals that will help you find the harmony you seek.
Just for today . . .
Let go of Anger
Let go of Worry
Jacqueline Muller is Clinical Director and Owner of Dynamic Intervention Wellness Solutions. She is a NY State Licensed Clinical Social Worker.