In the faces of men and women, I see God.
It is a spiritual axiom that everyone always is doing the best they can do in that moment. If someone is engaged in ‘bad’ behavior, it is because they are afraid of losing something they have or not getting something they want. From that fear may come all sorts of ‘bad’ behaviors, but at the root of all of it is fear.
Some say the opposite of fear is love; hence the antidote to fear behavior would be to love. This sounds honorable, but rarely seems easy in the doing. How can I, why would I, love someone who is cheating me when it’s hard enough for me to love the people I am closest to?
The Veda says there is only one thing. You are this one thing. I am this one thing. Everything is the Self. There is nothing other than the Self. Therefore all love is self-love. I love another in order to learn to love myself, in order to learn to love God, in order to learn to love life. Loving someone who seems out to get me may seem impossible; but even opening myself to the concept of loving that person will begin the process of learning to love; and simply by beginning the process I call to myself the support of the universe. Of God, if you will.
This universe always is awaiting its cue from me: what kind of universe do you want me to be? By seeing only the bad behavior of the people around me, I grow the bad behavior. I grow a life filled with more people like that. I grow attachment to the idea that in order for me to get along, I have to join in the bad behavior myself or protect myself from all the bad people in the world.
When I begin even to try to see a world filled with people who really are doing the best they know how to do, the universe begins to build that world for me. I begin to find more people to love and more reasons to love them.
We’ve spent enough time in darkness and despair. We come out of darkness by looking for the light in others, and by being that light ourselves.
Today, when I see evidence of darkness in another, I will look for the light behind it. I will see past appearances and fear. I will see past the bad behavior to the innocence that lives within this other person as it lives within me.
Today I will smile at someone before I know if they’ll smile back at me.
Statue of Mother Mary, Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon