03 Sep Human, All Too Human – September 4 2020
Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. The nature of being human means that we will be drawn into behaviors, ways of thinking and moods that are less than we might want from ourselves. Especially at those times when life is clearly less than perfect. Maybe we have some physical issue or discomfort. Maybe someone we love is ill. Or someone we love is having a hard time and they seem to be taking it out on us. Maybe we’re just having an “off” day. But there are times when the inside of our head is loud and mean, talking smack about us or the people around us.
As someone trying to live a “spiritual life” this can be disappointing. It’s easy to think that nothing has changed, this practice of meditation and self-improvement just doesn’t work, or just doesn’t work for me. And then our next thought might be, ‘go ahead. Might as well eat the ice cream, have the drink, start a fight, gossip.’ And now we’re really showing ourselves how un-spiritual we are.
The truth, though, is just this: we will continue to behave humanly, because we are human.
As we learn to accept our human-ness, we are able to see each of these episodes as simply one more opportunity to choose away from the idea of separation and toward the idea of oneness. Away from judgment and toward love.
We fall into negative patterns, and then we choose to step out of them. We fall into believing the negative chatter in our head, and when we notice it we disengage and come back into the world and present moment awareness. We choose life over negativity, again and again, and as we do so, we wear down the artificial barrier that seems to separate us from spirit, and the more we do it, the easier it becomes.
We are not defined by the thoughts and impulses that may occur to us. We are defined by which of those thoughts and impulses we choose to feed and encourage. What we choose to be, what we choose to see, what we choose to express. And when I choose a different way of seeing myself and of seeing the world, I change the way I feel. I change the mood I’m in. I change the way I’m walking through the world, and I change the effect I’m having on all the people around me.
This is where our power to change lies. Not ignoring what’s going on inside of us or pretending to be more “evolved” than we actually feel. But by being present to the whole of ourselves, without judgment, and choosing, when we can, to move things in a different direction than they might be moving on their own.
This is true alchemy – transforming that which is of our lower nature into that which is of our higher nature. And transforming ourselves, again and again, we transform our world. And the world of everyone around us.
Today I will choose to express love, I will choose to see love, I will choose to be love, even – and especially – at those times when it’s the last thing I want to do.
Peter Manning, meditating, tintypes