We say in New Thought spirituality that God is all that there is, that each person is a unique, individual expression of that Divine essence, created from the same God stuff, and with the same essential nature. Everything and everyone, all of creation, flows from the same Source.
And, in the day to day application of that principle in our lives, we can be a little… awkward.
We seem to like people more who are like us, and we assign them greater value.
It may be because we think, somewhere deep down inside, that the way that we are, the way that we think, the way that we dress or believe or speak or sing or look or show up in the world is The Right Way, or The Best Way. Which puts everyone else on the planet in the unfortunate position of being, well, wrong. Poor people.
Or, we go the other way with our rather clunky navigation of diversity, which is to think that everyone else seems to have things figured out EXCEPT me! We question our own uniqueness, our own gifts, our own lives, and think that they “should be” different somehow.
When we make exclusions in our minds, whether its THEM or whether its ME, what we are essentially saying is that there is less of the perfection of God in one place than another.
Our worldview changes, however, when we make a different choice; an intentional awareness, a daily practice of the diversity that is the nature of creation. As we practice, we become increasingly aware of Divine perfection in ALL of creation, not just in the parts of creation that match our beliefs about the way that things should be.
Snowflakes are a tried and true example of the diversity of creation, and they are easier for us to look at and really understand diversity because they are not people, which allows us to be a little more objective in our consideration.
Scientists tell us that in the history of creation, in all of the trillions of snowflakes that have been created and fallen upon this earth, no two snowflakes have ever, ever been the same. There is that much diversity in nature. By design, there is difference, uniqueness. There is nothing to fix in a snowflake, no snowflake therapists, no workshops on how to be a better snowflake, no snowflake makeup or accessories.
And we think of all snowflakes in pretty much the same way. We don’t really distinguish between an east coast snowflake and a west coast snowflake, a snowflake from Nepal or one from Nevada. We know their essential nature is the same, and that they can be things of exquisite beauty, or they can be a royal pain, depending on how we look at them. They are all individual, they are all unique, and they are all perfect exactly as they are, and exactly as they are not. There is no good and bad, no right and wrong, no better or worse. There is perfection, in each and every one.
It’s easy with snowflakes, to be objective, to see and understand and allow and embrace and appreciate the diversity and beauty of creation.
People, on the other hand, challenge us. We do judge and label and assign greater or lesser values to people. And its, well, arrogant. We forget that it’s all God. We forget that all that we are is God, and though we are all different, we are all perfect too.
We need to redefine that word too – perfect – in our own minds and hearts. Perfection is not some destination, some sameness to achieve. Perfection is not something to strive for, or to attain. It is something to realize, to remember.
Yet we doubt. We are great doubters. We doubt the viability of other people, of other ways of doing things, of other ways of thinking and looking and believing. We doubt that people who show up in the world differently than we do are every bit as viable and valuable and beautiful and perfect as our idea of what is perfect.
And then, just as bad, we doubt ourselves. We think that surely we are the wrong kind of snowflake, and would be much better off in some slightly different design, a different pattern. We question and we worry and we set out to fix ourselves. We set about trying to improve on perfection, and we wonder why that process is so frustrating, why it seems like a constant pursuit. Perhaps there is nothing to pursue to begin with.
We even question our own thoughts and feelings and intuition. We question the gifts that we bring to the world, and we withhold them, fearful that somehow they are not good enough.
We all have a purpose, we are all here, like threads in a tapestry, part of the weaving together of the human experience in any given moment.
Margaret Mead: “If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse gift will find a fitting place.”
We need to trust the diversity of things, the unique, individual way that creations happens. This trust might challenge us, because we either think that we’re better than THEM, whoever the them might be, or we think that other people are MORE viable than we are, and we doubt our own gifts, our own purposes, our own dreams and desires.
This challenge shows up in all kinds of different ways. Outside of ourselves, this idea of diversity, and our inability to really step into it, has been the cause of much struggle and suffering. We develop prejudices, pre-judgments about people, about the color of peoples skins or their religious beliefs. We even get attached to silly beliefs about what is the right and wrong way that the toilet paper should go on the roll… and we get in fights about this stuff!
But the truth is that the rainbow in nature is a great example of the diversity of people; One Light, the same light, breaks itself into a million different shades of color… but all of them come from the same light. You see?
We’re all a little different, different colored threads in the human tapestry. Not so much right and wrong, good and bad, better or worse. We’re like snowflakes. We’re essentially the same, we come from the same Source, and all have the same essential nature.
But God apparently wanted to experience life in more than just one way. By all appearances It wanted to experience things in a lot of different ways, which would mean that we’re all different BY DESIGN… which then would mean that being different from each other isn’t a bad thing at all, but instead that it is a perfectly divine design.
We’re all supposed to be different! Isn’t that great! What a relief! No more trying to be like them! No more expecting them to be like us! And no more doubting that who and what we are, each of us, as unique and individual manifestations of God, is anything less than perfect.
What if we were to look at the uniqueness – our own, and others – with awe and wonder, and marvel at the diversity? What if we were to celebrate each and every persons gift, looking not for what is wrong with them, but for what is good and right and divine in them?
Maya Angelou: “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”
What if we were to consider our own individual gifts, the dreams and desires and urges that just won’t leave us alone, and trust that inner guidance, say yes to those dreams, risk bringing the gifts that every single person has to bring?
What if the design of things is already perfect, and all we have to do is to clear our own vision, clear our own fears and doubts, and really step into what we’re here on this planet to bring, step into what we are here to be? I wonder what the world would be like then.
If we are to step into the shift in human consciousness that we as a species are in the midst of, that we as a planet are in the midst of, there are two essential ingredients that we must be willing to bring:
First, we must recognize the divinity and the gifts in our differences. There is a Sanskrit word that means ‘ the God in me recognizes and honors the God in you’. Take that one word and practice it, every day, with every person that crosses our path. That word is NAMASTE.
And second, if we are to change the course of human history, and create a world that works for everyone, we have to begin by honoring ourselves, our own unique gifts, the individual way that we show up in the world.
What is your gift? What is your hearts desire, your dream? Call that purpose up again within yourself, because I can tell you this: that dream would not be there if you were not the perfect person to bring it into being, exactly as you bring it.