There is a lot of attention and energy flying around this week concerning what is wrong in our world – what is wrong with our society, what is wrong with our judicial system, what is wrong with our consciousness. I’m watching and reading conversations on the street, in classrooms, in churches, and among colleagues. These energetic conversations have their place. Thoughts, feelings and emotions need to be aired and to be honored. They are valid and viable and are informing us that there are indeed problems in our world, wounds to be healed, injustices to be reconciled.
I’m thinking tonight about a client that I once had – long ago, far far away, no one you know – that came to me with a long-term situation that involved similar wrongs and injustices. She could really be any of us. I heard her out, because we need to be heard, to speak what is on our minds and breaking open our hearts. We need to dump our stuff out on the table in a safe place where we can sort it out, make some choices, and open ourselves to new possibilities. That is what we as metaphysical teachers do – help people to begin to open to new possibility, to begin to become re-empowered, to begin to heal and to create a new life experience for themselves. We know that it can and does happen, all the time.
She had lived her story for so long that it had become her identity. She could not imagine anything else. I asked her, “What are you here to be?”, and she could not give me an answer. I asked her, “If your story fell away, what would you be, WHO would you be?”. She had no answer for that either. I asked her, “What do you want?”, and she began to cry, “I want to be what God created me to be,” she said.
I said to her, “Let’s start there.”
I read a story this week about an 82-year-old retired barber who takes his tools and a car battery to power his shears to the park every Wesdnesday and gives haircuts and shaves to the homeless, for free. I read another story about a 12-year-old boy who, upon learning that there was a missing young girl on his block, gathered his friends and they rode their bikes all over the neighborhood until they spotted the young girl in the passenger seat of a passing car. They gave chase, on their bicycles, until the abductor was cornered into releasing the captive child. The young man then carried that little girl, on his bike, back to her mother. I read a story about the president of Uraguay, who donates 90% of his income as president to charity. He lives in a farmhouse off a dirt road where he and his wife work the land themselves.
What are you here to be? If your story fell away, what would you be, WHO would you be? What do you want?
And there are a few other questions that we might ask ourselves.
What is one thing that I can do today to contribute to making this a better world? What am I willing to give? What am I willing to contribute? What do I want to experience more of, see more of, feel more of?
At what point do we begin to turn our attention from what is problematic – from trying to fix a problem – to creating a new reality?
When we do that, or at least begin to consider the possibility, the questions themselves change, and when that happens, the energy itself changes. We find ourselves wandering into the realm of “Yes, this is what I do want, this is what I can do, this is what I am drawn to be and this is where I am committed to invest my time, my energy, and my attention.”
We are, ultimately, beings of Light and Love, and Light recognizes Itself and pours Love into the vessels that we are, as soon as we allow it to do so. It is our design, our birthright, and our purpose here on this planet.
What light is mine to contribute to the world today? What kindness might I extend, however small? What is my yes?
That client? That is the affirmation that I sent her home with. “I say yes to life.” No definition, no solution, no fixing or figuring anything out. Just a choice, a simple decision; was she open to the possibility of creating something new, something vital, something good and loving and living and well. I wasn’t concerned about specifics. I was interested in her heart and soul desire, in her primary choice about life itself. Her art is now featured in galleries on a regular basis.
Rumi says there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground, and he’s right. It doesn’t matter what kind of good we allow to show up through us, as us. You can hand the guy on the corner a dollar, or smile at the grocery clerk, let somebody into traffic ahead of you or work in a soup-kitchen or forgive someone or cut hair in the park. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the primary choice; where am I going to put my attention, and am I committed, in my heart of hearts, to live in the yes?