“I act freely when I am tuned in, centered and loving and, if possible, I avoid acting when I am emotionally upset and depriving myself of the wisdom that flows from love”-Kenneth Keyes
I used to have the goal of perfect spirituality.
Let me explain.
Perfect spirituality, as I defined it, was a continual state of calm bliss. Where the troubles of life would never touch you. Where you acted and reacted perfectly in every moment.
You know. Child’s play. Right?
Turns out we are human. Maybe you’ve heard.
And our human-ness (aka ego) tries to protect us from my favorite pastime-face-planting.
This is very survival friendly. But it doesn’t always have a foothold in reality.
So….I overact when I am angry to defend my right to exist. Get offended when someone unintentionally implies that I am less than brilliant. Or just plain cry when the car wash vacuum sucks up my keys.
It’s not FAIR. My ego screams. Life is HARD. It refrains like a bad 80’s hairband ballad.
But here’s the skinny-enlightenment is defined as awakening, not necessarily perfecting.
Pema Chodron has chatted about her grand daughter pushing her buttons. Carolyn Meiss candidly discusses yelling at a clerk at the airport. The Buddha took some convincing to allow women into the fold. And even the Dali Lami has lost his signature serene on camera.
The difference between these sages & me is that they own their human-ness. Perhaps even laugh at themselves for it. And they own that these moments are a learning opportunity essential for their growth.
Pema Chodron calls it the touch-back principle. Through mindfulness we learn, not to achieve perfectness, but to ‘touch-back’ to our divine selves when we become aware that we are off course.
If this sounds like a momentous feat (as it is to my big, bad ego-self). If we can’t release-we can at least refrain from the acting and sit in these feelings for a moment. I can try to just be with myself and form an unconditional friendship with the person I am right now. In this moment.
So that is the lesson I will take with me today. I take comfort in the fact that we are beneath or above no one in this physical life. That we are all subject to waves of emotions that come and go. But they are simply waves. And are, by their very nature, impermanent.
These feelings are just a moment in the treasure trove of joy that is our lives. And I can finally notice that the path to enlightenment is achieved in the knowing, observing, and taking a step back from acting in frustration.
Today I invite you to love yourself through the process, no matter where you are on the spectrum. Red faced, face-planting (like me). Or in complete Zen.
You are perfect in your awareness. And you are, most certainly, divine.
Shine on light-workers.