It hit me like a ton of bricks. We are all connected. We each are just individualized expressions of the one that created all. Being a student of metaphysics, I have heard this expression many times. There is so much to say about this, I don’t even know where to begin. It has not been so easy to say I love you to this girl in the mirror. As a matter of fact, I have avoided it for the most part. Of course, I have done it , sometimes, because it is part of this course I am participating in. I found it to be incredibly hard. But as I tune in to my new friends who are on this journey with me, I have learned, I am not the only one. I cannot say what happened to them, but for me, it is like somewhere down the road, I learned that I was not okay, just as I am. Because we are practicing the Mental diet this week, (which I have started over a 1000 times), I will refrain from spending time in that place and focus on what is so.
As I have started reading scroll II of “The Greatest Salesman” by Og Mandino, and actually trying to start each day with love in my heart, I have had some new awareness. It is hard for me to love others unconditionally, because I cannot love myself unconditionally. Its okay, because I started to ask myself, where did I get that from? I failed miserably at restraining my emotions in life. Tears for me became a sign of weakness. And not wanting to appear weak, I would hold back my tears until I had developed a lump in my throat. Then I became the person who seemed bitter and angry, and complained too much. It never occurred to me that not being allowed to express your feelings in a healthy way would prevent you from moving through your emotions and processing your feelings. So I became detached from my feelings and unable to experience them in a healthy and healing way. I remember that in the beginning of the 5th grade, my math teacher isolated me from the remainder of my classmates because I had a tendency to talk too much. I felt embarrassed and put on display for my wrong doings. What would have happened if she knew that I was just a lonely little girl who craved connection. Knowing these things about myself, I am able to release myself from the prison that I have created, all by myself. I get it, I was just trying to survive. That makes me feel better! But what about the people who I come in contact with every day? Aren’t they just trying to survive?
For 7 years, I have been doing this beautiful meditation . It is called Meditation on Twin Hearts. In this meditation, I am guided with the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. We say this prayer, asking to be channels of love and forgiveness, kindness, faith, and pardon. I have loved the beauty and simplicity of this practice because I have felt like I was doing something really good for mother earth and all of her inhabitants. But this week, what has become really real to me is that it was hollow and that in order to truly do this, I must be willing to be with out judgement. There will be many who may never know, in this lifetime, that they are just trying to survive. There will be arguments on politics, race relations, and many many other debates. But all of it comes from a place of fear and self preservation. I know this because up to this point, I have lived this. I cannot change this belief for anyone, but I can decide that instead of surviving, I want to live. Mahatma Ghandi told us to “Be the change we wish to see in this world.” The simplest instruction for doing this is love. Since I no longer need to “survive, ” the multitude of possibilities are palpable. I no longer need to fight. I don’t have to manipulate situations to prove myself. I can sort of take it when someone else has lost their temper and it seems as though they are taking it out on me. I don’t have to worry about being judged or ridiculed any longer. (This is going to take a little more work, but I am getting there). It is all good, we are all just trying to survive, it’s not personal anymore. Most importantly, I don’t need anyone’s approval… well, except that GAL in the glass.
One time, I actually looked up the word love. One of the things I read was that love was an earnest respect and desire for another’s well being. (I paraphrased that). Now that is pretty deep. Why wouldn’t I want that for someone else? And since we are all one, we are just individualized expressions of the same creator, I must start with me. And despite what I have previously believed, I am that love! Atma Namaste!!!! Chef Joi Aikens