Thank You, Creator, for this Brand New Day!
The coffee has brewed, and now the first sip. A little bitter, and the heat is soothing on my throat. I’m not sick, and I don’t have a sore throat; but, still, it feels good.
It’s helpful to me, Creator, to take time to notice these little blessings in my life and be grateful. As they add up, they redirect me by reminding me how much I do have, and how fortunate I am.
I think our consumer culture teaches us to focus on what we don’t have, and to feel scarcity and suffering because of it –
Don’t we need the newest smartphone and the fastest internet, a thousand cable channels, and the newest, fastest, coolest car that, oh, by the way, has Wi-Fi so we can watch all those shows and movies, get messages, and check Facebook right from our driver’s seat?
And, if we don’t have all that, isn’t it a pity? Because our neighbors do, and our co-workers and our boss; and, they are so much happier than we are.
If we don’t have these things, it’s probably because we’re not trying enough, or working hard enough.
Or, maybe the real reason we don’t have all this stuff is that we’re just not good enough, and we don’t deserve it. Maybe we are just losing, in this competitive Game of Life.
Doesn’t that feel crappy? Well, here’s what we can do – go get ourselves that latest smartphone and newest car anyway. So what if we can’t afford it. Put it on credit. Having them will make us feel better – they promise. Sure, we’ll have debt; but, we can just work more and play less.
Stressed and overwhelmed now? Not sleeping? Well, there are pills for all that, and we can always self-medicate with alcohol to try to numb ourselves from the pressure and stress we’re feeling. Numb ourselves from this empty life, cluttered with stuff that we’ve pursued.
What really matters to you? What do you really want in your life? What, ultimately, brings satisfaction and fulfillment to your life? What, really, brings value to your life?
The bitterly cold days last weekend, I went for a walk on the trail near our home. One day in particular, I dressed and layered very carefully, because the wind chill down in the negative teens could be dangerous.
Both days, there was an older couple out walking; not together, exactly; they seemed always separated by twenty or thirty yards. Each day, I passed them on my outward walk, and we exchanged hellos. And, each day, as I returned, they had also turned back, and I watched as they would stop, seeming to listen and watch for birds, or some other thing that caught their interest.
They weren’t close enough to speak to each other; but, it seemed that when one stopped, the other would, also. Together, but apart. Out there, even on the coldest day of the year, not because they had to – no groceries or medicine needed, or some other errand. Out there by Choice.
And, I’m not sure why, but my time out there, walking and contemplating, as well as observing this couple and the nature around us, opened up a new realization within me. I would say that, intellectually, I’ve had these thoughts before. But, on this day, these thoughts connected with something much deeper within me.
I awakened to a new realization of giving. I’m not sure what combination of things triggered this, or what role this couple played in opening this Truth.
I had previously contemplated what it means to give, and I recognized that my learning had programmed me to believe that giving was simply “the right thing to do.”
As I have begun doing with many of my beliefs, I began testing this one, to see how true it is. In doing so, I recognized that there was a large element of self in giving – that the act of giving made me feel good about myself; made me feel valued and worthwhile. So, for a little while, I’ve been holding this thought that we do kind things and give, ultimately, because it makes us feel good.
Out there in the cold, though, I realized another part of the Truth about giving. We get so caught up in our stories – what we have and don’t have; how we’re struggling; all the challenges we face. No matter how bad things are, though; no matter how scared and low we are – we have the power to give.
Even if we are down on our knees, we can give someone else a smile; offer them a hand up. No matter whether we make enough to pay the bills, keep a roof over our heads, and food on the table; we can be kind to others, look them in the eye, treat them with respect, and say hello.
As I said, this realization broke me open in a new way. I’ve thought things about kindness and giving before.
But, there’s a power here. Transformation. No matter where we are, or how we see ourselves; we can extend ourselves to another. * And, it’s not just to make ourselves feel good, or to redeem ourselves. It’s not because we have to, or are “supposed to,” or because it’s the “right” thing to do.
We give and help others, because we are born to do so. “O nobly born, remember your radiant true nature.” It is our nobility, and our Divine nature, that calls us and allows us, even when we are down and lost, to help another and to give of ourselves.
Does it lift and redeem us? Does it remind us of our potential and our value; what is best in us? Yes.
But, that is not why we do it. Those are pleasant by-products.
We do it, because we are able to do it. There is Divine Spirit within us that allows us to help lift and provide for another. We are born with a noble spirit that calls us forward.
Never doubt the Divine power within you, to help another. That’s when we can talk about true Fulfillment of Purpose!
Blessings in Service, Oh Brother and Sister Spirits!
*To be forthright — for the first time, tonight I added to the morning’s writing. Most of what came after the asterisk above was spontaneously added tonight.