Some people imagine that if we become really spiritual, truly mindful, that all the struggle, worry and grief will magically disappear. That challenges will come and go with ease, the troubles of the world will roll off like water off a duck’s back.
We hold our spiritual leaders in high esteem, imagining that they exist on a higher plane, untouched by human foibles.
Just like everyone else, spiritual teachers, leaders and role models struggle. They feel anguish, conflict and troubles in their lives. They have chronic pain and disease, troublesome relatives and neighbors, governmental authorities they don’t agree with.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time over the last few (14!) weeks talking with mindfulness leaders, students and people who are seeking an answer to staying sane in what is most likely the most impactful time of our history.
The Dalai Lama–one of many great spiritual teachers–once said “Sometimes I get angry, but then I realize, what is the use of my anger, and I let it go”.
My own teachers are sharing similar thoughts, that in order to move forward through this crisis, we must accept humanity as it is in this moment. After all, it is the actual reality (not our colored perception of it.) Our judgment, anger, fear, or “fixing” isn’t going to change that reality.
I invite you to reflect on your own perceptions and to bring compassion, love, acceptance and kindness forward.
Remember that everyone, even–or especially–those you don’t agree with are suffering too. If we can bring compassion, love, kindness, and even forgiveness to all of humanity, we can begin to heal the rifts in our world.
When we make other human beings “the other” are we not as bad as we perceive them to be?
I know, this is hard, and I am imperfect at this, wanting to rage at those who move with hatred and violence in their hearts. But. If I do that, and you do that, and the world does that, will it stop the hate? Or will we simply be reflecting hate in an endless funhouse mirror?
I am not saying we should sit by and let injustice happen. Not at all. What I AM saying is that rather than sticking our head in the sand we have an opportunity to enact change through compassionate conversations. To more fully understand those others we rail against in order to change their perception of their “others”.
If you are struggling, I am with you. I’m here to listen and to do my very best to leave judgment aside and offer kindness and a steady heart.
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be free of suffering