I love The Path I’m on because it is the source of constant adventure and intrigue. I never know what random interaction or errand is going to lead me one step closer to understanding the Truth. For example:
This afternoon a kind lady asked me to reach for an item for her in the grocery store. After retrieving her item and walking away, I realized that at no time during that transaction did I look at her. I mean I saw her; I know what clothes she had on and could give a general physical description. But I wasn’t present enough in that moment to look at her, take her in as a human with fears and desires and history and family and all of the beautiful things that create our individual experiences. She was more of an object to me, just another something that was occurring in the world.
I think for most people this would be a “whatever” type moment. But the awareness of my disconnection, rather than the disconnection itself, provided a piece of the answer to a question I’ve been asking for the past week.
I’ve been desperately trying to figure this out and I think the answer to this question could prove to be valuable in becoming more effecting in the way I live for Purpose. The main trouble I’ve been having is I still cannot figure out exactly what the QUESTION means, so any attempts at discerning an answer are misguided at best.
Luckily my good friend Rainer Rilke often pays me a visit to remind me to do the next best thing: “Live the Question.” This is where the adventure and intrigue comes into play!
Living the question means not stressing over getting an answer or focusing much attention on solving the problem. Instead I simply EXPECT an answer to arrive in an unexpected form. And I remain open to the connections and coincidences that are given to me to lead me towards the answer.
I’m a pro at Question Living but this “How am I not Myself” is fast becoming a splinter in my mind that cannot be ignored. Yet I have enough faith in the process to stay focused on remaining open to whatever Life thinks I’m ready to learn and understand.
This brings me back to the lady in the grocery store. What in the world is so disturbing about doing what I imagine most people do in similar situations? I was kind and helpful; I smiled the whole time and I think I attempted some form of witty banter about cheese. But the interaction was significant because of my core beliefs of connection and Oneness. It was an illustration of how I most often walk through the world disconnected and separate.
How I am not being myself.
This experience also reminded me of Acts 3:1-8. I’ve heard a few sermons and interpretations of what happens in this text, but today I experienced my own understanding. To begin with, this is the first story of the disciples after having received the Pentecost or the Holy Spirit. They are fully aware of the power within, and are willing and able to share that power with whoever crosses their path. Now Peter and John crossed paths with a man who had been paralyzed since birth. He sat outside of the gates of the temple everyday begging for money. Instead of walking past or giving him the half-hearted once over (like when someone asks you for the cheese at the top of the shelf at the grocery store), the scripture says Peter does something I find to be significant: “fastening his eyes upon him with John, said ‘Look on Us.’” I take this to mean that in order to share what he had, and to give of who he was, he needed to BE in the moment and present with the man. He fastened his eyes on him, and required the lame man to do the same. After this, Peter lifted him up and he was able to walk for the first time in his life.
First we experience the power within us. Then we learn to be present with that power. Then Miracles happen.
How am I not Myself?
I am not myself if I am not intentionally recognizing my connection and oneness with others.
I am not myself if I am not consistently experiencing and acknowledging the Divine Power that dwells within (om namah shivaya).
I am not myself if I am not moment-to-moment Present.
Three quick answers that I can relate to and work on starting right now. I’m still aware that the full understanding of the question escapes me, and these answers only represent a portion of what remains; but not so bad for a quick trip to the grocery store, don’t you think?