When we follow our life calling without worry or fear, we step into our destiny. When we instead submit to worry or fear, we are subject to fate. There is always Choice, but there is a difference between Conscious Choice and Unconscious Choice. I believe this is as simple as getting caught between conditioned thought and the capacity for “waking up,” or not being burdened by conditioned thought. Getting free from that can take years of hard work and self examination.
Years ago I had a discussion with a man who was complaining about replacing his carpet. As the conversation progressed, I became aware that this was less a “need” than a want to live up to his expectations of what other people thought. My remark, “We always have a choice,” grounded him. He had not previously perceived that we have a choice. The discussion provided food for his thoughts, and therefore, for his being.
Every interaction we have with other people can provide an influence for their life and their being. It is not that I am better than you or you are better than me: It is rather that our relationships become mirrors one for the other. What I dislike in you, I dislike in me; what I like in you, I like in me. I have had people whom I disliked intensely teach me about the practice of grace and comporting themselves well in situations I am uncomfortable. It became a practice of seeing the whole person, withholding critical judgment and allowing the filters of perception to remain open. I become a witness to life instead of viewing life through the egoistic lens of my own perfectionism.
I have just finished a week of reviewing my relationship with my own dear mother, who became an ancestress in 1998. I have owned my resentments and seen the seed patterns of my childhood. It has been difficult, but rewarding work. From the seeds of jealousy and resentment, I have learned how I can use my awareness of my shadows to help me find the gift in any situation. Envy does not have to lead to horrible behavior – instead I can turn it into self care. If I like Jenny’s necklace, I do not have to fixate on wanting one just like it – I can craft myself something similar that is even more unique to my individual sense of style. If I envy Kate’s time for artwork, I can create a period of time in my day where I give myself time to draw. I change the filter of my perception. I can be glad for Jenny and Kate and support their happiness even as I pursue my own. There is enough for all of us.
Because I value the Spirit, I work on myself to be worthy of the Spirit. There is less indulgence in my old habit of self pity and more of holding myself in balance with the question, “How can I be of service today?” More and more often, the answer is simple: BE PRESENT.
This means showing up in the fullness of my own being, my own spirit to WHAT IS. Verdhandi is the Norn of the Present. She teaches me to wait and perceive, and while I wait, to clear my inner space for what is coming in now.
Verdhandi, thank you for the teaching. I am open. I am present. And when the time is right, I will know how to be of service.