Ah… politics. Something I was once so devoted to, so ardently defended…. Something I became so emotional about at one time. Maybe I was ‘wrong’ then, maybe I’m ‘wrong’ now to let it all wash over me.
But I strongly suspect that what may be perceived as my attitude of ‘not caring’ about politics, is in truth a deep-down acceptance of people and how I want to be in the world.
On the heels of the Golden Globes, which admittedly, I only caught part of, I’ve seen a litany of Facebook posts for and against Meryl Streep, for and against Donald Trump – and truthfully, I haven’t read any of it except for a few headlines.
And I read it with no emotion. I’m not emotionally invested either way and it’s a really beautiful state for me to be in. I watch like a curious child, half-interested, but noticing the way we react when we believe we are strongly upholding our ideals.
I saw this video on youtube of a dad doing affirmations with his little girl in the mirror – and fuller my heart could not have been. Perhaps you’ve seen it. I’ll include it here. Now this does stir my emotions.
What struck me most about this series of affirmations was that the dad had his little girl repeat this phrase, “I am not better than anyone. And no one is better than me.”
It affected me so much that months later, I’m still contemplating those two brief but powerful sentences. On the surface they seem like any other positive statement. “I am respectful. I am smart. I am kind.”
But what they really highlight is a deeper understanding of humanity, and the level of consciousness surely we must all aspire to.
I am not better than you. No one is better than me.
We are equals. We are each special and unique and yet, we are each all the same. We are one.
These two ideals can live simultaneously within us.
Don’t believe we are all one? Well, that’s a spiritual conversation for another day but something I have come to believe in my heart of hearts. We are all connected – whether through God, the Universe, our souls or our energy. Your fellow man is your brother. And there is no greater love than that which we have for our brothers.
“It is not up to you to change your brother, but to accept him as he is.”
“The ego cannot survive without judgment.” A Course in Miracles
And when we are leading with our egos, we are not leading with love.
What happens when we criticize and judge others? On some level, we are saying we are better than that person.
Do you need to feel that you are better than someone else because of their values, their decisions, their behavior, their appearance, their intelligence level… what? If so, why do you think you need to feel you are better than them?
What happens if I criticize or judge you for judging others? Then I am being critical and judgment and non-accepting.
I am not here to criticize you. I am here to lift you up. To awaken. To inspire. To draw forth from you consciousness-based thinking. Mindful thinking.
I heard a spiritual teacher recently (really wish I could remember who) on Gaia tv online. He was talking about the nature of our evolving consciousness, though I doubt those were the exact words he used.
He said that in order to truly help someone, teach someone, lead someone, understand someone, coach someone, help someone, we had to fully accept all of that person. And that what is within that person is also within us, to some degree.
That we should acknowledge that truth and then and only then would we be able to truly connect with others, live a fully spiritually awakened life and have love and respect for all of humanity.
Is there a part of Hitler in all of us? Is there a part of Mother Teresa in all of us?
Jim Rohn said you need to read a book about both… Hitler AND Mother Teresa. You need to see how high we can go and how low…
So… what if we do judge others harshly? What if there is a strong emotion within us that feels something someone else is doing is blatantly wrong? They are disrespectful, they are mean, they are stupid, they are evil, they are pompous, they are wrong!
What do we do with that?
Leading from our ego, we can stand firm in those opinions. We can argue about them and defend them. We can get our blood pressures raised. We can stand tall in our ‘rightness’ about the situation.
Or what if we take a moment to become aware of what is happening. Are our thoughts running away from us or can we control them?
Breathe. Notice. Ask ourselves some questions. Is this the way I want to be in the world? Is this opinion more important than peace? Is my conviction about this person or subject so important to me that I’m willing to invoke stress and discord further than what already is?
Today I had a mini-argument with my husband because of ego-based thinking, his AND mine. And it was over something seemingly small. He noticed someone commenting online (unrelated story) in a way that was not kind. My husband is kind, and so we each notice when others are not, I guess you could say.
The person commenting online was rude in her statement and he believed they made a fool of themselves. In the past I probably would have fallen right in. Giggled, mocked, criticized someone I didn’t even know – all in light fun. “People are idiots.” Maybe.
But instead I noticed how my husband was being unkind.
Was I kind to my husband? No. I could have (and should have) just noticed to myself the difference in my perception.
Instead I unwisely took the opportunity to (lightly and inadvertently) criticize my husband for judging a stranger. Of course, he took immediate defense and ultimately, I caused the discord.
I noticed it as it was happening but it felt as if I couldn’t stop it.
The ego has had many years to become habituated. I am far from perfect. Yet we are all perfect. And that’s what this is really about.
We are so different. Yet we are the same.
We have had enormously different life experiences that have shaped our belief systems, our personalities, our values.
We want to honor differences and we want everyone to be like us.
And how can you love someone who is seemingly filled with hate? How can you extend compassion to someone who is diametrically opposed to all you hold dear?
These are the questions to ponder if you want to truly have a peace about you. If you want to evolve beyond the day to day grievances. If you want a higher love in your heart and your life.
I am not better than Donald Trump. He is not better than me.
I am not better than Meryl Streep. She is not better than me.
And I am not better than you. And you are not better than me.
Deep breath. World peace has got to start somewhere, right?
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