Yet again, this is where I am, joyfully. Part of me wishes for it to be over, because I want to be matured into this lighter, brighter stage. Like puberty, this awkward transition phase is a bit uncomfortable, a little embarrassing, and exciting.
The many changes I am experiencing are of no consequence to readers, and each factor seems so inconsequential on its own but is adding up to such a profound inner shift that even my appearance has changed so drastically in two years. My personality is changing so much so, and although it isn't sufficiently strengthened in maturation that I could call it complete, I am like a little soft-shelled crab, vulnerable and guarded my transition with ample space and time to be alone, to avoid watering old habits. I will blossom more fully soon. I feel it happening. The stages of these transitions are fascinating, and I can track, over the last ten years, several smaller transitions like this, seemingly adding up to this grander, deeper, wider, vaster transformation, that I know is marking a significant turning point... Yet doubtless that this is far from the last one. These transitions make it clear that I have a long ways to go to total freedom, and keep me very humble in spite of my high self-esteem.
The particular habit I wanted to highlight, is a negative view of the world. This habit has been quitting me, especially over the last six years, and continues to quit me. In any instance that I would exert a harsh view of another's actions, or chastise them, fear them thinking they wish me harm, or see the world as violent and deadly, I have been proven foolishly and unabashedly, wrong. Dead wrong.
My teenage self was cynical, sarcastic, and sharply, bitterly, quick-witted. It was a charm of sorts in the teenage world, where it enabled me both to feel I fit in and protect myself with my coarse offensiveness should anyone come near to harming my delicate feelings. Then, after a few smaller instances of my heart cracking open to cleansing tears, and one particularly profound instance at the ashram when I studied yoga for the first time, where I cried so hard on a rocky bluff by the sea I was certain the few passersby were concerned if I was suicidal, I softened that abrasive edge. Ever since life has been polishing my edges, and I have been opening my heart.
Yes, bad things happen in the world. But if you walk around with a paranoid attitude, you doubly attract these things. If you endeavor to see the bad in others and the world you will not be disappointed. But if you govern yourself with complete honesty and openness, you will find yourself well-respected,and people only do violence to people they see not as people, but as objects. If you respect someone, however, you see them as a person, a being, and NOT an object, and cannot do them violence.
The few instances I recall where God slapped my cheek a little and then we laughed together over my ridiculous fears and closed-hearted judgments:
Walking one day down the street, early on in my yoga studio days, someone beeped to say hi as I walked down the street. Not recognizing the car or seeing the person, and where my head was in the moment, I thought the person was beeping at m e for some negative purpose ("get on the sidewalk!", or the famous comment I used to get at 25 years old, "why aren't you in (high) school? Why are you cutting classes?"). Thinking in my head I was being harassed, I flicked the person off! It was a knee-jerk reaction hearkening to my self ten years earlier and old entrenched habits. So then I found out it was a student friend, and I, needless to say, apologized profusely and felt like an enormous ass!
Or because I thought nothing of walking along most of a particular street before and after work (in a so-called rougher area of our incredibly-low-crime-rate blessed city, a ridiculous assertation in my book) one night, in the dark, a group of young guys was walking on the same side of the road as me, and uncharacteristically, a sense of paranoia spoke up within, so I crossed the street. I tensed up as they came closer, narrowed my eyes, put on my "hardened city look", and it ended up being my sweet neighbor and his friends. I was greeted with, "how are you tonight, sweetheart? Have a great night, honey!" Pssssht! I felt so stupid and laughed at myself all the rest of the way home.
Times I've said to myself, usually when tired, "asshole" of someone's actions, I have been shown that that "asshole" actually was a friend doing something thoughtful specifically for me that was unexpected.
The appropriate response is to let go of the out-dated views and habits as fully and quickly as you are capable, and to step as openly as possible into the next depth of revealing your innate beauty and greatness. Shine, and the faster the better. Abandon all actions that leave you feeling guilty or down on yourself, and change the habits or attitudes that have you acting so lowly toward other living beings, and towards yourself. Whenever you are frustrated or upset, whenever life dishes you a surprise you don't think you like, remind yourself to open. Don't close. That is the typical response. Be better then that. At every moment and possibility, open your heart wider, and never let yourself forget that everything that comes in this life is ultimately, an opportunity for spiritual growth and blossoming into our greatest potential in all ways. Whatever is, must be perfect. No resistance. Just be a reflection of your inner light in complete integrity with the truth of your conscience. Nothing more or less. Let the old ways fall away. Remember yourself as everything you admire most in others, and step into the role.
Love and light!
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