Is the inflicting of pain and suffering what we want our life filled with? Of course not, but more people do just this without even thinking twice. When we go through life on automatic, without thinking once or twice or any, we let our issues, our hurts, our frustrations, our pains, our suffering, our misunderstandings and our prejudices which are all wrapped up in our subconscious, choose how we respond to other people within the relationships and interactions of our every day world.
For us to do differently, we have to think about it. We have to observe ourselves – think about how we relate to people – and think of the experiences that others may have of us.
Responding with compassion, or mercy – answering a situation with conscious patience, or understanding is not an automatic act which we can do ‘in our sleep’. We have to choose to act with compassion or mercy, or patience and understanding, … or love.
If we’re not thinking of these, if these are not on our mind, we’re not doing these.
How often do you check to see if you’re breathing? How often do you examine your breathing in and out? This act of breathing is automatic, and for the most part, we don’t check to see if we’re breathing. We go about our life on automatic with our breathing. We don’t consciously inhale or exhale, …
unless we choose to consciously.
There are many exercises for consciously breathing – and for many purposes. One example is for athletics. I.e. For learning better swimming techniques, one must consciously be aware of one’s breathing in and out. Other examples are for many meditative or yogic practices.
For this article, the exercise of consciously being aware of breathing in and out can also serve to lead us to be aware of this one moment right now in which we are breathing (even while reading this article). If we realize that we can only breathe in this moment that we call Now, we have realized a great truth. We cannot breathe during times past, and we cannot breathe during future times. We can only breathe during the moment of Now.
This Now moment, also is the only time we can choose to bring forth an act of compassion or mercy. In this Now moment, represented by our awareness of our breathing in and out, right now, is the moment when we can choose to show patience, or kindness to whomever or whatever we’re in the vicinity of. In this Now moment, is the only moment when we can show Love, or forgiveness, or encouragement. In this Now moment is the only moment we can listen to another or comfort another, or support another in need.
This Now moment is the single most powerful, opportunity for accomplishing any and every transformative or healing act. This is because, we are conscious when we are recognizing NOW. And we can consciously choose to express any quality of Love which we want to – Now.
The question then begs, “What can we do NOW – while we’re noticing that we’re breathing in and out – to bring Love, Joy, Patience, Forgiveness, Mercy or any of these qualities in the world – right NOW?”
It’s okay to stop reading this article, and NOW act consciously to demonstrate Love and show this Love through any of these qualities.
Right now, in the US and the world, so many people are concerned, worried, fearful and many other feelings about our own nation, the world we live in – the world around us – “The External World” – that which we see, hear, taste, feel and smell, all around us.
Some of us have spent our entire lives focused on the world around us, fixing, working, and accomplishing things in this world. We may have reached nearing mid-life age or the end of our lives and instead of feeling fantastically accomplished and wonderfully fulfilled, we feel depressed, anxious, upset, resentful or angry, sometimes to the point of medicating ourselves to help us deny this.
So many of us can look at what we’ve accomplished out in the world in our lifetime, and start to experience deep within where it has become nothing but a whisper – that we haven’t changed the world as much as we wanted to during this life. We haven’t gotten the insight that we thought we’d have. We haven’t gotten from this path in the way we thought we would, so we get angry and upset, disillusioned and disappointed, and lost in wondering if what we did had any value at all. If we haven’t made the world into what we wanted by the time we reach “NOW”, we may get depressed, or despondent and sometimes a sense of despair and deep loss may come up within us.
We can even take our anxiety and anger out on others – those who we feel are to blame for us not “changing the world” – not “making the world a better place”. We see PLENTY of blame and attacks on social media. We tend to take this anger out on people who we feel “got in our way” of making this world better or our life better. The daily news shows the worst cases of how some people have demonstrated their utter loss and frustration through killing of others.
Regardless of which side of the fence we’re on with regards to any group or culture we belong to, so many times, we blame others for our own “not making the world into the better place that I wanted to make it into” – this includes not making our own personal, private world or circle into what we wanted to make it into. We blame others, and …
… even our self (although we don’t always admit to blaming ourselves since “it’s obviously someone else’s fault”).
If we came into the world to make the world a better place for ourselves (and others maybe) “to fix the world”, and therefore, all our effort had been focused on changing the world around us – changing any part of this planet Earth back into a “Garden of Eden” for ourselves (and others, maybe) …
but yet, if we haven’t worked to change/fix/heal/better ourselves …
… then we would have wasted our entire lives.
Life is not about fixing the external world around us, in which we’re living. Many think it is. We didn’t come into this world, with the #1 directive being to change the External World around us. We didn’t come with the purpose in life being to change the Earth.
What so many don’t remember and acknowledge is the External World around us – all of it – is the mirror image of what is within us – the mirror image of what is within our consciousness, within our minds, within our hearts and within our souls. The world that we see and “live inside” is the reflection of what is inside our consciousnesses. What we see around us is the reflection of all of us – what we have within us to work on to change.
We have made the Earth into our own image and likeness.
Even if we did make great changes in the External World – the Earth – we would still return to whatever level of living/dying/creating/destroying we’re at as the human race – unless we make the great changes within ourselves first.
We are here to change our own consciousness. We are here in this level of consciousness – in this “realm” we call the Universe – the Solar System – the Earth – to change our own selves – our conscious and subconscious minds, our hearts at both the shallowest and the deepest places within us, and our souls in their full existence.
If we haven’t put effort into changing our own self – we have wasted all the years in the world, and it is only natural that we’re going to feel deep inside our self – that we haven’t accomplished what we came here to accomplish – that we haven’t changed the REAL thing we came to change – our self.
The Portrait of Dorian Gray
Ultimately, this fact is true – if we’ve changed the world around us, but we haven’t changed our self, then we’ve accomplished nothing, because the world will simply eventually revert back to what it was – the reflection – the Earth and the world we think we see – like the portrait of Dorian Gray, which will always reflect that truth which is within us – the unchanged, unexamined issues, harmful emotions and the broken and injured relationships we have with our self and others.
Even now, the world reflects the conflict we have within ourselves – not just with others, but the conflict we have with our own self which we haven’t yet examined, or which we haven’t yet acknowledged or worked on. It is very true that all of us have some conflict within us which we have not yet examined – waiting for us to get around to it when we have more time – “we’re just so busy, right now. We’ve got a world to fix, after all.”
The reflection we see in the mirror – the world that we see around us – will continue as it is – as long as we avoid the inner work on the inner world we have within our inner selves. This reflection is ourselves that we see in the mirror, and it is this that is within which is the source of what we see out there.
The New Reflection
When we change our mind and heart about our judgements, our criticisms, our bitterness, our resentments, our rages, our angers, our fears, our abuses, our attacks, our belittlements, our disrespects, etc. within ourselves, – changed into forgiveness and mercy, compassion, tolerance, loving kindness, understanding, patience with others and ourselves, etc., then we will begin to see the new reflection in the mirror of the planet. Because some of us have done some of this work, we are already seeing some of this change, but our own part that we play in this change – this is what we must address – sooner or later.
When we address our own issues, then we will have changed the Inner Source of the reflection that we see in the External World around us.
It is when we bring these higher qualities forward when standing in the midst of the lower/harmful qualities. Not in the midst of someone else’s portrait of Dorian Gray, but OUR OWN. Bringing forth our higher qualities of kindness, mercy, humility, and the others when we have previously brought forth our lower qualities – in the face of our self when we are wanting instead to react spewing forth any manner of negative and harmful qualities – this is the moment of true changing of the world.
Christ said, “With God, all things are possible.” This means that with God – which is the Infinite Source of love, patience, determination, kindness, persistence, wisdom, forgiveness, mercy, compassion – all inner injuries can be healed. This means that with God – which is love, patience, determination, kindness, persistence, wisdom, forgiveness, mercy, compassion – everything within us that we’ve lost, can be found. This means that with God – everything about us that is a mess, can be cleaned up and made straight. This means that with God, everything about our real self forgotten can be remembered. And this means that with God, everything broken within us, can be made whole.
It is with our effort then beginning from the center within us, that the Garden of Eden returns. Then does the Earth we want to have form, come into being. Because the Garden of Eden, the Earth we want to exist, is born from the Love and Kindness, the forgiveness and mercy, the patience and understanding, the determination, persistence, tolerance and compassion that one gives to our fellow human beings – all of them plus one – our self.
And, oh, yes, it absolutely is a challenge, … yet, once more…. as Christ said, “For man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible” – even changing and growing within our self.
I would go so far as to say, that ONLY with God, is this possible.
With Covid-19 causing many deaths in the US and everywhere on the planet Earth, this blog title is sadly realistic for people dying “before their time” or what we would think would otherwise be before their time. Who among us is ready for when our last moments on Earth arrive?
None of us or perhaps a very extreme few of all the billions of people on Earth.
However, we don’t consciously choose which moments are our last moments. It is a sober experience to consider. This experience is seemingly forced upon each and every person that gets Covid-19 – to consider the outcome – recovering or dying. Along with this experience forced upon us, is what we assume is part of the experience – looking back on our life –
Usually we don’t look back at our life, unless we’re forced to … like some people who are in the hospital, either recovering or dying from Covid-19, but alone and separated from family, …
In a person’s final moments, I don’t think anyone on their deathbed thinks…
I wish I’d spent more time at the office. or I wish I’d watched more television. or My regret is that I didn’t get better at video games.
Many are dying from Covid-19, right now, … and dying from many other things. As I mention above, some are dying alone, with no family around them – away from those who love them or they love.
Are their last questions to themselves: “Should I have shown more disrespect to others in my life?”
Who among us dying in a hospital bed might think:
“I wish I would have had even greater resentments and bitterness towards people in my life?” as they lie in the hospital bed hoping they could see their loved ones.
or “I wish I could have placed more guilt and shame on people with whom I’ve been in contact.” while their family and friends are somewhere else.
In the same way, who among us would consider,
“I wish I could have blamed more people for problems in my life and problems in the world”,
“I wish I could have been even more condemning and judgemental of people.”
Sadly, I can’t help but think that there are many of us human beings who are walking around in the world, making the choice to be bitter, to blame, to condemn, placing shame and guilt, choosing these attitudes in our lives, not dying from anything at this time in our lives, and not looking back on ourselves and the life we live.
But, if we think about it, at anytime we can consider other questions to look at how we’ve lived our lives so far – questions usually kept back to only ask ourselves on our death bed:
Did I ever love anyone? … so that they could know what being loved is?
Did I ever forgive anyone? … anyone who was not a friend or family or who I knew?
Was I ever kind to anyone?
Did I ever show mercy to anyone? … anyone who was not someone I liked or loved or even knew?
Did I ever help comfort anyone suffering or in pain?
Was I ever patient with anyone who desperately needed it?
Did I ever experience suffering for the sake of the lives of any others?
Did I ever feel compassion towards anyone?
Was I ever unselfish with what I had, in any way with anyone?
Did I ever give of myself for someone else’s life?
Was I ever humble among others who had less?
In some ways, we can indeed say “Yes” to many of these questions, which, obviously, in our last moments of life, will be the more important questions to us. But yet, we don’t have to wait. We can ask ourselves these questions at anytime – like when we wake up each morning, or when we go to bed each night.
“In a world with no forgiveness and no mercy, there will be no Peace on Earth.
So many of us have thought, “if I had money, I would give to those who need. If I had more money, I would donate it to many charities.” “If I won the lottery, I’d donate so much of it.” So many times, so many of us have had this sentiment – that if we had lots of money, then it would be possible – that we would not miss it if we gave to those who were in need. It is an easy thought to have, and it is a common belief to have, even at the same time that we may realize the “WE” are the needy.
It is in these statement moments, in these moments of belief that we think, I don’t have enough to give to others. It is in these moments, also that, simply put, we are thinking of our bank account, thinking that money is the only thing the poor need. In essence, we are not considering the riches beyond what is obvious. Most certainly we’re not thinking of anything of which we do have. We’re not thinking in other directions with this idea, especially when we aren’t even aware of any “riches” which we do have.
Instead, in these moments of wishing in our hearts that we could be monetarily generous, why not look at the “riches” which we do have and give of that?
While we may look around and think to ourselves, “What riches? I’m taking care of my family and myself as best I can. What riches do I have?”
What I refer to is the riches which are given to us in every moment. These are the riches which are conceivably infinite in supply. We merely need to be aware of these riches and we can then begin giving them out… if we so choose to be this generous.
These riches are hidden, sometimes to ourselves. We don’t even know we have them, sometimes. But, we do face the experience of knowing them, because we come face to face with the “storing house” where we keep these riches. Do you understand where I’m going with this? Not yet? These riches are meant for people who are in need, and I mean “IN NEED!”
But remember, with these riches, we also can be stingy, and give nothing, if we so choose. However, if our willingness stays in our hearts and minds, and our generosity is the spirit which we wish to be a part of, then we can begin giving the riches which we do have (and these riches are abundant indeed.)
The riches are the ones in our hearts. Beginning with – the richness of forgiveness being one of the most abundant, IF we so choose it to be, and IF we’re willing to continue to give out an abundance of forgiveness which others need. There is infinite forgiveness within us, and the question then is if we are willing to give to those who need forgiveness. There-in is the rub. We are faced with the question, are we really wanting to be generous and give to those in need? If so, then we can start with those who are in need of forgiveness.
In the same way, Mercy, is another richness, which exists in infinite amount within our heart and soul, and which we stand ready at the counting house door, able to give if we so choose to give.
We’ve been at these riches’ storing house doors many times in the past, and failed to realize how rich we were, … and … at the same time that we’ve chosen to not give out our riches to those who need.
We all know people who need forgiveness. We all know people who need mercy. We all know people who need kindness, and understanding. And we all know people who need our patience, and our tolerance, and many more of that which is within our own heart.
We can give out every amount we think we have, because no matter how much we give out, we do not reach the bottom of the amount which exists within us. Yes, we may reach points where we choose to not give out any of that of which we have an infinite supply – of that which the person desperately needs, but we never reach the end of the supply.
We can give out our riches in the quiet of our own thoughts and feelings. We can give out forgiveness in the silence of our time alone, thinking of another. We need not be in anyone’s presence or any specific location. We don’t need to trumpet it to the crowds. It is not a matter of where or how or why. It is only a matter of willingness to give, and then giving.
Forgiveness, Mercy, Kindness, Patience, Understanding, Tolerance, Love, Gentleness, and more, – we have a massive storehouse for these – a storehouse so great in size that it has no end and no limiting walls. It comes from within us and there is no limit within us – except when we decide to say “No. I won’t” and we close the door to that which is within us that we otherwise would have given.
Then and only then, do we close the door to our storehouse and not give of that which we have an infinite supply – and usually to someone who is more in need of what we would give them, than anyone could ever know.
The final decision is ours. We can be generous with the riches we have within us ready to give, because there is no end to these riches. There is no limit. Within us is the Infinite Forgiveness, the Infinite Mercy, the Infinite Loving Kindness, the Infinite Patience, etc, which we are learning exists within God – and which we are learning God makes available to us, within us, ready to give out, as soon as we are willing to decide to give to others, … and to ourselves.
We can fulfill our own wish to be generous, perhaps not with money, but with some things that are more valuable than money. And if we so choose, we can even give to ourselves.
We are at a time in our world, with technology, politics, social media and “everything else going on in the world”, where we sometimes don’t know what’s true or what isn’t. Very “loud” conflicts are happening with people on each side claiming the people on the other side are disseminating fake news. The “noise” level is so loud, that it can be very easy to not know what to believe or who to believe.
Now, in a “seeming” change of topic, at last count, there are more than 7.3 billion people on this planet. Of these 7,300,000,000 people, there are no two who are exactly alike. Because we’re different, because we’ve experienced different things in life – all through our life, we, therefore, have experienced different experiences, met different role models, mentors and teachers, felt different feelings, and thought different thoughts about and through all our lives. I mention this, because there are no two people who believe 100% exactly the same in all things of life. So, therefore, all 7.3 billion of us believe different things to be either true or false.
We may not know what is true, but so what. Our own dogged search for the truth via our seeking it from God can be chosen or not chosen per our own freewill. 7.3 billion people believe different things are true. Throughout all of mankind’s history, this has never been the actual source of the problem – beliefs being different. Having different beliefs has always been the way life is, anyway. It’s not a problem, because it’s not the cause of problems. Believing different things are true, is not a problem.
The problem is with how we relate to our beliefs, and therefore, motivate our own actions. In other words, what do we do with our beliefs? What actions do we take regarding our beliefs?
This is where problems arise. With different beliefs, do we choose to bring forth cooperation with others or do we choose to create conflict with others? Do we use our beliefs about what is true or not true to feel an underlying compassion for others or instead an underlying condemning of others? Do we use our beliefs to bring pain and suffering into people’s lives, or do we use our beliefs to motivate us to offer mercy, understanding and tolerance?
The issue is not what we believe, but what we do with our beliefs. Our actions and behaviors – how we relate and respond to others – determines how we walk in this world. It’s possible to believe exactly opposite than someone else, but with both people choosing for themselves to be kind, tolerant and compassionate, there will come to be peace and respect among them. We know people in our lives now, who believe differently than we do, but because they choose to show kindness, respect and patience, we enjoy their company. And there are people in our lives who we may believe so very similar, but yet they choose their behaviors towards others in such a way that we can’t wait to leave the room when they’re in it.
How do we use our beliefs? To help build separation and animosity, or to help build mercy and unity? We can profess to have the highest of beliefs, and even believe that “we know the truth”, but our behaviors and actions will speak more truth than our mind will hold or our mouth will speak. Our behaviors can become so loud, that no one can hear what we profess, anymore.
Actions speak louder than words, and our actions that we demonstrate – loving kindness or condemning judgment – are what shows how we relate to this world full of people. It is truly possible that billions of people can live in peace… and even with different beliefs.
Still, you may believe differently than this, …
and God bless you for it.
“We have eternity to work this out.” Jesus Christ
“Everything broken can be fixed. Every mess can be cleaned up. Everything separated can be rejoined.” Jesus Christ
There are many that are ready to fight the current political establishment. There are many that are ready to fight against these first people. Which group of people has something worth fighting for? Both. But, what is it that each is fighting for? This is the question that each of us must ask ourselves. We can claim that we are fighting for the most noble causes – for people, for security, for freedom, for rights, for this, for that, for the other thing, etc.
But, who is fighting for honesty? Who is fighting for compassion? Who is fighting for mercy and forgiveness? Who is fighting for kindness and patience? Who is fighting for patience towards yet “not condemning” the other side?
The “fight” for these is in bringing them forth through our behavior. In effect, letting these live from inside us, coming from our own heart and mind, coming out in how we relate towards those around us is the strongest way to fight for them – by demonstrating them. It is the strongest way to make honesty alive, real and solid in the world. It is the strongest way to make compassion, kindness, patience and the others alive, real and solid in the world. But, it is a fight that few are willing to engage in, dismissing it easily as if Christ never mentioned it.
If we require the acts of others to have these qualities, yet without these qualities being alive in us, through our own actions, then we are not putting forth the good fight. When fighting for truth, why bother if we aren’t truthful with ourselves? When fighting for kindness, why bother if we’re not kind to our enemies? When fighting for mercy, why bother if we don’t show mercy to any group who thinks differently than we do?
Christ taught that the Romans were the brothers of the Jews. He never condemned the Romans or their system of government. Christ taught the message that what was worth fighting for was that which we can find within our own hearts. It requires us to address who we are within ourselves, first and foremost.
Governments and people in the government will come and go, but who will we be during this time slot – a kind and cooperative person if one side wins and a violent and condemning person if the other side wins?
What does it benefit us to gain all we want in government, or all we want within our own business, or in the world, but then lose our humanity, lose our respect and kindness towards others, our dignity and self-respect, lose our ideals and that which we strive for bettering ourselves? What does it benefit us, if we use our mind and heart to win the insult battle or win at condemning others more, or use our knowledge to belittle anyone, but then lose our spiritual path or lose our very soul in the process.
This will be done plenty, by others and ourselves, but who do we become when we add to the insults and belittling?
As human beings, we have many examples throughout history of when it became fun to cause suffering onto those we saw as less than, who we saw as beneath us in character, or the enemy, idiots or clueless. We have many examples of when it became easy to pick up the stones with which to stone others. We laugh at the words, today, that ridicule those we don’t like.
Imagine the world, today, if we put all that energy and effort into praying and meditating for all the people and all life on the Earth. Imagine if every day more and more people joined in the praying and meditating to lift the spirits of all life on the Earth.
How does something like millions of people joined in praying and meditating come into being and start? With one person one day deciding “I will.”
“We can do it if we try.” John Lennon
“If chaos, selfishness, bitterness and judgement of others gives us joy and peace of mind, and lifts one’s heart into the presence of Love, then by all means hold onto that. But, if it doesn’t, consider trading up for that which may be better at lifting one’s heart into the presence of Love.” (The Rainbow Cards, 1996-2017, Jodie Senkyrik)