The other day, I was in a very beautiful place. I started my day with my usual meditation, got into my writing, felt the flow of oneness moving through my words. I truly felt connected to Spirit. Then I went out in “the real world.”
I got my chocolate lab, Harmony, and I drove over to the library. After parking and then approaching the entrance, a man came up to me and asked me to sign a petition to get a proposition on our state ballot. The few words he told me about the initiative let me know immediately I was not in favor of it….really not in favor of it. I said something to the effect that the initiative was unnecessary and went on in the library. Then, my mind started racing. I knew I would have to go out the same door and pass the same man. Should I engage him in a political discussion, or simply walk on by?
He must’ve been having similar thoughts, as I could tell he was looking for me when I left the library. Mustering up all the heart centered lovingkindness that I could, I listened to his position. I politely read his ballot initiative. I asked him one clarifying question which let me know I was adamantly against his political position. I told him kindly I disagreed, wished him well, and went on my way.
Back in the car, Harmony got an earful on how I hoped the man’s initiative was unsuccessful. I could feel the energy of negative emotion within me. Then I thought, what a contrast! One minute I’m all blissed out, the next I’m all pissed off.
I Love the Idea of You
How easy it is to sit in silence and contemplate oneness. How easy it is to be alone and feel a sense of love for everyone. How easy it is to intellectualize valuing all beliefs and worldviews when they’re not in your face. It’s easy to say we love people, when sometimes I wonder if it’s the idea of people we really love.
I share this story because I’ve had so many people tell me they have the same experience. They truly feel a sense of love for all people everywhere, but then get their buttons pushed sometimes when they interact with real live breathing people. Has this ever happened to you?
What to Do?
So what are you going to do about this? Are you going to avoid people altogether? Are you going to just make sure you only get around people who think like you do? Are you going to live, believing one thing (we are all one and deserving of love and respect) and acting another way entirely? How can we move around in the real world, bumping into people with whom we may have disagreements, and still remain centered in love and oneness?
Here’s a few quick suggestions… I’d love to hear how you deal with it…
Prepare yourself before you go out— yes, do your meditation and spiritual practices, but also visualize seeing yourself interacting with people in a loving way. If necessary, visualize putting on some spiritual armor which deflects negativity….both the perceived negativity coming from outside you….and the real negativity that comes from your judgment and own thoughts. Anchor yourself in loving energy as you head out for the day….with an intention that nothing will shake you from that spot.
Practice seeing Spirit everywhere in “training” situations — don’t wait for those emotional moments to arise. Take moments to practice now in minimal interactive situations when you’re out in public seeing everyone as a spiritual being. Silently bless people as you walk by them by saying something like “I see and honor your divinity”. Make this a routine practice. Then if your button gets pushed, you might stand a better chance of seeing Spirit in the other person.
Have some tools ready just in case — recognize that you could unexpectedly be in an emotionally charged situation so script some standard ways of potentially responding. One way is to train yourself that if you feel your emotions rising that you know you will automatically smile and be quiet or some similar strategy. Excuse yourself from situations and physically move to another location. The old “count to 10” could work here too.
Forgive yourself if you don’t live up to your expectations — no matter how much we try to live from love and kindness, we all get our buttons pushed and we react from time to time. If it happens to you, forgive yourself….move on….see the gift in the experience….see the other person and the situation as your teacher….and let it go!
So how do you handle it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. The positive evolution of the planet depends upon our standing firm on our personal beliefs, while honoring and respecting the beliefs of others. This must be our practice. We have to walk this talk. I know I try. And, as this story illustrates, sometimes I don’t succeed. But I now see the gift the person gave me, the learning that occured, my personal evolution moved another step forward.
By the way, after a left the library, I went to Whole Foods and ate lunch. I had to laugh when I realized that I had to regroup at someplace where I knew people would think like me. It’s time to get back out in the real world again….this time a little wiser!
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!