Feeling prickly

This morning’s readings seem to speak to what has weighed on my mind all week:
“It’s probably a mistake for us to wait until profit-driven corporations start to worry about side effects on their own. But the moment we start voting with our attention and our dollars, they’ll begin to respond. We get what we pay for. And sometimes, we pay for what we get.” -Seth Godin

“I dedicate whatever I am doing today to the uplifting of all things.”-Marianne Williamson

“St. Francis of Assisi (1182–1226) would spend whole nights praying “Who are you, my most dear God, and who am I . . . ?” [2] It is through encountering the absolute safety of God that we discover our True Self, and in finding our truest self, we find a God who is always and forever larger than we expected. The truth of our identity, wrapped up in God, gives us a deep sense of radical okayness and yet humility about our fragility. What a paradox! Abba Anthony said, “A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ‘You are mad, you are not like us.’” We all need radically different frames to recognize our own limitations.” -Richard Rohr

You’re probably familiar with that feeling of “this isn’t right, but I don’t know what to do to make it right”. I find it comes when our heart has decided but the ego refuses to agree with that decision and begins battles. These are the times we break resolutions, intentions, goals through self-sabotaging behavior. The diet is deserted not for a single piece of chocolate, but for a whole bar of chocolate. The glass of wine turns into a second or third. The desire to do right in the face of criticism is overwhelmed by the ego’s desire to be right.

I find for me, what I am witnessing outside of myself in the world when I have that ping of “whoa, this isn’t right” is often an opportunity to see into my own blind spots. Through others actions, I can see my own behavior a little more clearly, objectively without the shame that may painfully limit self-examination.

I have had the luxury of watching a couple of people whose ego drives the greedy need for power. This week, I saw them both display false humility and egoic outrage. Honestly, it was like watching two male dogs try to mark their territory in a place that will never actually belong to them.

Their actions reminded me of my own madness of ego, my own absence of love, and through my own limitations, I reap what I sow. Ouch. The more I was willing to observe, the clearer my own behavior became to me. I didn’t like it at all. I could easily bath in the shame that washed over me. I chose differently, though.

As I felt the shame, I asked for a miracle; a shift in perception. Instead of criticizing, may I find a way to love all parts of me. Instead of judging, may I find a way to embrace the once hurt being that created a protection mechanism that is no longer necessary. Instead of trying to be perfect, may I be humble enough to admit “I don’ know” and “I need help”, to see that together, we all complete the puzzle and I am but one piece in the bigger picture.

For all of us feeling the pull of discord around us, may we remember love. May we choose to make every action be of service to uplift others in love. May we be generous in willingness to see the human behind the actions- the hurting, fearful, being who is also wrestling with their ego. May we be gracious and kind, even in our most passionate disagreements. May we be willing to see our blind spots and aim to heal the pain and fear that resides within.