The medicine for our hurting world is love, and our loving becomes deeply healing when we see and reflect back the innate goodness of other beings. Jesuit priest and psychotherapist Anthony De Mello taught that the finest act of love you can offer is an act of seeing: “When you serve people, you help, support, comfort, alleviate pain. When you see people in their inner beauty and goodness, you transform and create.”
Being a mirror of goodness can help someone undo a lifetime of self-aversion or alienation. It can call forth their natural intelligence, creativity, courage and love. It can reveal our shared belonging with those of different races, religions and classes. And, beyond the transformative impact on us as individuals, our capacity for seeing the goodness is what will allow us to evolve our species consciousness in a way that serves a truly compassionate, just world.
We all need to be reminded of our intrinsic worth. Yet because we are so conditioned to judge or try to fix others, or to view them in a habitual way that assumes what they are like, we often don’t remember to take in their goodness. And when we do register the brightness and tenderness of their heart, we rarely let them know.
Being a mirror of goodness requires training in three key practices: learning to see beyond another person’s protective conditioning, attuning to how the sacred lives through them, and expressing our appreciation and love. We can start to break our patterning with those close to us (as well as those we don’t know well) by purposefully looking at them with a curious, receptive and fresh attention. One trick that works for me is to begin by looking into someone’s eyes with the intention of noticing what color they are. I then begin to wonder about who is looking through those eyes: Can I sense the light of awareness that is there? What does this person care about most deeply? What suffering does their heart bear? If they were gone, what about their living spirit would I remember and cherish?
why can’t I create what I think I need?
inquiry for today~ maybe meet what’s here and know your blessings to be true….
The year ends and we begin a new circuit around our own beautiful sun star, twirling amidst the galaxies.
Take a breath, quiet your heart and listen deeply.
There is so much coming and going, and yet…
feel how underneath it all is a vast silence
and a spaciousness that holds everything in its balance.
Living in these seasons of change, I feel deep gratitude for the teachings of the dharma and for being connected to a loving community.
In the long run, I am hopeful.
Yes, in human incarnation there are inevitable periods of difficulty, personal and collective. Yet with wisdom and a good heart, our personal sufferings can temper us and help us live with dignity and find an indestructible spirit in ourselves. And in the same way, we can learn to bear the difficulties of the world with compassion and courageously do what we can to mend the broken places.
Yet difficulties are never the end of the story. There is always a return of the light.
Solstice, Christmas, New Year’s, Kwanzaa and Chanukah are outer celebrations of an unstoppable renewal that is life itself. There is always grass that pushes itself through the cracks in the sidewalk. You are this life force constantly being reborn every morning at breakfast.
And while the news often features the worst of humanity, there are a billion acts of human kindness every hour of every day! Take another breath and sense this truth.
Recognize that even our big problems are part of a long march demanding us to honor our human connection, our interdependence with all life.
Our fears and terrors can be activated by the news, but they are not who we are.
We are consciousness itself, loving awareness, born into this body and having a wild human ride. What will you do with this human dance?
A most trustworthy and blessed project is to align yourself with compassion,
to plant seeds of goodness, to use the creative force of your life to bring understanding, awakening and love to all. Foster trust in life’s renewal power.
Martin Luther King, Jr. describes our collective journey with hope:
“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”And Pablo Neruda explains further,
“You can pick all the flowers, but you can’t stop the spring.”
Renewal is happening.
Take quiet time to listen to your heart, to meditate and to rest amidst the great turnings.
Feel the renewal of spring that can be born in you.
Align yourself with goodness.
Let yourself blossom like a lotus or whatever unique flower you are,
shining in the world, spreading your seeds of love amidst it all.