|Hiking in Tioman Island, Malaysia|
Some people say we are spiritual beings living a human existence. Others say we are human beings living a spiritual existence. I am not so sure we can separate the two. The nature of the universe and our place in it is so magnanimous in its complexity it continues to baffle my mind. On a superficial level, we go about our lives, and for the most part, live our lives as if it is an accumulation of coincidences. We disregard and do not remember 90% of the occurrences that manifest themselves in our lives every day. We may remember some of the great things and many of the negative things but we lose sight of the minor details that truly make up who we are. We don’t remember the person who held the door for us or the child who smiled at us. We don’t remember the fresh piece of fruit that seemed to melt in our mouth and pierce our taste buds. We don’t remember the way each step we took felt like and the plethora of other seemingly minor occurrences that add up to create who we are today. This lack of awareness causes us to repeat patterns again and again because we never truly acknowledge the gifts or the lessons in each moment. I had a one of those moments of presence this morning – one of those gifts that only present itself if the awareness is pure and unsullied.
I have been listening a lot to one of my favorite speakers and authors. He is a man that is the representative of the spiritual chair of my virtual board of trustees. This man’s name is Dr. Wayne Dyer and his story is amazingly inspirational to me. For the first part of his life, he lived a very tough childhood. He was born to an abusive father who disappeared when he was very young and left his siblings and his mother all alone. His mother could not afford to take care of him so she gave him up to adoption where he lived in a series of foster homes. His mom then remarried to another abusive alcoholic and brought him back where he was surrounded by the abuse of his step-father. The beautiful part of this story is Wayne Dyer has dedicated his life to overcome and embrace his challenges and in doing so inspire others to do the same; to teach people to be self-reliant; to learn to be one with their source. After all this pain, despair, and aloneness, he decided to use what he learned to teach the virtue of self-reliance. He said something this morning on his audio program I am listening to that really resonated with me. I am paraphrasing it but he basically said he truly believes in his heart that God asked him before he was born what he wants to learn and have his purpose be in this lifetime. Wayne Dyer told God he wanted to live and teach self-reliance. God said ok and proceeded to put an abusive alcoholic father in his life who would abandon him, a series of foster homes, another abusive alcoholic step-father, and a series of other painful events in his life in order for him to learn the ultimate lesson of self-reliance so he could then teach it to others. Wow.
I started asking myself why I have gone through the challenges I have gone through. In asking that question, the answer that came to me brought tears of inspiration to my eyes. The answer that came to me was I am here to live and teach others love and connection. I am here to learn to love and connect to myself and the people around me. I am here to teach others the art and joy of love and connection. It is a path I have been on my whole life and I know will continue for the rest of my life. What I feel like I know on the subject is but a stream of light peering through the slit of a window shade compared to the power of the sun which is the source of that glimmer of light. But everyday I work to open that window shade wider and wider in order to reveal the possibility of the power that is out there.
As we open up our minds and our hearts we become more aware of who we are here to be. As we become more vulnerable, we soften our rough exterior and open ourselves up to the fluidity of life. We begin to even see challenges as gifts – as hard as that is to see. I am still working on embracing that one! As we become more present, our purpose reveals itself more and more and then we can choose the life we want to live rather than it being chosen for us.