These words are from Pat Humphries’ profoundly inspirational contemporary folk song “Swimming to the Other Side.”
We are living ’neath the great Big Dipper
We are washed by the very same rain
We are swimming in the stream together
Some in power and some in pain
We can worship this ground we walk on
Cherishing the beings that we live beside
Loving spirits will live forever
We’re all swimming to the other side
The song acknowledges that we each move through life in different ways, “Some in power and some in pain.” We are each having an experience of our own level of conscious awakening to the universal. We can easily have compassion for it all.
Through it all, there is the very urge of life—the urge to thrive, the urge to live, the urge to love that’s within all human beings. And there’s the reality of the Divine that is present in all people. We speak about that individualized aspect of the Divine that is within a person as “the angel”—not just an angel with a harp in heaven someplace, but the reality of Being that is present in each person.
Would you agree that the reality within every person on this planet is doing the best that it can? We might question whether the human personality is doing the best it can. Sometimes it seems like it’s doing the best it can to make a mess!
If experience is bound by personality—a less kind word for that is ego—we look around and see the ego world in which we live, which is evident enough. But then we may be living in that ego world and none other. We don’t see what is happening in the bigger picture, so we end up living in our own personality-defined existence, and we see other people in that context.
We might notice that some are in pain; they are living within the confines of personality, in a very local sense of themselves. So we can see that, but we don’t have to limit how we’re relating to somebody according to that. We can see the angel that is present and have compassion for the angel that is there, doing all that they can to awaken the human experience, to awaken a person to love, to awaken a person to their true nature as a creator.
We might describe the human journey as moving on a path from seeing oneself as a victim of circumstance, full of self-concern and self-protection, to an experience of creatorship, where we realize that we are not just a victim of the world that we’re living in—we are creating the world that we are living in. That might come with an oh-my-goodness when we look at the world as it is and what is happening in the world and realize, “I’m playing a part in creating all this.” Or we could be like the ostrich, who is said to put their head in the ground, and fail to acknowledge that we are contributing to global warming. But who else is creating war on the planet? Or poverty? It’s us, as human beings.
Here is a fresh view of what the awakening process looks like for us as human beings. You can reflect on it from your own experience and your witnessing of others.
An unawake person exhibits unconscious behavior and is unaware of what is happening in their own experience and what’s happening around them. There is gross darkness. An awakening person begins to see that there is something wrong in the world around them. And then they might begin to realize that there is also something wrong within themselves—that through their upbringing and their culture they have sustained some kind of wounding and unnatural limitation.
What they are seeing might be truthful as far as it goes. There has been a wounding to the human psyche through history that has left scars in human culture. And we each sustain various degrees of emotional wounding. However, that awareness alone doesn’t get the person into creatorship. They are left with a problem: What do I do?
Wounds to the human psyche and to human culture are difficult to heal. I’ve watched people attempt to heal their wounds. It can seem never-ending. Often, just when it seems there has been a healing, the wound reappears.
How does the healing of the human psyche come? How does an awakening person become whole?
A person finds their own wholeness when their awareness of the human wound transforms from a noun to a verb. The most obvious reality is that a wound or a scar at any level of human experience is a thing. It is something you have that is a result of something that happened in the past. But if that is the only way a person sees it, the wound is difficult to deal with. After all, you can’t change the past, even if it is only five seconds ago. More than that, the problem is not just that the person has that wound. The larger problem is that the experience of the wound has unconsciously affected who the person is being and how they are acting. When the person sees the wound as a noun, they are unconscious of how it has become a verb.
In the awakening process, a person has the opportunity to see that while a wound is something they have—it’s a thing that is the result of something that happened—it is also something they are doing and being. They don’t just have a wound. They are wounding.
That might be a bitter pill to swallow. But it is ultimately self-empowering. Because when you realize that the wound is not only something you have but something you are doing, then you are empowered to act differently. You could be different. You realize that the wound you have does not define who you are being and what you are expressing.
People tend to be unconscious that they are wounding—they are self-limiting and self-sabotaging, self-criticizing and self-shaming. And if they are doing those things to themselves, they are inevitably imposing those same things on others.
When we are coming into our creatorship and out of victimhood, we are realizing that while the wound is a noun, it’s also a verb. We see what we are doing and who we are being, and then realize the opportunity we have to be a creator. And to create.
There’s good news in all this: if your wounding is something you are doing, you can stop doing it. That’s the empowering thing. If wounding is a verb, it’s an action you are taking and you could simply take a different action. One of the most powerful things I ever heard through Emissaries of Divine Light was simply this: You know what you express. What an empowering statement! If you express self-wounding, you know self-wounding. You are self-sabotaging, self-limiting, self-criticizing and self-shaming. And if you are doing that to others, you are inevitably doing it to yourself.
And if you express the universal creativity that is in all people, if you express the Divine Being that is present in yourself, you are at the same time confirming that reality in all other people. How is it said? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And it’s even more profound than that. What we are doing unto others, we are doing to ourselves. And what we are doing to ourselves, we are doing to each other.
The word angel is familiar from religious iconography. It refers to an individual aspect of Divine Being. While the word can relate to a disincarnate reality, it can also refer to the individual aspect of Divine Being that incarnates in every human being. For many people, they are unconscious of that reality of themselves. Others have awakened to the awareness of the angel. As the song says, some live in power and some in pain.
An awake person has the consciousness of the angel. They see what the angel sees. And they relate to the angel in others.
If we relate to the angel in another, it evokes compassion, because what we see is what the angel is dealing with. We have compassion for the angel. I’ve known hardly anyone in my life who is living their life under ideal circumstances. When I witness the people in my life, I witness huge needs that are not being met. It is sad when you see the situation for what it is. Most people are living on an island: isolated, feeling separate, perhaps buried in their iPhone, laptop or television. The currents of love that would naturally flow in a true community of spirit aren’t present for the person, and they’re enduring life as best they can. Underneath that experience, the angel is present. And the angel is doing everything they know how to do to assist the person to come to a different state of awareness and to create something different in their life.
Witnessing other people and their unmet needs, there is a natural inclination to think about how we could play a part in meeting their legitimate needs. How could I help? It is a natural question to ask. And sometimes we have a part to play in meeting the needs of others. But there are limits to how much you can do in somebody else’s life.
For ourselves, as we mature spiritually, we learn to live with the unmet needs, not because they don’t legitimately need to be met but because we know that attempting to take matters into our own hands and force the fulfillment of our needs leads to disaster. It is the source of addiction of all kinds. We learn to live with our unmet needs and the vacuum they create. Nature abhors a vacuum and tends to fill them where it can. And so we take the attitude:
I will let this need be filled in its own time, in its own way, knowing that if I try to take that thing into my own hands in some arbitrary way, no good comes of it.
When we live in a way that accepts and transcends the immediate needs that are actually present, and we live into our creatorship, what rightly needs to come to us in the flow of Creation does come in its own time, in its own way.
Knowing this, if we feel a void, what are we to do? Complain about what is coming to us? Initiate the flow of Creation as the angel. We realize that we know what we express, and so we allow to radiate from ourselves the positive creative expression that is natural to us as a creator, as the angel.
And we always have that creativity to give. Faith in your own generosity allows Creation to continue, and allows what can be fulfilled in one’s own life to be fulfilled.
Compassion for another human being is wishing this for them. Compassion is the desire that they awaken to their opportunity to move into their creatorship and allow fulfillment to come. And certainly, compassion may lead us to directly meet the needs of another human being. But, as it’s said, Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
A wound has to do with unmet needs, and injury in the face of unmet needs. When a person allows a wound to define them, they are denying the creatorship and embracing victimhood. They are being a victim instead of the angel. And fulfillment never comes to victims. It comes to the angel, incarnate and in conscious expression in human form.
I pray for the fulfillment of the angel in your life and in mine.
This week, practice being aware of the angel in the people in your life, even if they seem weighed down with their human experience. Find an appropriate way, however subtle, to affirm their angelic reality for yourself and to them.