At Sunrise Ranch, the spiritual center where I live, we have many things to invest in: buildings, greenhouses and cattle, to name a few. We invest our creative work, our hearts and our money in many things in our life. That’s true for anyone. But for us, and for anyone, the most important investments we make are in other people.
We have the opportunity to invest seeds of love in the people around us that bring potential and possibility. We have seeds of encouragement, strength and creativity to sow.
It seems easy for most people to bump along in their lives, unaware of the opportunities they have to invest in other people. And then, on that basis, we bump into each other. We begin to see each other as problems to be fixed and not as the Creator-beings that we are.
So if you are in that predicament—if you are seeing the people around you as problems to be fixed—how can you change that? How can you come to know that you have an investment to make in each person you meet?
The answer is profoundly simple and utterly reliable. Live in gratitude for the investment that has been made in you. For all of us, the people in our lives have invested in us in all kinds of ways. Life itself has invested in our human form. God has invested in us, and still does, in this eternal present moment.
I received an e-mail from a woman this morning. She has lived most of her life in Rhodesia, before it became Zimbabwe, and now lives in England. She made an investment in me in that e-mail. She offered her love and blessing and in essence told me she believes in me. She shared her own passion for the truth that she knows and that she shares with me. She invested in me something of the creator who she is, an aspect of the one Creator. All this in an e-mail of two paragraphs.
I do believe that for all of us there are many people who are making investments in us. The supreme example for me was Martin Cecil. He was someone who I didn’t know very well at a social level. He was about three times my age and from a very different culture than I was from. He had a very different path of life than I had at the time. And yet he made an investment in me, as he did in many people. It was certainly an investment of love, and also an investment of truth and integrity. As a result, I felt remarkably close to him. He brought to me the love of my life—the truth of my own Being. He had a remarkable ability to do that for many people.
You would think that if we split ourselves in pieces and gave ourselves to others, we would quickly run out of pieces to give. Martin proved to me that this is not how the process works. The investment we have to make in other people is not finite because it doesn’t come from a finite earthly source. When we make an investment in another person, we are conveying seeds of light and love from an infinite source.
In this moment, we are invested with cosmic life. The one life, the power of the cosmos that moves all things, the power of the Creator, is being invested in us right now. That life comes with the qualities of love and the qualities of truth. All of that is being invested in us right now. When we get over our arrogance as human beings and appreciate with the greatest kind of gratitude what’s being gifted to us right now, we see that it is so.
Living in gratitude I am called to make an investment in people. You might ask, relative to yourself, With all the shortcomings and flaws of the people around me, why should I make an investment in them?
You are not here to invest in anyone’s lacks, however you might judge those to be. Invest in what is perfect in people. Invest in what is beautiful, what deserves to be brought out, supported and nourished. Be a friend to that reality.
Maybe that reality can live in the world more through that person because you are here, offering an inspiration of positive, creative expression that resonates with that same expression through them. Yes, you do it so differently than they do. But it is, after all, one creative expression: the expression of the Creator. You are here to bring that spirit into the world, to be that spirit for another person, acknowledging the perfection of that same spirit in them.
You might ask, What will come of it if I invest seeds of light and love in this person?
It can seem hard to accept, but what I have come to understand is that it is not mine to determine what comes of the investments I make in other people. I can sow the seeds. I can encourage a person to cultivate and nourish the seeds of Creation that are within them. I can surround them with love. How those seeds grow is up to them and to the cycles of Creation.
When you make a true investment in another person, you are aligning yourself with what the Creator is already doing. That person may have a relationship with you that is defined by human culture, social structure, and personal history. Your outer relationship has whatever longevity it may have. There is all that you may seem to have in common in terms of personality, interests and culture. Or those realities can seem to separate you from another person. But across age and across generation, across time and space, across culture and background, transcending all those things, the reality of Being is present. You have the opportunity to live in that reality and to invest it in them. Very simply, when you do, you are investing the transcendent into this world. This does not require that you become a spiritual superman or superwoman. It is the most natural thing you could do to bring the transcendent to the world.
The word hiraeth is from Welsh. Some translate the word into English as a homesickness for a home you cannot return to, or that never was. Another way to say it is that hiraeth is a longing for a home that is ineffable. It’s not a tangible home. It’s a reality of home that can appear through people, that transcends time and space. It can live in time and space because you and I bring it, but it transcends the dimensional world.
The earthly manifestation of home is temporary, for however long. When I go back to the town I grew up in, Westport, Connecticut, I wonder, What did they do with Main Street? It looks like a mall. Where is the record store where we used to hang out? This isn’t the town I grew up in.
The home I grew up in was on the Saugatuck River, and there was a woods on the other side. I ran through that woods and swam in that river all summer long. A big piece of the woods was carved out for a housing development. I can’t go home to that home any longer.
But I can be present in this home. It is home because I am here. I can make the investment of bringing this home to another person and reminding them that the place in which they live and the place from which they come is still here around them. The love of angels is with them. The heavenly home is present here on earth because I am here, bringing it; because they are here.
Any house, any home, so-called, isn’t worth whatever investment was made in it if it’s not this kind of a home. Sunrise Ranch is worth nothing if it is not this kind of home. Neither is your home. The place where we live is this kind of home because we bring the transcendent into it. We invest the place and the people in it with the heavenly home.
This is the only way to fulfill the feeling of hiraeth for ourselves. When we do, we are, in essence, saying to others, You are home. You’re home because I’m home and I’m here. You’re home because that’s the truth of who you are. The truth of who you are has never left home. You are home. That’s making an investment in another person.
That kind of investment requires that you somehow trick your human mind that is so habitually doing something else. You have to short-circuit that tendency to bump into other people in a very human kind of way that makes no investment at all. That human habit is judgment and condemnation. Following that habit, you see the limitations of another person, and then go beyond just seeing them to judging, and then in some cases it’s not only a judgment but condemnation. Lock ’em up forever and throw away the key. Hang ’em from the highest tree. Give up on them. That’s condemnation. Judgment or criticism is a biting thing that diminishes someone else. But sometimes a person just goes to total condemnation of another.
Forgiveness brings you back to your natural state of bringing the transcendent to the world. It aligns you with the Creator, who is already making an investment in all the people in your life.
Forgiveness is a word for our ability to transcend our own human experience and our own human reaction and, in the face of a perceived shortcoming of another person, to forgive them and forgive ourselves for having been trapped in a relationship that was defined by that. I forgive you, I forgive me. I release myself and I release you.
They say you can’t be a jailor for another person without being in prison yourself. I release you and I release me into a higher reality, a transcendent reality. I make the investment in you that I make by being present as myself, naked and unashamed, transparently an expression of the creator who I am.
We are here to receive the greatest investment that there could possibly be in a human being. When we really receive it, our response to that investment naturally has us pass it on. In other words, we’re being what was invested in us, in the living of our life. We are expressing it, we are exuding it, we are sharing it with other people.
You have a step to take to make this real for you. Only you know just what that step is. You have a move to make. You have something to do that you haven’t done before; something to acknowledge that you have received and that you therefore have to give. So whatever you’re proud of in your life, whatever laurels you have to lean on, whatever your accomplishments are, whatever you think you’ve achieved on your spiritual path, there is something that you haven’t done that is yours to do now. There is something to receive that you haven’t received, and there’s something to give that you haven’t given. Will you receive what you haven’t received, and will you give it? Will you give what you haven’t been willing to give? Will you make the investment you are empowered to make in the people in your life?