I would like to say how much I value the presence of all who read this and all with whom I interact. My desire is to be in a place of nonjudgment, because I know that to be in a mode of judging anybody is one of those moments of dying referred to in Martin Exeter’s poem “Any Moment.”
Any moment of hating,
Any moment of lying,
Any moment of resentment,
Is a moment of dying.
Any moment of loving,
Any moment of giving,
Any moment of thankfulness,
Is a moment of living.
All our moments add together
Like the digits in a sum,
And the answer tells us plainly
Whether life or death shall come.
It was not mentioned specifically as judging, but that is something I would add to that list of death-oriented experiences. We do have a choice, and there is absolute personal responsibility.
This is a theme that I am currently working with and I am not done with it yet, but I do know that I have absolute personal responsibility for my experience. At the same time, some of these things have felt to me like paradoxes. On the one hand, there are painful events that come our way—painful experiences either personally or on the world scene—and that has been true down through the ages. And then, on the other hand, “All is well.” So I find that authenticity and denial are polar opposites, because if I choose to deny the experiences I have that are painful, that is judgment. That is to say they should not be there. In all this, I am not interested in turning my life into a sort of mental Olympics.
There was a quote from Isaiah that came to mind this morning: “My thoughts are not your thoughts…saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8) Well, thank God for that! Thank God that the truth of me is saying, “My thoughts are not your thoughts.” These are passing thoughts, the ones that are coming through. The truth is true and all is well, and unconquerable life does prevail, but only if we let it. And that is where we have the choice. Do we let it prevail? Do we have the experience of a grand and magnificent vision and commission that we came into the earth to accomplish? Because if it is not done by us, it will not get done. If it is not done by me, it will not get done—my part will not get done. There is not very much leeway, in my view, for taking time out to take a walk on the dark side.
The present moment is a time of birth—an experience that we have never had before. It is always a time of birth, even if it is the birth into the next moment. Some of us have experienced physical birth. Well, we have all experienced that or you would not be able to hear me! I think you know what I am talking about—giving birth to a baby. That experience is not, as I recall, a jubilant, joyful, wonderful experience—especially the first time, because it is new territory.
To not acknowledge that this is true would serve nothing, because actually a lot of what goes on in the way of acknowledging that it is painful is quite capable of being heard by everybody around—and probably a block away! So that is an experience that is real. And, by the way, I do acknowledge that there is such a thing as painless childbirth when the preparation has been thorough and the circumstances do not cause a surprise. I am just speaking of my own experience. So I can construe that having pain of any sort—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual—is an opportunity for birth.
This time of year I do know that for many people there is not joy and celebration. There again, it is good to acknowledge what is. That is not to say that it is the way things were designed to be; it is a result of the world we have created. We have paradoxes going on at this time of year too. There is a sharp contrast between the haves and the have-nots.
This is also a time where there is an outpouring of generosity to those in need, and that in itself is to be celebrated. While it is right that I acknowledge that a large percentage of the world population is not in position to celebrate, that is not where I need to dwell. I need to dwell in what it is that I have to give. I am willing to give it—at this time of year and any other time of year, coming from a position of love and nonjudgment—and at the same time remain authentic.
Humility is a wonderful thing, and the knowledge that my nature is love does not mean that I claim to be expressing my true nature perfectly all the time. There is still work to do. However, I am grateful for the deep-down knowing that, no matter what, I am here to express love.