Why do we stop being children? Of course, there’s the journey and lessons to be learned. I get it. That’s what life’s all about. There is a reason, though, that spiritual journeys are often represented as a spiral.
Some things we just need to come back to. There are parts of us as children that we lose as we grow up. The world jades us a bit. Hardens our edges.
Hopefully, we find ourselves coming back around from time to time to reconnect to some of the better parts of ourselves. Those parts that are present when we’re young and innocent. When the world is wondrous and new.
Love, for example. Kids get it. Sometimes they get it better than we do as adults. They don’t overcomplicate it, that’s for sure. It just happens for them. It’s their nature.
I read this article on the Daily Good. It’s older, but stuff like this I hope stays on the Internet forever.
A group of professionals asked a group of 4- to 8-year-olds, “What is love?” There are some funny ones and some pretty advanced thoughts amongst this group of kids. The final entry, though, touched me. It came from a 4-year-old whose elderly neighbor had just lost his wife. I’ll simply copy the last part:
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
I’m not sure the child even knew that was an act of love, an act of kindness but boy, could we use a little more of that in this world. We all could revisit that part of ourselves. To love like children again.
I realize I sound like a broken record. I keep saying the same things over and over again. My goal, I guess, is that if I say it enough times, someone will listen.
That little boy’s actions, that’s who we are. That’s who we all are at our very cores. At our very best. I refuse to believe otherwise.
I also believe that one of the ways to reconnect with that part of ourselves is through mindfulness and meditation. It helps us weed all of those things that sprout up as we tackle challenges and obstacles in our lives. It clears the way for growth in our inner garden of love.
I’ve mentioned overcoming some roadblocks in my meditation in recent posts. Meditation comes in waves or levels … or if you read my previous post, layers in a layer cake. I’ve moved up a few layers, but I haven’t reached the top of the cake just yet.
As you move up, your world changes. I don’t think I’ve ever reached the top, but I’ve been higher than I am now. I’m trying to get there again. I’m trying to get back home.
That’s what it feels like. It feels like you are coming home to yourself. To who you truly are, how you are supposed to feel and who you are supposed to be.
I was closest when I quit my job a few years back. I wasn’t afraid of what was going to happen. I was happy… joyous even. I had faith in myself, and I had faith in the universe … God, Spirit, whatever you want to call it. The weight of burdens wasn’t with me anymore. The weight of worry and concern wasn’t with me. The weight of my future, my career, all the things we worry about from day to day was lifted.
When all of that weight is gone, you don’t look at the world the same. You don’t get angry when someone cuts you off or it passes through quickly if you do. You don’t rant all the way home. You see people for who they are and love them for it. You love their faults as well as their good points. Because we’re all human and you learn to appreciate and accept that more. You notice the taste and coolness of watermelon a little more on a hot summer day. You find comfort in the train that passes by your home every night at 3 a.m. rather than get annoyed by it. You find peace, and that peace helps to rekindle that love we feel as a child. The love that is so effortless. It’s like breathing.
It’s a different world when you reach a higher level with your meditation. You start to feel love literally radiating from your core while you meditate, and it stays with you through the day. You start to feel like you are home. That’s where you live. That’s where you are supposed to be. You knock down all the gates and uproot all of the hedges. You remove every barrier you’ve surrounded yourself with to protect you from the world.
Our home, though, shouldn’t have those barriers. We build them up. We have bad experiences or learn bad habits or thought processes and the gates go up. I want to get back home. I want to live unguarded. Free to love everyone and everything. That’s how I was as a child. I want that part of me back.
I want all of us to get back to that place. I want all of us to find our home.
Sometimes there are things in life that force us to come back around to ourselves. There are little reminders from the universe. Yesterday, I came across something online that brought me back to why I’m here. Why I started this blog.
This video is why I am here.
This video is why I keep repeating myself over and over. Do yoga. Meditate. Get back to yourself.
I repeat these things for two reasons. One, my knee-jerk reaction is to be angry at this man. To yell at him. To call him names. How dare he make these assumptions about people. How dare he speak to people this way.
Yoga and meditation, though, have calmed me enough to not do that. I’m not saying you don’t fight for what you believe, but you fight differently. It’s more Gandhi-style. Or John Lennon-style. Yoga and meditation have given me enough inner peace to breathe through my knee-jerk reaction.
Reason No. 2: After I let it all sink in, I feel sorry for this man. Not for the way he treated these people. I believe Karma will get him back for that. I do believe in Karma. But, in reality, that’s a terrible way to live. That’s a heavy burden on the heart and your soul to walk around feeling like that about someone else and many others simply because they came from another country and speak another language.
And you can see those walls go up around what once was probably a lovely little boy. “My tax dollars. My country.” Wall after wall. Blocking him off from what I believe is at the center of all of us. Love.
I’m not talking politics here. Or rights. Or anything of that sort. I’m talking about human nature. That’s not how we are born. That’s not who we are. Not here in America and not anywhere else in the world either. Those lessons and obstacles. Things we never quite came to peace with or cleared out of our souls. That’s what you saw on that video. That’s what’s weighing on that man. The material world. The political world. That’s where his anger comes from. Where the hate comes from. It’s nurtured, not nature.
He couldn’t see the human standing in front of him. He saw an obstacle. A challenge. The walls were in the way. He’s so far removed from himself, he couldn’t see the impact he was having. Worse yet, he probably didn’t care.
“My country. My tax dollars.”
If you’re a person of faith, didn’t God create each one of us? Didn’t he create the planet that supports us? Are we all in this together from the spiritual perspective? Is this how God wants us to treat each other?
If you are more esoteric in your beliefs, aren’t we all made of the same stardust? Even if you’re atheist, don’t we have to accept one another as cohabitants of the same planet?
Whatever your belief, that is not how we treat each other. And my belief, my humble opinion, that is not who we are as a species.
We’ve lost our way. We need to find our way back home. Back to that 4-year-old who says nothing, but his actions speak volumes.
Meditation and mindfulness is a pathway back home. Through the forest, through the gates, through the barriers we build. It’s possible to be free of that weight and those burdens. We can find our way back to love.
And I’m afraid you will hear that again and again until someone listens.