Have you ever been in a tense conversation? One where there is a disagreement or difficult topic being discussed? We forget what really matters when we take on such endeavors. We forget, that there is only love.
Some teachers teach there is love and fear. To this I would say, fear is only one reaction to love.
Regardless of what we believe about what is real, the sweet spot, in difficult conversations, is the exhale. That moment, when you, or others, finally lets out the breath they reserved for response and debate. It is easily seen if looked for, and appears as if the whole body has relaxed.
Those who are into “winning” conversations, take this as a sign of victory. Those who are concerned with helping others, making a difference, and the solutions to problems, view this as a starting point for real progress. And remember, this happens in ourselves, as well as others.
It all reminds me of parenting. Those moments where we allow our children to run too fast in flip flops, try a back flip on a trampoline, or whittle on a hickory stick with a sharp knife. Our minds see the potential danger. Children see only the need for such things.
Admittedly, I see the potential for harm in things that are prone to working out for the best. My struggle is seeing the possibility for good in each moment also. How much do I design teachable moments and how much do I allow the unfolding of such moments? This is my struggle.
Life is not a calculated risk. There is no way of knowing of all the miracles that go into the making of each moment. The good and the bad of things are only perceptions, and only that we have made it to this point, is known with certainty.
This weekend, I watched my son and his cousin build a fire. Eventually they asked for help, and I was happy to play the game. With the sawing of logs, the steep hills climbed to collect twigs, and the sparks from a flint flying, came my apprehension. But there also came the exhale, or the unfolding of things.
It happened, that while I was watching all of this activity, I was listening to Ram Dass speak on moments. How it makes little sense to worry for the past, or predict the future. It seemed appropriate for the building of fires by teenagers, but it also seemed to apply to life.
This is the only moment we have. What we have been, cannot inform the present, and what we will be is only imagined. In the same way, what we have known of others cannot inform our present.
Do we want to protect ourselves from repeated abuse? Should we pay attention to patterns of destructive behavior? Does the repeated ill will shown by others matter in every day decisions?
Yes. But, only in the sense that there is possibility for change. Change and love. Sometimes, that change and love needs to be for us. We can turn the other cheek, and as long as we are facing the other way, it seems reasonable to walk in that direction.
When responding to others in love, nothing from the past or the future, is of any concern. Maybe this will be the moment they exhale. Perhaps it will not. Maybe this is the moment we exhale, giving up on the need to have it all figured out.
There is a newness of life to each day. A rebirth, as it were. The unfolding of things will happen, whether we resist it, or not. Regardless of our determining its worth. Even if we believe we understand the “why”s of it all. We will all exhale today.
For some, it will come in a morning meditation. For others, it will come as they finally give up and go to sleep out of exhaustion. I recommend the former. It is always more satisfying to allow the unfolding of things, than to feel subject to the unfolding of things.
It is all very simple. Worry less for what has been and what will be. Do not give up the certainty of this moment, for the moments in your past and future.
This should not be confused with memories of the past or the planning of the future. What confuses our minds about the past and the future is not those things. It is the judgement that we place on those events. Look on the past and into the future with only love, and not fear.
It all seems so simple. Nothing is hard about it at all, except, that it is hard.
If life is just a universal classroom, our perception of the schoolmaster matters. Our belief about why we are here, matters, also.
Here is an offered suggestion.
Take a moment to be grateful for anything. Allow your mind to drift to something you love. Dwell on these for a few moments each day. Understand that there is more of this waiting. Understand there is enough of all of these things for everyone to experience what they need to, in order to complete their studies here.
Also, take a moment or two, at the beginning of the day, to understand that we are not in this school for long. There will be other programs of study. Other worlds and realms we will explore. This life, is not our only course.
We do not need straight “A”s to be a success. We do, however, need to enjoy the process and be grateful for the opportunity, if we are going to be successful.
You are the teacher’s pet. The favorite in the class. You are that kid, in the universal classroom, that sticks with the teacher in conversations over dinner. Take a deep breath, exhale, and enjoy.