I’ve now been back a week from a short trip to Spain, speaking at a wonderful chiropractic seminar there. Well, my body has been back a week; the rest of me has been returning slowly but surely. Travel is exhausting!
It was well worth the exhaustion on many levels. Perhaps the biggest gift I received is a reminder that we are all the same. When I first got there everything and everyone seemed so different. Indeed, it was a smorgasbord of different languages, accents and cultures (most of them never heard of I Love Lucy, for goodness sake), but as I began to connect with people on a heart level it became clear how superficial all that is. Deeper down, we all have essentially the same issues, fears, challenges, heartaches and frustrations. We also all have essentially the same desires, intentions, dreams, joys and values. Most importantly to me, we are all the same in that we are all beautiful and whole expressions of love. On every conceivable level beyond our usual judgments and senses, we are truly all one.
On this planet for over 3 billion years Spirit, expressing as Nature, has been honing and perfecting an incredible dance of harmony based on oneness on every level of existence. The only place it sometimes doesn’t play out that way is in human minds.
Every day I see evidence that we’re embracing oneness individually and globally; people remembering that they were created to love and to bring heaven to earth, people reawakening to those higher values and qualities that we all share, the values and qualities that can help us overcome our tendency to separate from each other based on appearance, culture, ideology, belief or religion. Compassion is the natural outflow of an awareness of oneness, and I see compassion rearing its beautiful head more and more in this world.
On the other hand, every day I also see evidence of us forgetting all that. As one of the other speakers at the seminar in Spain shared, “Our survival mechanisms are killing us.” It’s clear to me now that where there is hate, prejudice and violence, there is separation from the truth of oneness. Our survival mechanisms cause us to separate from each other, which is ironic since our survival really depends on each other. It depends on our ability to remember the truth of oneness and the gift of compassion.
Survival isn’t at all a bad thing, but often what we strive to have survive are only our egos, our agendas, our ways, our religions, our bank accounts, our opinions. And these survival mechanisms are indeed killing us. Individually, they’re killing our dreams. They’re killing our ability to access our own greatness, our own wholeness and our own divine resources. And globally, our survival mechanisms are killing each other and killing the planet.
So the next time we feel attacked or judged or judgmental or envious, here’s a wonderful tool (given to me years ago by the late Richard J. Santo, D.C.): let’s say, “Just like me.” Instead of shutting down and flowing down Survival Creek without a paddle, let’s affirm that this person is just like me. We can embellish this: “Just like me, this person is looking for love. Just like me, this person is doing the best they can. Just like me, this person has had terrible sadness and despair in their lives. Just like me, this person has made choices and has had influences that have made them who they are.”
How many times have you judged someone for doing something that you’ve done a million times? Even if we’re judging someone who has done something horrendous, haven’t we all had moments of extreme anger? Haven’t we all said or done something hurtful? Saying, “Just like me” is the first step toward compassion and forgiveness. And compassion and forgiveness don’t mean we condone unacceptable behavior, but they do allow us to keep our own light shining. Compassion and forgiveness don’t mean we shouldn’t take action, but they do allow us to take effective, grounded and loving action. That’s hard to do when we’re in judgment, blame, despair or overwhelm.
Conversely, when we feel envious or are inclined to compare ourselves unfavorably to someone, let’s say, “Just like me.” “Just like me, this person is a child of God. Just like me, this person is inherently good, beautiful and whole. Just like me, this person has ‘extraordinary’ built right into their essence. Just like me, this person is a unique face of the divine.” As Marianne Williamson wrote, playing small doesn’t serve anyone. We are each the one that we have been looking for.
You are just like me. And together, we can ride that sameness and oneness to its natural conclusion—the kind of world we all choose to live in.
And if that’s all we remember, that’s more than enough for now.