I’ve always been a competitive and opinionated person. I’ve loved taking sides and cheering (and sometimes fighting) for my side to win. But over the past few years, I’ve felt out of sync with this part of my personality…something has seemed off. The straight and deep lines of right and wrong, good and bad, moral and immoral, proper and improper, have begun to blur. The question that I often find myself asking myself is, “Are you so sure you are right?” and the answer that I often hear coming back is, “No. I’m not sure.” And far from feeling frightened about this, there is a freedom in it. I’m not sure that I ever knew that much anyway, and I certainly didn’t know as much as I thought I did, so as I let the need to know (or the need to have an opinion) drop away, I feel like laughing.
Another thing that I have noticed about the spiritual life is this: when I think that I’ve changed/grown, a situation will come along to challenge me.
There has been a huge amount of coverage for the upcoming presidential elections and once again I found myself in the same “game”; cheering for the one/s I wanted to win, and being critical and judgmental of the others. I’d even tried to get friends and family to talk about the candidates, and secretly delighted in blasting those whom we felt were unacceptable.
Several nights after the NH primary, I dreamt that I was struggling to take care of an unruly bunch of animals that didn’t belong to me. As soon as I had a few corralled, more got out. There was more to the dream than this, but as I pondered it, I saw that it had to do with my attitude regarding judgment/criticism/opinions and specifically the presidential race. I could see that I not only wanted to take sides, I took secret (and sometimes not so secret) pleasure in demonizing the other candidates. This dream was a signal for me to change. It was as if my spirit said, “You can stay this way, but you will suffer, and the price that you’ll pay for taking sides in this negative way will be the loss of inner peace.”
I knew that it didn’t mean I shouldn’t have a preference, or vote /campaign for whomever I thought was best, it simply meant that I needed to stop thinking about the other candidates in derogatory ways. The habit of mentally escalating the good that would result from my candidate winning, and the disastrous results which were certain to occur if one of the others won, had to stop.
The night after this revelation, I closed my eyes and brought to mind each candidate. I imagined them smiling and greeting me like a friend, and I did the same to them. Some were really easy, and some were not, so I stayed with it and began to sense a very soft and light feeling inside. It felt so good. It felt like peace. It felt like love. This is the place where I can make high-level decisions. This is the place where I can be of most service to the world….I am sure of that.
“What we imagine, that we are.” Neville Goddard, The Search