With the return of each day’s light comes an invitation to investigate reality, rather than imitate the past. It arrives in a world of imperfection that can easily draw negative reactions from my lower nature.
Yet I’ve often been given the chance to learn that dwelling on imperfections, berating myself or others for them, serves only to increase how many of them I see.
I then begin to draw a circle of suffering for myself. It saps my time, energy, and attention (things over which I have choice), when I could instead offer these for something that is always calling to me: the possibility, in any moment, of contributing to building life’s goodness.
As I respond to that call, I discover how much preoccupation with negativity can surround my life, fill my thoughts, and absorb my precious resources. This is the debilitating presence of blind imitation of the past, which arises from the kind of thinking that was born in earlier, fearful experiences and has led to behaviors, assumptions, and beliefs that have no basis in reality.
My encounter with imperfection extends an invitation to recognize and accept how much I don’t know, or can’t change, yet I can always discover the limitless possibilities of love in every choice available to me. Rather than reacting out of a survival-driven instinct to fight imperfection, or try to escape it, I can turn toward an indwelling response, and presence, that is better-aligned with the purpose for which I’ve been created.
As it invites me into the freedom of not fighting any thing or any one (including myself), this possibility also reminds me that every human interaction (including with myself) is either an act of giving or an act of receiving. By asking questions that encompass both giving and receiving, my sensitivity to my own needs and those of others is increased daily.
Each part of this questioning is equally important, because giving depends on someone willing and capable of receiving, and receiving depends on someone willing and capable of giving. The following two service questions are a tool that can clarify my perceptions in the course of the many choices I encounter each day:
– At this moment in time, what is the act of service I am capable of giving that the other person is capable of receiving?
– At this moment in time, what is the act of service I am capable of receiving that the other person is capable of giving?
Excerpted from With Thine Own Eyes: Why Imitate the Past When We Can Investigate Reality? http://www.amazon.com/With-Thine-Own-Eyes-Investigate-ebook/dp/B00I1JPC7I