| 10 Apr 2008 @ 00:40, by David Bartholomew|
[excerpted from DoingIt!, March, 2006]
“We teach… what we most need to learn.” This concept was brought up again in my life a few months ago by a dear friend and brother, and it has really been working on me. As such, a lot of corollaries of this tenet have been presenting themselves as layers and layers of its wisdom unfold.
Where I believe I am in possession of enough life wisdom and experience, and am of a mind to drop breadcrumbs along the paths of others as they have been left for me… I often seek moments and openings where something I believe I know might help another.
I feel I do a decent job at crafting these toasted gluten cubes positively, and work to deliver them without causing the other to feel accused, judged or nauseous [I season lightly and bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes]. “Speak to the highest in another and that is what will respond” was the lesson of another teacher I long ago took to heart.
But of late I have gotten a glimpse of another style of my intentionality where others are concerned: What if I take all those things I want to say… and don’t say them?
I think it is probably common that any of us achieves an understanding of a concept, sees others struggling with that concept, and maybe wants to relieve them of that struggle; or gets impatient with people stuck at that level (now that we think we are beyond those poor saps still working with that idea—spiritual arrogance, oy).
But what if I, instead, just beam love and compassion and allowing and acceptance toward the person, and know they will get what they need at their pace, not mine? What if I just allow them more of their process and turn instead, in each of these instances, inward, and mind my own bee’s wax? What if I find a way to silently support them and appreciate and learn from the nuances of their process that is different from how I might have done it?
I like that I can see and weigh both sides of a given issue—in this case, to speak or not to speak, and the pros and cons of each—and hold them up for a time as I seek out the balance point.
“Watch out for that car!” should probably be spoken, and loudly. Most other instances probably don’t carry the same urgency.
I look back on moments where others have said something timely and of value to me, out of a caring for my growth and well-being, and presented these cautiously and considerately. Perfect. Much appreciated. Some of these have been recounted in the pages of DoingIt!
I remember as well times when great satisfaction came on the heels of my own self-discovery. Maybe I made a lot of mistakes and took a lot of lumps… but I worked it out eventually. And won prizes hard fought for.
So a first clue as to whether to give my unsolicited two cents, or how, is—that maybe if I ask them something, instead of telling them something, an aspect of partnership will reign. Where one might plant a seed, the other is left to do the watering. Balance. Collaboration.
Noticing whether my opinion has been solicited or not is another great yardstick of how far I ought to stick my nose into someone else’s business! This one probably needs little explanation for some of us (and my hand is raised).
Telling someone what they should do is not a great idea. I know how I react to those orders, well-intentioned as they may be. Whether the instruction is valid or not, I am a great one for digging in and protecting “my way”, for at least a little while. Tell me what you think is good for me and watch me do the opposite to prove you wrong. Ouch! I just bit off my nose to spite my face.
This last one works great for countries as well as individuals. Instead of telling a people how to run their country, and what they want, and what is good for them… maybe asking instead what they might need from us would serve more effectively? Maybe we can understand this one a little better if we pull out that old Patrick Swayze classic (sarcasm, kind of), “Red Dawn”, where the camouflage-hunter’s-ballcap-wearing citizenry let the USSR know whose borscht bowl doesn’t want to be stirred by foreign fingers.
So there are all kinds of things I have been looking at with respect to this tongue-holding exercise I have embarked upon.
Thuhw gwayteth, weewhwee fuhwfiwhin thfwangz… oops, I will let go of my tongue for a second.
The greatest, really fulfilling, things I am getting these days in not speaking up so much are—a) all the new discoveries that come with the undertaking of the new thing, and b) my own self-discovery that is…
… this is what God and Spirit and our guides and angels do with us every day!
They stand in silent witness to us maybe making the same mistakes over and over, perhaps lifetime after lifetime. Their best thoughts are with us. They may subtly steer us away from something too painful… but they pretty much realize what we all get to, and that is—you can’t really protect another from pain. You can’t protect them from experience. And you probably shouldn’t.
I am caused to remember how patient and accepting
God has been with me as I worked, or am working, it out;
and that I can be the same for others.
This new practice of working to just be compassion, just be appreciation, just be acceptance of the paths of others… allows me to learn more about finer and finer levels of my own being. It shows me other choices that work or don’t. And it truly allows me to try on a little bit of the mantle of guardian angel and creator energy alike.
Trying on such a sacred duty, in this small way, helps us to understand what we might be working toward, and aspiring to. We begin to know, with humility, the smallest sliver of the mind of God.
This illuminates our own path in such a sublime way: The breadcrumb we dropped-- that desire to help another along their passage-- now energetically as opposed to verbally… comes back as an even more profound nugget on our own journey. Now we see even clearer where we are, and where we seek to be.
I believe this is what compassionate beings do. The bodhisattvas. Guardian angels. Benevolent forces of all types. Us.
And I humbly ask of you—is this something you might wish to join in with me and play with?
“I know you will guess all I leave unsaid.”
~~ Comte de Mirabeau