Has anyone ever said or written something to/about you that made you feel like your heart had been literally stabbed? I got an email like that the other day. Ouch! I’ve come to realize the thing that tears me apart the most is when someone inaccurately thinks or speaks poorly of my character, nature, intentions, or actions. DANG it hurts to be seen poorly! Know what I mean?
In living our yoga, we talk about how Yoga is a move away from a spirit of competing and comparing (separation) to one of connection, expansion, and celebration (unity). What I’m getting at here is it seems to me within and around us, there are two kinds of spirits striving for our “allegiance” in life. Affirming boundaries, restraining orders, and distance have a healthy place in our messy reality, I’d venture to say: As much as possible, the more together, supportive, understanding, and caring we are, the more heaven we experience; while judgments, mistrust, competition, and separateness puts us in hell.
I heard the Ancient Greek word for “demon”, daemon, came from the verb that meant “to divide”. One could Truly say it’s demonic to separate, disconnect, and divide relationally. “Satan”, after all, is really more of a title than a name, meaning “accuser”. Conversely, the Spirit is described as an advocate, helper, comforter, intercessor, and presence of Heaven.
Think of it this way: Picture yourself. The more disconnected from your feet you are, the harder it is to walk, run, dance, etc. When we ignore our physical and/or inner wounds, shortcomings, darkness, etc. not only do they NOT go away, webecome more fragmented, frazzled, and unhealthy. Likewise, when you dislike, hate, or shame an aspect of yourself, your whole being suffers. Wholeness comes by being WHOLE, and is the space through which healing flows.
I’m balance challenged, which, as a yoga teacher, is especially comical. Yet, avoiding it does nothing but make it WORSE and me more frustrated. Working with and diving into my struggle with a curious mind and playful spirit is what fills me with heavenly joy AS I FALL out of a pose!
In a similar way, I have relational anxiety in that part of me is terrified people will reject or dislike me. Ignoring this inner wound has long led me to cling to and over pursue those nearest to me. Facing, “hugging”, and including this insecurity, though, is what has me on the healing path.
This same concept applies communally and globally as well. Much like how the various different parts (toes, stomach, hair, …) of our individual bodies unite together to form one whole, the nearly 8 billion unique humans form one humanity, while oceans, trees, mountains, birds, etc. combine to make one interconnected earth. Again, to cast out, belittle, shame, judge, etc. a person or people group is like cutting off your nose!
Conversely, unity brings heavenly harmony at every level of relationship. Naturally, this is NOT easy, real unity takes lots of courage and real openhearted willingness from all parties, and the wisdom to know when and how to fashion healthy boundaries for a time when necessary (especially when it comes to matters of safety).
This brings me to sin … I bet you didn’t see that coming! 🙂 A helpful way I’ve come to understand this word goes like this: Sin is the myth of separation. The lie that I am independent of and disconnected from others, creation, and the Divine. The Truth is we’re ALL interconnected, interdependent, and always being held, uplifted, and nourished by the Source of this all! While we go astray and increase hurt when we operate from the falsehood, we become agents bringing heaven to earth when mindfully act from an awareness of the latter.
Part of salvation, enlightenment, awakening, or whatever term you prefer, seems to me to be realizing and living into the Truth that ALL of our hearts share one heartbeat, each of our souls are linked by strings of life, and EVERY spirit rests in the Love of Heaven. I think this is one of the reasons the aforementioned email hurt me so much, as our inherent connectedness to one other, when embraced, also leaves us deeply vulnerable.
So, while part of me certainly wants to shame, blame, judge, finger point, exclude, and isolate because of the words I received, I decided to direct my energy into this blog to help encourage us to recognize we each of the proverbial angel and demon on our shoulders. While one tempts us to divide, ignore, blame, shame, exclude, ostracize, and judge individually and collectively, the other seduces us with togetherness, understanding, curiosity, inclusion, healing, harmony, Love, and unity.
It occurs to me, while the more separate we are, within and without, the more life sucks, the more unity we practice and experience internally, with others, with creation, and with the Spirit animating it all, the more things get AMAZING! What do you think? How can this mindset help you experience greater life and Love? What stands out to you?
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