It’s easy to get caught up in daily minutiae. Laundry, grocery shopping, bills, traffic, and scores of other relatively insignificant issues and events. It is even easier to become preoccupied by health problems, potential heart surgeries, and minimally torn rotator cuffs. How many of these things will really matter in 10 years? How about in 5 years?
How often do we become so involved in the moments in our lives that we forget to look outside ourselves to see others and to actually appreciate them as divine living beings. It is so easy to see the boss, the grocery store clerk, your server at a restaurant, or even the quiet co-worker for the aggravation or inconvenience they bring to our lives. But what about their innate divinity?
Merriam-Webster includes the following as a definition of divine: of, relating to, or proceeding directly from God or a god.
Of course I am not asserting that we should all hold hands and sing Kumbaya; though that might be pretty awesome! Rather, I am pondering how things might change if more people looked for and honored the divinity in others. Some may say, “But I don’t believe in big G or little g god.” So let’s play with the definition a little and insert a synonym for divine – awesome, beautiful, brave, lovely, peachy, splendid or wonderful.
How often do we think of others in terms of the antonyms for divine? Atrocious, awful, lousy, pathetic, rotten, terrible, bad, inferior, substandard, unsatisfactory, mediocre, etc. And what do those thoughts achieve for us? Does it provide a brief period of satisfaction? Does it elevate our self-esteem, even if for only a moment? This shapes up to be similar to the glass half full/half empty metaphor.
So, you might be saying, we can actually be both divine beings and not so divine and maybe the combination adds up to a whole being. Let’s play with that a little. Maybe the aspects of each of us that seem less than divine are actually a part of our divinity. Is your head spinning yet? No? Good! Yes? Good!
Isn’t it possible that our divinity encompasses our entire being? What would the world be like if we were all without flaws, foibles, and imperfections? I cannot imagine; however, I am willing to speculate that it would certainly be less interesting.
If you met yourself on the street, could you with all honesty say Namaste? Do you honor the divinity (awesomeness, etc) within yourself? Wait!! You mean accept myself for who I am and see my internal value and goodness? Well, in a word, yes. That is exactly what I am saying.
I was having a discussion with my significant other today and told him that I believed that one of the most important lessons I am learning this year is acceptance. Acceptance of myself and the changes in my life, of obstacles, of values, of opportunities, and of the people who make my life even more special. It occurs to me that I may need to broaden this acceptance to include those for whom I do not hold affection. After all, they too are divine. Maybe my definition of divinity does not fit for them, but it would be awfully egocentric to assume that I am seeing others and the world through an unbiased filter.
What will I get back if I start looking for the divine in everyone else? Hmmm. Maybe nothing. Or, maybe you will begin to see the world as 100% full rather than half full or half empty. A life filled with divine beings sure seems to be a happier place than a life with a few awesome people and a large number of rotten ones.
But I can’t stand liberals, conservatives, pro-lifers, pro-choicers, the 1%, the 99%, and the list goes on forever. Good to know you have opinions! I appreciate that about you. I recall working (as a therapist) with a client whose behavior would cause most people to dislike him at best and want to hurt him at worst. My job was not to judge his behavior; rather it was my task to help him stop doing these horrible things. In order to do that, I had to focus on his divinity. I had to find that part of him that I wanted to help. In the end, he did stop doing these things and the last I heard, was living a healthier life. I could not have helped him if I had not overcome my own issues, judgments, and looked past my filter.
So, I want to challenge you to do something. This will be quite easy for some and monumentally difficult if not impossible for others. At some point today, go to a mirror, look yourself in the eyes and salute the divine within YOU with one simple word – NAMASTE!