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One of the most challenging things we can learn in our life is to turn the focus of our mind from what we don’t want and to focus on having that which we desire. At least that’s been the most challenging thing for me. I started so many days, for decades, praying and meditating to be a loving, peaceful presence in this world. And then I would spend the rest of the day judging myself and my loved ones and anyone else who crossed my path. At the end of the day I would feel like a hopeless loser, anxious and afraid. At night I’d dream of arguing with my loved ones and endless seeking and never finding.
One of my recurring dreams was that I had an opportunity to do something really wonderful, something that I really, really wanted and would enjoy – often it was something like tickets to a Rolling Stones concert – and for some reason or another I could never get there. In the dream I would realize I didn’t have film for my camera (pre-digital camera times), and I would make a quick run to a nearby store and then never make it back to the concert. The longer my distraction took the more desperate and distressed I would become. I would wake up in the distress of seeking but not finding. I had that dream again and again. It was the story of my life.
I now have eyes to see and know that the dream simply represented my spiritual life. I was, every day, distracted in my spiritual walk. I could talk it, but I didn’t walk it. I stopped having that dream when I made the commitment to live the teachings all day long. Of course, each and every day I am aware of the places where I fall short of the mark.
However, like a toddler learning to walk who falls down many times a day, I’m learning. Falling down is part of the learning. Being wobbly is part of the learning. It’s not that I’m doing something wrong when I fall down. I’m learning.
Because I’m aware that I’m learning something that is new to me, I have compassion for myself. Compassion is loving understanding. Love is the healer. I’m learning self-compassion through my experience of stumbling, falling and picking myself up. Everyone sees me fall and stumble. Everyone also sees that i am dedicated to learning to walk this talk of Love. They see that I do not chastise myself or berate myself when I fall. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh, but I always get up with more compassion than I had before I fell. And so the Love grows in my heart, in my awareness.
And this is how I learn to walk. Let us walk together and remember we are one.
I walk my talk of Love.
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