Lately I have been rethinking a few of my beliefs. Not the big ones like love and forgiveness, but the ones that guide how to direct my energy.
I used to be ambitious about my career and having certain material things. I haven’t completely stopped, but I no longer seek success in things like job titles and the kind of car I drive. This has been a positive change, but one that requires me to choose where to direct the energy that previous went into achieving.
What do I want to accomplish with the time I have left on this earth? And how best do I use the energy that flows through me? These questions have come to me recently courtesy of a new acquaintance.
I met an interesting guy through the internet dating site. I don’t know him very well, but of all of the ones I have met through this medium, he is the most like me spiritually. So far we are different enough to make things interesting. We are good at different things and we have different challenges in life. But we are on the same frequency and seem to have the same basic outlook on life.
One of the great things about getting to know a new person is the self-reflection it requires.
The way in which this person and I are most different is with regard to action. He seems to be a fast mover. I used to be more like he is now, which is easily explained by the difference in our ages, but in the past few years I have intentionally slowed down everything in my life, including my desire to take action.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the way he is doing things. On the contrary. The world needs people just like him and getting to know him a little has been a positive experience. He is questioning his role on this planet and talking to him about this causes me to rethink some of my spiritual decisions. Not really in an attempt to change or eliminate them, but just to check in and make sure I’m still going the right direction. It’s a good thing.
One of the things I like about this guy is his level of confidence in himself to engage people. He set up an event on Facebook and invited over 1000 people, and though only a fraction participated, he gathered a group of people together for honorable purposes. It was pretty impressive.
We had a recent conversation about the desire for clarity about ways to take positive action in the world. He desires to do more things to bring people together and spread the message of love. I encouraged him to do it through music, but it could actually be in any number of ways, large or small.
I realized that is where it’s at for me. Making all of life be action toward a greater outcome for all of creation.
Buddhism taught me that change starts within. And I am in control of my experience. The way I will make a positive impact in the world at large is to make a positive impact in my own life.
The reason I chose to slow my life down is so I could have the spaciousness to make decisions that will enhance my personal experience as well as impact every action I take. I figured myself out enough to know that if I want to make a difference, one of the biggest differences I can make is to conduct as much positive energy as possible, and then allocate that energy in such a way that it creates the most good in the world. So far that has been through writing and interpersonal relationships.
I seem to make the greatest impact with individuals and in the workplace. I have addressed small to medium groups verbally with some success as well, but I feel most comfortable with fewer people at a time.
I think I make up for that by pouring out my guts in writing.
Ultimately, I feel good about the path I am on and how I am moving along. That does not mean I am not open to change. And that is the challenge that is issued to each one of us with each and every relationship we develop. Whether it is a 30-second conversation in a coffee shop or a lifelong friendship, the people who come into our lives are mirrors. We are called to have the courage to look into those mirrors and discover ourselves.
It’s hard to say why any particular person shows up in our lives. Maybe I will help my new friend slow down sometimes and he will help me speed up when necessary. I don’t actually know. And I don’t even know if we have enough in common to stay friends, but whatever happens, it will be eye-opening. That much I can already sense.
We never know how long anything will last. The challenge of life is to make every single encounter with every person or creature complete and perfect. If we treat everyone we meet like a loved one we may never see again, magical things can happen.
There really is nothing to strive for outside of ourselves. The keys that unlock the universe are inside.
Open and receptive, let things come.