Monday, February 24, 2014

But, but, but ...I'm a good person, right?

     “Wherever you are, be there. If you can be fully present now, you’ll know what it means to live.” Steve Goodier

     God sees the best in the worst of us and the worst in the best of us. For a long time I have tried to be a "good person" and it has really mattered to me to have a net positive effect on the people around me. Time to let that go. On the surface I want to see myself as a helper, even perhaps a healer. But I wonder at the depths of that intention what darkness lurks? Do I need to see myself as a "hero" or do I need to imagine my worth as greater than someone else's whose life consists of robbing banks and eating HoHos? All people are "good" at times and all people are "bad" other times. But to label ourselves as good or bad people really is a stumbling block to growth. Further, I would argue that every situation you find yourself in is neither good or bad,  both hold the potential for shifting into greater awareness or solidifying a maladaptive belief. Today I have a "day off" and a part of me that tends towards a puritanical work ethic can mar this day by casting about looking for activities. Another part of me that tends more towards the slothful can darken this day by just giving up and having a iPad zone out marathon. I often label my "work ethic" self as good and my "slothful" self as bad, but these labels are just cop outs that keep us from real presence, awareness, living fully awake if you will.

      Once the bad/good label is applied to a person or situation then our mind quickly fills in all the rest of the details and creates a preset scenario in which we lose our opportunity to learn from being present in the moment. Maybe an activity filled day is what is called for and in this day I will learn endurance, maybe a "lazy" day is what is called for and in this day I will renew my energy. Either way labeling good/bad will disconnect me from the middle ground of compassionate observer. Instead, I sit and listen to my breath for a moment, not good or bad, just still and listening.

     I am not a good person. I am not a bad person. And neither are you. Instead of trying to be good or bad, today I will reach for compassionate and present. Compassion is found in remembering that I wish no harm to myself and those around me. That generally leads to non harming actions. Then having established that base we can ask ourselves "What is the next loving act I can do?" Sometimes the loving act is to reach out a helping hand and sometimes the loving act is to allow someone to stumble. Sometimes love means run, endure be a warrior and sometimes love is letting go.
I have noticed that the more I desire to be good and the more I really want to help someone the less ease I have in a situation. My desire to "be good" ironically stands in the way of Gods spirit flowing through me which really is the highest good we can do for each other. God is the ocean and we are little waves on the surface. The way to expand our consciousness is not to be good, but rather to relax enough to become part of the Ocean. So, today I won't hope for a good day or try to avoid a bad day, rather remembering each moment is fodder for growth I will hope for an awake day so that "Namaste" will come true and the highest and best in me will see the highest and best in you.