“All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.”
~ Swami Vivekananda
This morning while Live Streaming the 11:30am service at the Agape International Spiritual Center I was sitting vigil and letting the words of Michael Bernard Beckwith wash over me during the sermon. It was a wonderful message this morning, which I wasn’t listening to in terms of the words, what I do in vigil is tune in to the vibrational feeling tone the Rev. is carrying and then latch it down and camp on it while I’m in silent prayer for the congregation who is listening. So I’m there and humming along with the tone, lots of love and energy and enthusiasm… good stuff, but some of what he was saying was very present with me while I was there as well. He worked with a few questions over the course of the sermon, but the ones that stood out for me were very simple:
Where am I going?
And what is my mission?
I opened my eyes from my vigil and wrote the questions down to work with when I do my visioning to download the tone of where I’m headed in the coming year.
Today those questions have been bouncing around in my head as I went about the business of the day. I was flat out of food in the house, so taking a walk to the store was mandatory on the To Do list after service. I put on my earbuds and started listening to an Abraham-Hicks workshop. Like an MBB sermon, the Abraham talks are always so chock full of profound Truth that it’s like getting a big box of spiritual candy and it all looks so good that you want to stuff it all in your mouth at once. But it’s such delicious, rich stuff that the best way to enjoy it is to cruise past the box several times and then pick and savor each piece individually over time. I’ve listened to this particular workshop before and I was turning over and savoring and deepening in the awareness of what feeling into the Vortex feels like…
And while this is all going on I’m walking out the back gate of my yard, futzing with the latches that bind the fence that separates my property from the Greenway that runs behind my house, walking, shifting my backpack around… listening, thinking, feeling and then remembering the MBB questions, “Where am I going? And what is my mission?”
In that moment the answers were easy ones:
Where am I going? The store
What is my mission? Well, to get groceries, but really, to be a beneficial presence on the planet.
That thought activated my heart and pulled me higher into the present moment and my own true self-identity as I continued to walk. I pondered my own mission and as I continued to get nearer to the shopping center I thought about the homeless guy whose little encampment I spotted and photographed as I walked the Greenway on a previous day.
My neighbor with a fondness for stuffed animals and X-rated newspapers.
Just then I realized there was background hubbub going on that I wasn’t hearing because I had become one of the dreaded Earbud People walking along in my own world, not listening to anything but what’s going on in my own little head and then sealing the deal with earbuds.
Someone was shouting.
Swearing, shouting and ranting.
Well, good morning Stuffed Animal guy!
I had been thinking about him ever since I stumbled upon his lair on my walk. Something about the fact that he slept with stuffed animals just got to me and I’d held him in my heart asking the question, “How can I help?” ever since. I thought about packing him a lunch, or leaving him one of my stuffed animals. I wondered if he knew about the food banks in our area. I wondered if he knew he’s probably eligible for food stamps. Is there a place homeless people can get mail delivered so they can qualify for eligibility? I’ve been thinking about where he might shower, shit and shave in the mornings and how it might be better if that was not right outside my back gate. (Long before I discovered the encampment of Stuffed Animal guy I’d been discovering human “gifts” on the path behind my house. I think Stuffed Animal guy might also be my Mad Pooper guy, but I don’t have any desire to find out for sure!)
Basically I was thinking things through as if I was in his situation. If it was me, what would I do? How would I survive? Where would I go for help?
Listening to him ranting turned my attention in a new direction. I observed my own reaction. His vibration felt angry, crazy, scary. His words fell like acid on my ears. I noticed how my thoughts of “How can I help?” became “How can I stay as far away from him as possible?” instead.
And I thought, “That must be so challenging for the Universe to deliver this guy’s good to him when he’s offering up so much anger.” It felt as though this guy, in addition to the encampment he’d found himself over by the concrete wall, was building this wall of anger up around himself as well. I wondered if he was yelling because it made him feel better to yell, or if he yelled to feel safe or if he was just yelling to say, “Hey, I’m alive! I matter! Deal with me!”
It gave me a whole new insight on how we can pinch off our own receptivity to our good simply by not being able to regulate our emotions. When we are angry, it scrambles the signal and makes what we seek, that which is simultaneously seeking us, harder to connect with.
Now back to this guy… Here’s this guy who probably has never seen me, but he’s touched my life profoundly over the past several weeks just by being there. And although he has no idea about it, he’s teaching me things.
It reminds me how profoundly interconnected we all are and how we all can make the choice to be a beneficial presence on the planet just by being kind and walking softly around those who may be angry and screaming into concrete flood control channels. Because, even if you’ve never done it, haven’t you had days where you wanted to just scream and rant and curse? Like it or fear it, Stuffed Animal guy is a part of me and I’m a part of you and here we are, just a big clump of US here on this planet, having this experience, walking our walks on the path of life.
Where am I going?
And what is my mission?