The other day I was sitting in a coffee shop and overheard a conversation by some high schoolers, probably juniors or seniors. They were talking about how sophomores would look down upon the freshman and say things like, “stupid freshman,” and these kids were taken aback by this statement, pointing out these sophomores were freshman too not too long ago, and now they had turned against what used to be their own kind.
Do you think long term gastric bypass survivors sometimes say this about the newbies? Do the long term posties sometimes “forget” where they came from? I will tell you one thing I hope without doubt, I hope I never forget where I came from. I hope I never forget the feelings of vulnerability I once had after my surgery and I hope I never forget those who reached a helping hand. I hope I never think I know it all or that there isn’t more that I can grow and learn.
However—This pattern is pretty common, isn’t it? Although being a newbie is a necessary bridge that leads to being a bariatric veteran , like all stepping stones they are needed until they no longer are. But what good does it do to invalidate that stepping stone just because you are no longer there?
If you like where you are now, why not simply recognize that–that stepping stone, that bridge was necessary to get to where you are now. In this recognition, there is a feeling of gratitude and a sense of respect towards others who are walking the path you, too, once walked. We are after all walking each other home.
It seems like, for some reason, there is a tendency to burn our bridges, as if it is “bad” to be at a lower level, as if we have to totally obliterate where we once were to fully embrace where we are now. This manifests itself in the form of arrogance and judgmentalism. “Why can’t you see what I see? You idiot, you don’t know what I know. I know better than you. You’re retarded.”
This pattern is manifested in many life situations really… People leave an abusive marriage and they want to know WHY EVERYONE who is in an abusive marriage doesn’t leave…
Yet how do we not know that where the person is now is not exactly where they need to be. Perhaps it’s precisely where their soul needs to be and who knows what positive benefits them being where they are will have on others. Who knows what incredible benefits will ripple through the rest of the universe simply because another was willing to “exactly where they are?”
When we drop the notion that one level is better than another, and I mean really drop that, there’s an openness that’s created that allows others to be wherever they are, no matter if we see them as incredibly wise or utterly deluded. There’s a sense of peace in this. There’s a sense of, “ahh, I can stop going to war with others. I can quit arguing with reality. Things really are okay the way they are, even if they don’t look okay.”
If the ego could be defined as “resistance to reality,” this pulls out one of its supporting legs and helps us release yet another trigger that sparks us into conflict and division.
Instead of moving from lower to higher as if we’re moving from better to worse, it becomes simply the understanding that at different levels, we learn different lessons, we have different experiences, we come to clarity on different aspects of the whole, and we become aware of yet another facet of All That Is.
Without the division of right and wrong, good and bad, better or worse, and should’s and shouldn’ts, there’s just different games for people to play. There’s just the Divine experiencing itself from every perspective possible.
And so this part of the journey is about ending the inner war, about stopping the tendency of the right hand slapping the left, of the mouth biting the nose, as if there is benefit in someone beating itself up.
As we let go of the need to give our love and approval only to those we deem acceptable, we let go of even more conditions upon our Love and allow Love to flow that much more. We can then, just be love.
No battle. No struggle. No judgement. No looking down upon. No patronizing. No condemnation. Just Acceptance. Peace. Love.
Is not that one of the things people crave most? Just to be accepted for who they are without having to put on some false mask in the hope that they will then be accepted? Don’t we all want to just be loved for who we really are?
Let’s create that space. Let’s open up and love people for who they are, love ourselves for who we are, not because of something.. not because we got A’s on our report cards or hit the ball out of the park, not because of the number on the scale or what we ate today… not because of something that we have done to deserve this love, but simply because we are who we are. Love that is freely given, always available, and eternally present.
The Beatles knew what they were talking about…