I came across this quote on Facebook last week and haven't been able to get it out of my mind. I love when something penetrates the heart and bypasses the skeptical mind. As I read this it is something I felt I knew deep inside.
Last November I had a similar experience with a man from India during my flight home from Roatan. We had a 3 hour conversation about the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita.
The Bhagavad Gita is one of the most influential text in yoga philosophy. It is written as a conversation between a man (Or woman) and God or our higher consciousness. It is a profound story of our human struggles, the war within, and how to navigate through life's challenges & changes and the dark & light. It provides us a path for self-mastery that every human being must walk if he or she is to live life successfully.
I was talking with this man about a family issue which at the time was causing me a lot of pain and doubt. I told him I was trying to be positive and compassionate but wasn't doing very well. He looked me in the eye and said, "Joy, sometimes compassion is fierce and the most loving thing you can do is to be honest". Wow, another beautiful reminder of something I somehow knew to be true. Gifts come in the most unexpected places when we are open.
Two key teachings from the Gita I return to again and again, which brings me back to the quote above are:
- It is better to strive in one's own dharma (purpose) than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one's own dharma, but competition in another's path breeds fear and insecurity. Live authentically. Live as YOU. Don't try to be anyone else. This means we have to sometimes be uncomfortable, embrace confusion and the unknown, rather than simply being polite and agreeable. Of course we never intentionally cause harm. But by being only agreeable in my life I finally saw how much I was harming myself.
- The solution to our problems will not be found at the level of the problem; it will come from a higher perspective and a more conscious life. This means we have to become the observer or our own thoughts, behavior and attitude. We must study ourselves and reflect on a daily basis.
In summary, living a spiritual life acknowledges we will certainly face fears, insecurities, unhealthy patterns and reactions, but when we are conscious we will not be driven by them. If we are to live our most authentic life we must access a higher perspective and pay attention to the whole rainbow of experience. We cannot simply "look on the bright side" while ignoring the tough choices and difficult actions that life sometimes requires us to make if we are to create a happy, authentic and ultimately peaceful life.
Be YOU! Be CONSCIOUS! Be BRAVE!
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