Love, compassion and choices
Namaste. I have written this purely based on my own thoughts and feelings, views and beliefs. I am on my own spiritual journey after recently experiencing my awakening. You don't have to agree or even like what I've written, you are free to make your own choices. If this doesn't resonate with you, I do hope it at least gives you food for thought.
There has been a lot of talk in recent times about awakenings and enlightenment. Everybody has different views on enlightenment and the true meaning of it. I believe many of these views when combined are probably closer to true enlightenment. My belief is that there are many different levels of enlightenment and we reach them by experiencing different facets of life and being able to look at any situation from a position of love and understanding.
Two vitally important facets of enlightenment are love and compassion. You can love people and show compassion without having attained enlightenment at the highest level. Without one, the other is not likely to exist in its highest form. Without either? I don't believe anyone could claim to be enlightened if they are not capable of absolute love and compassion.
Is it possible to love every being we encounter? Our soul knows love in the purest form. In our human form we often struggle to love someone if they behave in a way that we think isn't right, perhaps they live their life differently to the way we think they should. Some humans spend incredible sums of money on trivial items and yet others are so frugal that they won't purchase anything more than the bare necessities for fear of not having money "in case something happens". Some people have extremely high morals and others appear to have none. If that doesn't fit with our way of thinking, is that reason enough not to love someone, or to withdraw our love?
Nobody owes us an explanation for their choices, the choices are their own to make, just as we don't need to provide an explanation for our own choices. Of course, we can offer our opinion. We can provide guidance and support when somebody does make a choice that complicates their life. We can listen respectfully to others opinions on our own choices and hear the guidance they may offer. That doesn't mean that guidance must be followed. I feel very strongly that we should never judge someone for making a choice that is opposite to what we would have chosen for ourselves.
We don't get to choose how others decide to live. We don't have to agree with their choices or like their actions. We don't have to eat the same food as them, share the experiences they enjoy or laugh at their jokes. We don't have to love someone because of the way they live, what they believe in or how they act. Of course, that goes both ways, just as we don't have to agree with the choices other people make, they don't have to agree with ours, they don't have to like the way we act or find our jokes funny.
I have most certainly made many choices over my life that other people haven't agreed with. Once upon a time, I would have spent a great deal of time agonizing over a choice I had to make purely because I knew others would disagree with it or worse, stop liking/loving me. I don't do this any longer. Of course, I will still carefully consider my actions before making any serious decisions that may impact others and I will gratefully accept guidance offered to me, ultimately though, I will make a decision based on what I feel is the right choice for me at that time. Surely most people make their choices from a place of love. Love for self, or love for others, it matters not. If the choice was made from a place of love we should respect it.
There is nothing wrong with sharing our views and beliefs and it is perfectly okay to encourage others to join us in our way of thinking. We can educate and guide our fellow humans if they are interested in learning but we should never attempt to force our views on others. Again, we should not be judging people if they still choose to go with their own beliefs. Remember, everyone has the right to decide which path to travel. It is their journey after all and perhaps we are nothing more than a bump in the road they chose before birth.
Me, I do my best to be as compassionate and loving as I can be. There are many times when I think back and see there was perhaps more I could or should have done and I see that I was possibly being stubborn or even selfish. I remind myself to work harder on doing better next time. Sometimes I feel a strong sense that the time is not right to help a particular person or that perhaps I am just not meant to be joining their journey. Still other times, I feel the time has come for me to stop helping someone so they can start helping themselves.
I still judge people sometimes, I know I shouldn't, I don't believe any of us should. It is not easy to stop doing so, but I try and take a step back when I find myself being judgmental. We don't always know what is going on in another person's life. Depression, physical illness, loss of a loved one, relationship breakdown, domestic violence...the list is endless. Not knowing what their soul's purpose is for this lifetime on their journey toward enlightenment, I now try to look from a different place. A place of love and compassion. Is there something I can teach them? Can I provide some gentle guidance? Can I learn something valuable from them? Again, the list is endless and even if I have managed to turn my "judgmentalness" around, I feel I have taken a step forward.
I do find loving everyone the hardest. That's not to say I have trouble loving or showing love. Loving my nearest and dearest is not a struggle at all. In many cases, I have no trouble showing love to a complete stranger, especially one who is in need. I have spent a great deal of time showering affection on homeless people I have just met just so they know there are people in the world who care. Selfish or rude people are among those I struggle to love. Those who are the hardest to love are most definitely the ones who need it more than anyone. I'm not there yet, but I AM working on it.
What the Universe wants us to do is to love each other regardless of our differences. I have not yet attained enlightenment but I have awakened to the realization of this and so my journey continues.