We all know in our minds that it is good to be kind to others. It is good to treat others as we wish to be treated. These are moral concepts that we have been taught since we were little. Share your toys. Don’t be selfish.
Yet at the same time, as we grow up we are also taught in abundance the opposite lesson. In so many ways we are taught to disrespect our self, to constantly shame and judge self and others. We are taught to compete, to try to be better than the next person. We constantly worry that we are not good enough, not attractive enough to earn love and appreciation from others. Our entire culture and social conditioning teaches us to live from our ego-minds, not from our hearts. In the end, we love neither self nor others. We feel lonely, afraid, and mistrustful of others. We even mistrust our self, because we can’t remember who we are and what makes us feel happy, loved, and safe.
I have been working hard to awaken, to remember who I am. Every day, I work diligently to clear old templates, programs, and energies which do not serve my highest good. Part of this process means being kind and compassionate, right? As it turns out, it does and it doesn’t. Yes, we all need to love self and others because we are all one energy, all one heart. But we are all living in different worlds for the time being. Some of us are in complete separation and totally asleep. Some of us are awakening. Some are completely awake.
A person who is completely awake will never use or manipulate you. They will never ask for something they cannot provide for them self. They are not needy, because they know they have access to the full abundance of the universe at all times. They have mastered self love.
A person who is awakening will make an effort to be conscious throughout the day. He or she will stop in his or her tracks and say: “Was I just falling into victim mode?” “Was that old habit talking through me?” As we awaken, we realize as fears, anxiety, feelings of not being enough – not strong enough, brave enough, attractive enough- will surface many times throughout the day. Instead of identifying with these feelings, we try to observe them and to give that part of our self the love it needs, without falling prey to the program. It is really very challenging and requires great effort and vigilance. A person who is awakening will probably work at being mindful when perceiving need.
Depending on your childhood and experiences in life, you will feel lack in different areas. For myself, I struggle with trust, with being able to provide for myself and my family. Being part of a group (or not) is a big trigger for me. I can’t abide hierarchy, but when I find an interest group, I find myself worrying about being judged or excluded. It was OK for me to build walls around my heart and keep a distance from other humans. But I can see where healing is needed in this area…because I still care (somewhat) about being rejected by others. This is a symptom of separation, a place where my heart still needs to open.
Another area that is challenging for me is feeling competent. I was conditioned to believe that (in my family) women are artists, but that artists can’t earn a living doing what they love. Men are not artists, and they make good money. I internalized this belief system, and consequently, over many years, I kept sabotaging my own success. I would get to a point where I was about to be really successful in my art career, for example, and I would do something or behave in a certain way to cause everything to collapse. Now I am more conscious about my desires, choices, feelings, and actions. I want all of these to be aligned with my conscious intentions, and not to be sucked in to unconscious programs which are always running in the background. All of this is part of the awakening process.
Learning to be kind to self and others is a very complicated process, because we have to deprogram our self, which resides primarily in the mind, but also in the body. It is as if every single human being on Earth was a member of a highly destructive cult, and we each need to find our own way out of victim consciousness and codependency into sovereignty, self-awareness, and self-love. Our cellular structure is impregnated with every belief we ever thought, and reinforced each time we think it. Every time we feel ashamed of our thighs, toenails, acne, or whatever perceived flaw you think your body displays, your cells are recording this belief. Each time you or I fails to love self and body as the perfection it is right now, our body records the energy signature of the thought. The repetition of this process leads to emotional imbalance and physical disease.
In my awakening process, I have been working every day to love myself and to be more loving and caring to others. Usually, it makes me feel good to do something nice for another person. To acknowledge their presence and their importance. To smile and make contact. Maybe give a few dollars to a homeless person.
But last week, I sensed a shift in myself on this issue. When I drive home from work, part of my trajectory is on a road where many cars are entering the main road from secondary streets. At first, I told myself, I need to let in as many people as possible. Not be selfish. Relax, even though my commute is long and I want to get home as quickly as possible. As the days went on, I let more and more people go in front of me, but I wasn’t feeling happy about it. Almost no one acknowledged my gesture with a wave. I started to feel irritated and frustrated. Why should it matter? I told myself, part of this process is to teach others by example…so that they make an effort to slow down and think about others. I also felt frustrated that so many people are still behaving in such a selfish manner. Aren’t we in the midst of the biggest shift in human history? Why am I not seeing it in the people around me?
Then, one day after work last week, I walked into my local WalMart to buy some first aid supplies because our dog bit my son on the hand. A woman who looked to be about 30 years old, wearing sunglasses, nicely dressed, with a month-old or so baby in a frontal carrier asked me for money. At first, I sweetly answered her: “I’m sorry, I don’t have any cash on me today.” And my inner voice then came in really strongly. It said: “Don’t give her anything. She is being manipulative. The baby belongs to her sister.”
A lot of mixed feelings of guilt, responsibility for others’ happiness, and a bunch of really old co-dependent programs from my own past rose up to the surface. I was always the scapegoat for my family, charged with carrying everyone else’s shadow. I thought I was done with that. Apparently not. Wow, I thought. Yeah, I’m not responsible for her or for her (or her sister’s) baby. She is an adult, after all. And the message, in reality, was this: Is “helping” others really an act of kindness? Does it serve the greater good of that person for me to help them?
As it turns out, this is a case by case situation. For one person, it may be a life saving gesture to receive a single hand-out. For another, it is simply an act of enabling which keeps them from taking charge of their own life. When we are kind, we serve the greater good…always. This may be easier to assess but harder to act on when we know a person and where they are coming from. We know more or less how mature another person is when we have spent some time with them.
So how can we know what to do, when we don’t actually know the person who is asking for help? I believe that in both cases (when we think we know someone and when the person is a complete stranger) we should listen to our intuition or higher self. We actually do know what is kind and what is not kind. When we shift our consciousness from our mind, which contains only information we have learned from family, friends, and society, to our hearts, then we suddenly are able to access all of the information in the entire universe. Our hearts know how to communicate with Gaia, or Mother Earth. Our hearts can talk to trees, plants, and animals. Our hearts are telepathically able to read energies from other human beings. Once we refine our own ability to read energy, which requires clearing out the old mental programs and conditioning, we become truly human again. It becomes easier to care in a smart way.