There is no right path. There is no right destination. There are an infinite number of possible destinations, and even more paths to get there. (I know that’s not possible, but you know what I mean.) Each destination is equally valid, and each choice I make takes me in the direction of one or another. If I have a specific destination in mind, I can make choices that appear to lead in that direction, but the destination itself is unimportant.
The most important part of the journey is always where I am NOW. What choices will I make today? It is the small, everyday decisions that mold my character and affect the kind of person I am and the things I will experience. Will I be kind and compassionate today? Will I be irritable and unpleasant? Will I want to be kind and compassionate, but be experiencing something that makes it terribly difficult to be anything but irritable and unpleasant? Will I love myself through all of the different experiences and emotions I have along my journey? Will I love others in the same manner, allowing them to be who they are and celebrating our differences?
There is no right or wrong choice, or journey, or destination. There is no right or wrong life. Every life, every path, has value. Each experience adds a level of understanding to the Universal experience. Everything always is as it should be. Nothing can ever be wrong because there is no Divine Plan. There is only living and experiencing. It is as it is because of the combined choices and experiences made and had by every living thing that has ever existed. Every butterfly flapping its wings, every bear hunting salmon, every person eating a banana or washing their car affects everything else.
This is how we co-create our reality. This is why if we make more compassionate choices the earth will become a more loving, peaceful place. So then we can ask ourselves what kind of world we want to live in and make choices that will lead us to that place.
It was only after I experienced suffering that I began to have compassion. I now see all the suffering in my past as beautiful, golden moments of extraordinary grace and love, allowing my heart to open and the Universe to come rushing in.
“The Buddhist way of understanding is always letting go of our views and knowledge in order to transcend. This is the most important teaching. That is why I use the image of water to talk about understanding. Knowledge is solid; it blocks the way of understanding. Water can flow, it can penetrate anything.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
This has been on my mind since my daughter was accused by one of her playmates of being a tattletale because she came to me to help her address bullying and name-calling that was happening while she and some neighbors were playing outside.
Please don’t ever tell your kids not to “tattle” or “snitch” on anyone. It’s the knowledge that they can tell you anything at anytime that protects them from pedophiles and bullies, etc. If you aren’t their soft place to land, they’ll find someone else to confide in, and that could be a very bad thing.
Once you get to the place where the opinions of others no longer have power over you, you have a choice to either look at them with disdain, saying, “I don’t care what you think,” or to shower them with love because they are just as wonderful and special as you are.
In the course of leaving my family’s belief system and forging out on my own to find my truth, I’ve realized that for the most part a person can believe whatever they choose to believe. You can find arguments and proof to back almost any belief. So then the questions become, “What do I want to believe?” and “What do I know is true?” or “What is the best thing for me to believe?”
To answer this, I must look deep inside myself and feel the truth that I can be sure of. I’m now convinced that the only way to find my truth is to be silent, to hear my own heart.
And what does my heart say? It tells me to focus on love and peace, kindness and compassion. If I do this, I will find my way to truth.