I’ve come to realize that it’s quite true that all our journeys through this lifetime are quite unique. I’ve even come to believe that we make a plan for each lifetime and try to choose the best place, date, time, and even parents to be born to that might help us most to achieve the goals of that plan. Life on Planet Earth is a school where we are taught by others and we teach as well – even if it’s just by our very presence and our response to Life.
I say we are “taught” but besides “reading, writing, and arithmetic,” it actually also amounts to being programmed, by those who have proceeded us, to what is acceptable behavior. This leads us on a journey where we often can find ourselves in conflict with ourselves. What? Yes, you heard right. Our natural instincts may tell us one thing while we are torn to do what we have been “taught” is the “correct” thing to do. Have you ever wondered what it would have been like had you been allowed to follow your natural instinct? I know I have.
“And ye harm none, do what thou will.” It’s the One Law of the spiritual path I follow. What if that had been the guiding principle my parents raised me with instead of all the acceptable social norms of the time period I grew up? Would my life have been as traumatic as it was? Would I still have ended up an introvert – being shy as a child and hesitant as an adult? It’s an interesting concept to ponder.
Of course, that one sentence holds a LOT of meaning. For example, it’s speaking of intent, first of all. What was in your heart and mind before, during, and after the action that you took or the words you spoke? That would certainly teach, from a very early age, awareness of ones feelings and thoughts toward oneself and others. To me, that’s a good thing.
The “harm none” part of that One Law is all-inclusive. Not only are we talking about all people – friends, family, teachers, preachers, strangers, etc. – but all living creatures on the planet, and, most importantly, yourself. Some of us have gotten the “rules” of society down so well we’d rather cause ourselves harm than speak our truth or act on it. Teaching this meaning to children helps them to understand that all are equal in the eyes of Spirit. That’s a tool for building self-esteem – another good thing.
I don’t want to sound like I’m laying a foundation for everyone to convert to my chosen path. I’m definitely not doing that. You see, even the Golden Rule of Christianity speaks to similar principles when it states, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” I’m sure in the many other spiritual paths of the world there are similar statements that advocate treating each other well even as we do what we will.
I guess that’s what keeps bringing me back to my “pondering.” What would Life have been like with the simplicity of the One Law (or something similar) to guide me instead of all the rules and regulations of approved societal behavior? I’ve come to see how inhibited and fearful this programming in the approved behavior of a society can make a child. Once that foundation is laid, between the fear and inhibition, the growth of the true nature of a child is stunted and, I believe, can create an adult with all kinds of emotional and mental problems.
What would it be like to be your True Self from the beginning? What would it be like to be encouraged by parents, teachers, peers, etc., to be that person? Just thinking about it causes me to feel like I’ve just taken a deep breath of very fresh air. It’s a very freeing feeling.
Instead, we are often told to repress who we are and what we want in order to fit into society. Instead, many are miserable with the lives they are living, finding jobs, relationships, friends, and family to be disappointing. The truth is the answer lies inside – buried under years and years of programming and repression. Medication or self-medication has become the norm for the pain so many feel. Do you ever wonder what it would be like if the burden of those “rules” had never been laid on you? I think Life would be lighter, freer, and more optimistic.
We are told to look at Life with the wonder and awe of a child. I wonder how many of us remember those feelings. I wonder how many had those feelings and how many others never even got the chance to feel them as a child. If not, was there ever a time when a sense of freedom, joy, and wonder was felt?
I realize none of us can go back and change what was. What about what is yet to come? Do you ever wonder how you can change the course of your life from what was and is to what you’d like to have happen? It is said, “Where’s there’s a will, there’s a way.” I believe that to be true.
Maybe that “way” lies in remembering those childhood times, before all the rules and responsibilities became part of our lives, when Life was freer and more joyful. Even if you never experienced that, seek out young children and observe them. You can see and feel the joy and adventure Life brings them.
I believe it’s never too late to change what is for the better. Perhaps the answer lies in learning from the young children how to find the joy and wonder within ourselves. It’s still there. We just have to dig deep to find it I wonder how that might change our lives. How about you?