“God brings them to me and I bring them to God, or to the awareness of God. That is my purpose.”
“But it sounds like you’re teaching them magic.”
When I’m teaching a lesson on how-to-be I try to use myself as an example, often as aa negative example. I can be preachy but I’m always teach-y. In other words I don’t admonish them to be more patient or tell them how to be patient. I give an example of how I lost my patience and how I learned to be patient by being in a situation where I wasn’t. I make sure to laugh at myself. I don’t show myself in a perfect light.
I warn against dualisms or what some would call ‘black and white thinking’. I teach them that there are always, always, always grey areas. I tell them that there is the thing in itself, like the hub of a wheel, and the spokes which are multiple explanations of the hub. Those explanations can be partially true, even if they are in contradiction, they can each have an element of truth in them.
I teach them about motivations. We are all beings of spirit, ego, and matter. When we do or feel or think a thing there are many reasons why we do so. They all work together to make an impulse to do. Motivations are never singular.
Someone once accused me of doing something kind – bandaging open wounds kind of kind – because I wanted people to like me. They used the word “just” saying “she just does those things so people will like her and think she’s a good person”. True, but only if you remove the word “just”. There are many motivations that move us. I admit to being a people-pleaser. I do want people to like me. I do seek approval. I think we all do that to a greater or lesser extent. But I also feel pain on others’ behalf. My empathy level is high. I can’t bear to watch suffering if I can have a hand in relieving it. I do feel an obligation to do what I can when I can. I do want to serve a higher purpose. I do want to serve God.
Which is the more powerful motivator? Ego? Spirit? Instinct?
Those who wish to see things in a certain light might always say “ego” and forget that we’re more complex than that. If someone is committed to painting you in in a negative light then they will amass the most unfavorable evidence against you to support their commitment.
I say, do good anyway. Don’t worry about being misunderstood. Those who are able to see the many spokes on the wheel will see them. Those who only want to see the one spoke that makes you seem bad, oh well. You can’t spend too much time or energy on those who cannot love you. Detach with love.
I try to be humble. I admit my shortcomings, publicly, in blogs, in class, where ever I have a teaching moment. This doesn’t make me “good” it just makes me do what I do. We each have our dharma to fulfill, our duty. We each have our talents to maximize and our purpose to fulfill.
We don’t have to be perfect, we can just be.
We don’t have to be understood by everyone, we can offer to those willing to accept and be ok when others are not willing.
We don’t have to look good at every moment, we can look different to every set of eyes.