Unbeknownst to the vast majority of us, we are immersed in ideas as we are raised. Even if we believe our home to be free of religion, we are still surrounded by religious ideas like right and wrong, good and bad, sinful and pure, and guilty and innocent. We think in those terms. Even non-religious people will, in times of crisis, ask for help outside of themselves. They will talk to the Universe, or to God, but they will always have an inside-outside concept. They will be self-aware, meaning there is a “them,” and that individual will be seeking help from outside themselves.
But what if you weren’t taught those ideas? What if no one judged anything you ever did? What if you couldn’t feel incomplete, incapable, or alone? What if you always felt confident and secure? What if, rather than feeling a need for outside assistance, you instead felt as though you yourself were an aspect, a portion, a finger on the hand of God? That you were made of the Universe’s core power? Are you ready for that?
I remember the brilliant ethnobotanist, Wade Davis, being interviewed on a radio program, and he told a story about how an Indian from the Amazon had asked him why white people went to churches to speak with God, when their tribe danced together and became God. Doesn’t that offer a nice explanation of the idea that God is everywhere? That we are made of God. Or Higgs-Boson. Or whatever language suits you.
Okay, so how do you realize your God-hood; or as the Buddhists call it, your Buddha-nature? How do you feel the warm salvation in your soul that you are seeking? Well, if you are God, then it is up to you to give this love to yourself. And the way to do that is to truly know yourself. And because we are all the same in these ways, I’m going to describe yourself to you:
You care. You have done many beautiful things that others will never know about. You’ve also done terrible things, but so has everyone, so just breathe out and let the narratives about those things go. Forgiveness is not an act. It is the ceasing of an act. Forgiveness is when you stop trying to have a different past and you accept that what happened is what happened and that you are still a beautiful human being with more opportunities than you realize.
There is no one that doesn’t have tremendous value. All people are worthy of their own existence. You weren’t supposed to be perfect. You also weren’t supposed to sit around coffee shops judging what your past was or what your future might be. That is the height of ego. You weren’t supposed to think about your life at all. You were supposed to dance and become one with God.
As a baby you didn’t have a plan to learn your first language, but despite the fact that languages are extremely complex, you learned it quickly. You didn’t have any ideas of what you should be, you were just what you naturally are. You pursued things for a beautiful, pure reason that all of that yakking now gets in the way of. Before your ego drowned out your spirit, you were wise and you grew and learned like crazy. But then you let judgment take over and now you’re waning. It’s time to free yourself.
You’re a very good person. Yes you’ve done things you regret. But the reason you regret those things is because you’re a good person. So don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. Make good choices today. The way to do that is by being Present for what’s happening Now. Engage with the world without the illusory veil of words about before or after.
Be child-like. Or be like those people in the jungle. Don’t judge yourself or the world. Simply dance your dance within it. That is all.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations around the world.