When we look endlessly at our limitations and our flaws we lose track of the immense privilege to be human. We humans have been given a singular capacity in all of creation with our ability to interpret our experience of life and to choose how to express it through our actions, our words and our intentions. Often our inner dialogue is a source of suffering because it arises from the fear of death and loss, but it can become a source of inpiration and intuitive knowledge. Both these modes of consciousness exist in the lives of people. Some people live entirely from fear, some people live entirely from trust, and a majority live in a spectrum in between these two dualities in the human condition.
For the Sufis each life demonstrates the existence of an unimaginable multitude of uniqueness. I am totally and completely unique and so are you. When I dwell in the presence of this truth it leads me to experience awe and incredulousness about both the design of life and the creator who I believe is behind it all.
My teachers explained that each human is born with a special purpose, larger than anything most of us can fathom and often obscured by our focus on getting our physical needs met. When spiritual aspirants devote themselves to a sincere intention to give and serve creation (rather than take from creation) their unique purpose will unveil itself. Illusory boundaries will dissolve. This will lead to knowing intimately their connection to everything that exists and trust in the greater design of their own life.
We cannot pick and choose what we are connected to. Once we recognize our true nature we realize that we are in everything and everything is in us. If we want to change, or change something outside of us, it is all going to happen in ways that we cannot predict, control or contrive. Instead, the changes we seek will happen by our singular unique submission to everything that is, including our own failings and of those around us.
My teacher Shaykha Shahbano said to me at one of our last meetings that when one realizes the depth of our interconnectedness one cannot commit violence any longer. Why? She said, “Because if I cut your arm I know now it is in fact my arm that I am cutting.”
We all come at life from different ways and we all have the potential to live our purpose. When I accept the nature of my inner dialogue consumed by fear based thoughts (or my limbic/ old brain),and intentionally practice activating kindness, prayer, compassion and service (pre-frontal cortex/new brain) then I’m not just helping myself, I’m helping in my own unique way to bring all of life to its natural glorious splendor.
When I am rattled by the painful emotions of a wounded inner child and intense ingratitude obscures my perception, I find it helps to remember that in all ways my consciousness ripples out through the rest of creation. It is not a judgement to stop the pain or to rise above it but a recognition that my response to life doesn’t just impact me but everything else as well.
My intentions, my thoughts, my words and my actions all matter deeply in the mysterious and interconnected web of life.