One crisp, quiet, winter morning I was strolling the walking path in our neighborhood. There is a manmade fishing pond along the path, home to Canadian geese throughout the year, and many more during the winter migration months. I stopped to enjoy the geese as they honked and preened. If I were to guess I would say at least 200 geese were floating on the still water, more than I have ever seen on the pond, even in winter. As I stood there, thanking God for the beauty and simplicity of the community of geese I noticed one white goose among the sea of gray, black, and white Canadian geese.
The white goose stood out, beautiful and perfectly comfortable among all the others whose uniqueness was not quite as evident. Was it a loner, separated from its original flock? It wasn’t an albino, that much I could see, just a different variety of goose like many others I have seen in my lifetime on farms and in zoos. I was fascinated by how freely it moved among the others; obviously, the others had welcomed it into their flock.
The animal kingdom can teach us much about tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, and unconditional love. Some like to refer to creatures other than humans as “dumb animals” but I question who the “dumb creature” is when we hear about the atrocities committed against fellow humans and animals every day on the news and through social media. For the most part, I tend to avoid Facebook because of all the horrific crimes against animals and children people share nearly every day. Stories about people who consider it sport to torture and kill innocent animals and severely injure or kill children because they won’t quit crying, spill something, or just act like children, are commonplace these days. But, children and animals are able to forgive and love even when they have been rejected, hurt, or tortured because, unlike many adult humans, they are tuned into the voice of Divine Love.
How do we return to valuing one another and God’s creation? Do we impose stiffer penalties for those who purposefully maim and kill? I know in many communities, including ours, stiffer penalties are being proposed, but by the time penalties are imposed the damage is already done. Some would say we need to return to church, but watching the news doesn’t make one think church a viable option when cardinals are being defrocked for sexual crimes against children, nuns have been raped by priests, and “dorm dads” with a formerly prominent missionary ministry are being accused of raping the girls under their care. Truly, I don’t know what the solution would need to be. I know it’s not joining a church though. Perhaps the answer is simpler than that; journey with Divine Love Energy in whatever way that makes the most sense to each one of us.
I know I keep coming back to loving self first, but I can’t change the reality. To love others we must love ourselves first. We have become a society focusing on the flaws of self and others instead of focusing on the innate good in each of us. Our teeth are not white enough, we are not thin enough, fit enough, smart enough, don’t earn enough, the list is endless and the focus of the list is inadequacy. We do not have, nor are we ‘enough’. What is the definition of ‘enough’? We all interpret it differently; as much as necessary, plenty, a tolerable amount, a passable amount, an abundance are a few definitions. Some of the interpretations are positive, others not so much. If we tend to see ourselves through the lens of ‘passable’ or ‘tolerable’ we, in effect, are saying we aren’t quite fully acceptable, but who defines ‘acceptable’? The answer is found within.
The ego is likely the loudest voice we hear all day every day. Yes, the ego warns of impending danger, beyond that however we need to tune out ego’s ramblings. Given an inch, ego will take a mile and carry on a soliloquy of inadequacy. “I can’t, I don’t have, I’m not pretty, I will never” are lyrics from the swan song of inadequacy, the song we sing just before rolling over and playing dead, accepting and embracing we are indeed not enough. Is that what is wrong with cruel and intolerant people; they believe they are not enough and so they hurt others as an extension of their own pain?
The spirit, the inward voice connected to the Divine Source of Love is much quieter. We are required to quiet the voice of the ego first, lean in and listen for the voice of the spirit. The spirit is mannerly, waiting its turn to speak, to impart the wisdom of the Universe. The spirit will speak volumes to those who are successful at quieting the voice of the ego. The quiet voice of the spirit speaks of Divine’s love for its creation, acceptance of us as we are in the moment, and reveals the energetic potential of all we can be if we listen and journey with God. The inward voice of the spirit is the purity of Divine Love and whispers unconditional acceptance of who we are without judgment or condemnation. Within unconditional acceptance lies the energetic potential of who we were created to be rather than a laundry list of reasons we don’t quite measure up.
Take a moment and listen to the thoughts and words that freely roam the hills and valleys of the mind. The thoughts and words are the seeds of our energetic potential, positive or negative, unconditionally accepting or condemning, drenched in love or loathing; the voices of the spirit and the ego. Which is louder? Listen to the tone and quality of the voices. Harsh, judgmental thoughts, condemning one to mentally flagellate self day in and day out is not from Divine Love Energy, it is not the voice of the spirit. We can choose to whom we listen; choose wisely.
The brilliant white goose swam freely among the tri-colored Canadian geese, oblivious to the fact he was different, secure in the knowledge he was accepted, he was enough. The flock as a whole fully accepting of the white goose. Although unique, he was one of their own. We are called to be the white goose, secure in the knowledge we are accepted and enough just as we are. We are also called to be the other geese, fully accepting of the unique and the different within our flock…..