Saturday, July 25, 2009

In Search of...our highest good

I don't know why some people find it easier to create healthy boundaries than others. Seriously. I don't know why some people can say the word "no" without feeling guilt or remorse. Or how you can put yourself first without appearing selfish? And yet, don't you absolutely need to in order to survive and thrive? I don't know how you can be generous of spirit to yourself while being that to others, and yet I know that you can't truly be one without the other. These are the dilemmas I've been grappling with lately. Can you be supportive and loving of someone without sacrificing your own best interests? And is it possible to be loving toward yourself without disappointing those you love most?

So while I'm thinking out loud (or on computer, actually), I thought it would be nice to contemplate the idea of "highest good" because there's some part of me that intrinsically knows that what is for my highest good is for everyone's highest good, and vice versa. Now this is not some whimsical notion predicated on the idea that everything will be easy and smooth. In fact, what often is for our highest good is seldom what is easiest or smoothest, and that's because it involves one particular element - transformation. And transformation involves doing something differently than we've been doing it in order to get a different result so that we can evolve. And goodness knows we'd like to evolve without having to change anything, but that's not how it typically works. And so it can be messy. But just as the earth has evolved to reach its current state of existence, we too must be on a path of evolution on every level.

I'll be the first to tell you that I have not greeted such transformation with an open-arms, go-with-the-flow kind of approach. Mine has been more the kicking and screaming, hanging on for dear life, resistant kind of thing. The only problem with that is it really doesn't serve any constructive purpose, it takes longer, and it makes for a lot of health problems. The truth is that change can be good or bad, but the one thing that is undeniable is its inevitability.

So here I am at the part of the flight where the oxygen masks have all dropped down, and it's time to decide whether I am going to put my own mask on first so that I can then help others, or try to help others first and risk saving none of us. It seems like an easy choice intellectually, and yet, somehow most of us, especially women, do not make it on a regular basis. We choose to put ourselves last, and in the process we teach everyone around us to put us last too. And that serves no one's best interest.

So here's my thought for the day as I come to an end of my meandering - make the choices that are for your highest good - not necessarily the easy ones, not the same ones you've always made, not the ones that feel comfortable, or the ones you think will make you most popular or even liked. Get quiet and be brave enough to listen to the voice inside that knows that it knows - even when it's scary, and new, and not what popular opinion would dictate. Popular opinion once dictated that the world was flat. And that cigarettes were good for you. And that rap music would never last. (I'm kind of disappointed that the last one didn't turn out to be true.) So let's entertain the possibility that there's more good than we can presently conceive of, more fulfillment than we've allowed ourselves to dream, and a brighter future that can be ours if we but dare to ask for and choose our highest good.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

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