What is your Higher Self?
For me it’s my Best Self, who I truly want to be, fulfilling all of my available potential. Of course, as it serves me.
Along my Spiritual path, I have come to believe – and want to promote – some very high-level, all embracing values I honour. They are my chosen foundation.
The pop quiz every day is: how do I manifest those values in my everyday life? A tough standard to meet. It’s like building a brick wall, with me making and placing every brick. These are the values I espouse - am I living them?
It has happened that someone’s life turns completely around in an instant. That’s not my experience (although at times I’ve tried to make it so). My experience is that of the bricklayer who, no matter his vision or intention, cannot build a wall in a day.
Instead of bricks, I’ve found within myself a number of Platforms from which I engage with the world. They developed organically as I’ve gone along trying to maintain integrity fully as I lived my life. They are all present in me all the time; I don’t have to choose them, they simply appear depending on the situation I’m in. They are my Default Programming, and now that I’ve grown them they contribute to my trust in myself that I will behave appropriately, naturally, effectively, kindly up to my standards without effort and in the present.
They include the Sweetness of Strawberries (very intimate), the Coach, the Witty Raconteur, the Cheerleader, the totally engaged Listener…I have found the freedom of not having to worry about what I’ll say next. (A Course In Miracles asks God, “Where would you have me go; what would you have me do; what would you have me say; and who should I say it to?”) I have finally gotten over a lifetime of blurting out the truth to my detriment: I once lost a major business deal because the investor I was closing it with mentioned admiringly a Bentley he had seen out front of the bistro. “What would I do with a Bentley?” I scoffed. I knew in that instant I had lost him and months of work was wasted in seven words.
Here I want to focus on one of my major platforms. It is my everyday encounter platform, for seeing people with blessing and not judgment. It is, simply, Kindness.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ---Mark Twain
You’ve heard of “random acts of kindness” – It has gone viral since it showed up from a woman in the ‘80s who wrote, “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.”
Kindness comes in two varieties, both heart-based: Attitude and Action.
In attitude it’s simply looking kindly – with empathy and compassion, seeing people as family, with respect and dignity – at Life. Try mentally Blessing people you see on the street. Or looking at someone and being able to think “I love you” just for their humanity. This is definitely not being a doormat. Sometimes the kindest thing is to say No. And your attitude must include yourself, where the steady kind thing to do is not to criticize but accept and forgive yourself with the phrase “next time I’ll do better”. I sometimes sing to myself the Joan Baez song, “Be Not Too Hard” – “for life is short, and nothing is given to man”. (I’m a believer in cognitive dissonance: I hold dearly that Everything is given to man…)
Action is another story.
What would be considered an Act of Kindness?
“There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness.” ---Dalai Lama
The definition says that kindness is a spontaneous action of goodwill, whether to our fellow men and women or Nature.
In its highest manifestation, it is the actions of the Biblical Good Samaritan.
It can be as simple as a smile of acknowledgement.
Or it could be part of your everyday life. I was once stranded in a small airport in Texas where my flight to Dallas was delayed because of ice on the planes’ wings! We would all miss connecting flights so there was a lineup of 85 for only one person who manned the computer to hook us up again. While we waited the sun was rising and melting the ice, so our flight would eventually take off. Rather than reassurance, that was more pressure in a very charged experience – we had to get re-booked before that plane took off. I was about 2/3rds of the way back. I watched the young woman intently. Passengers were cranky, some aggressive. She smiled and apologized and treated each one with kid gloves. It took a couple of hours. When I reached her she smiled and said hello, and it was as if she hadn’t just done 70 of these. It was as if I were the first passenger she handled, it was as if her day was going great. She was happy to be helpful.
That was kindness in action, and every one of us gave her heartfelt thanks.
“Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world.” ---Annie Lennox
When you act in kindness, you’re living in a kind world.
And if you’re approaching life from the platform of your Higher Self, you’ll know it’s just as important to show the same kindness to everyone else as you do to your loved ones.
“It's not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even - or rather, especially - when we'd prefer not to be.” --- Josh Radnor
Like all true virtues, Kindness is its own reward.
Imagine: What if everyone – everyone – in the world were Kind. What world would we then inhabit?
What random act of kindness could you do today? A smile for a beggar on the street? Catch yourself being kind - and feel great!