The heart has eyes which the brain knows nothing of. Charles H. PerkhurstI had to give a presentation in Banff (a mountain resort an hour west of the city) today. Alexis came with me for the drive -- and maybe even to add her commentary on my presentation.
As we drove westward, dawn lurked in the eastern sky waiting for night to tire of the darkness. Snow covered the ground, a white blanket eerily covering the world around us.
Alexis and I chatted as we drove, deep conversation. I reminded myself to listen, really listen, to what she was saying. To hear her and not hear my mind busily finding answers, solutions, responses to whatever she was saying.
At one point, she told me what a co-worker had said about difficult people who come into Lululemmon and demand attention. "I see the God in each of them."
I told her about my encounter with the reporter and Native artist. About my realization that I wasn't listening to him, but rather speaking for the benefit of the reporter beside me. "When I see the Divine in everyone I meet," I said, "I hear them from my heart."
She smiled and said, "And do you do that with the people you work with?"
It is so easy to lose sight of the global application of these 'laws' of higher goodness. In the minutiae of daily living and working, I forget to "see the God" in everyone -- not just those who have nothing or are lying bruised and battered on the road of life.
When I came back to the city I had a meeting with a woman who works for the Homeless Foundation. We had a lively discussion about ten year plans to end homelessness and the role of shelters. "We are so arrogant," she said. "We think we have all the answers for someone else when really, we never asked them what they wanted in the first place."
How can we have the answers for anyone? Even if we ask them what they want, do we have the right to give them answers no matter how well we think they will fit them? In the process of 'giving' answers, we strip them of their right to find their own path, to uncover their own truth, to discover their own value. We dis-empower the impoverished.
"I used to believe people only wanted to be loved," said Alexis. "I think what they really want is to share their love."
Give and you receive.
When I give an answer to someone -- it remains my answer. When I give love. When I give them the gift of seeing 'the God' in them, I give them what I value most -- the God in me.
"It's as you wrote," Alexis said. "My best. It's in me to give."
My best is always Love.
The question is: Are you withholding your best in the belief there will never be enough Love to go around?