As I reflect on the commonalities in the lives of Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the Dali Lama and so many others, I’m wondering if in our own personal efforts to do good, the truth of the matter is that we will be rejected, misunderstood or something worse for the effort toward kindness, human compassion and the good efforts we offer.
We never will succeed at right if we expect unconditional receptivity, understanding and a genuflecting appreciation for what we offer to ourselves and others. Maybe this is why so many spiritual writings refer to just living the good without expectations, fruit or reward. If we only did good for its fruits, we would live in discouragement. We even tire of loving ourselves because it doesn’t seem to “do” any good! We give up the effort so easily.
For those who have realized good is given for its own sake, without expecting any return, they live their good freely with determination, self-authenticity and a tenacity not dependent on the opinion or reaction of others. Is this the Good of God working then; to give without expectation or need of a return?
I then question if I have accepted and appreciated without question all God has given me? Of course not, for what God gives and how God gives, I find, is not of my conditioned world experience of determining what is and what is not ‘acceptable’ to me. Sobering reality! (I think I’ll give up whining and complaining for Lent this year.) The ‘Yuk!’ does have a great purpose for my life and my soul and in turn, for others.
Maybe because of this hidden paradox of loving for the sheer need of love to love, I’ve found nothing changes in my life until I unconditionally (which means accepting without understanding) receive it believing in its good potential. I’m coming to understand this process as the experience of the grace of God’s works in my life.
I refer to these difficult conditions or situations as ‘psychological hairballs’ as they are difficult to accept, or integrate, or digest into what I want and don’t want. I remember though, that as in nature, psychological hairballs (depression, anxiety, unemployment, relationship problems, loss, disabilities, brokenness, etc.) do have a way of spiritually resolving; it’s a process, it takes time PLUS effort and a little sweet dose of patience and hope in the Creator of the way of it all helps.
Forms of prayer have been my process for coughing up unwanted material matter finding they didn’t matter at all in the large scheme of the way things work. They were the tool, the way, the impetus for change, and surprisingly, for getting what I really wanted, but didn’t know I wanted because I was too caught up in how I thought things should be.
As usual, I was in left field.