Today I will release my need to know.
To control everything & everyone.
I will surrender to the path unknown.
I don’t know what lies ahead on my path.
I don’t know if I will ever get married or have kids.
I don’t know what happens after death.
I don’t know what is best for another.
I don’t know what is truly good or bad.
Darkness & light dance slowly in the shadows of my mind.
Peace, love, & compassion.
War, hatred, & fear.
Fighting for my attention.
Which wolf will surface?
The one you feed.
Three coconut trees are planted near the coast of the Island of Maui.
One palm tree focuses its energy on impressing tourists by growing the most delicious coconuts on the island. It seeks constant validation from others.
The second tree wants to be respected for being the tallest coconut tree on the island. It grows its stem thick but not flexible to impress or scare others.
The third coconut tree is small and has average coconuts. It focused its energy on building strong roots deep into the ground.
A massive storm approaches from the north. High winds howl into the darkness of the night. The storm ends swiftly the following morning leaving the coastal town in pieces.
The first tree is uprooted, flying into the depths of the ocean. It spent a majority of its life trying to please others and thus had tremendously weak roots.
The second coconut tree wasn’t flexible enough to weather the storm. It spent its whole life trying to earn respect through fear and power. Its insecurities cracked under the immense power of the storm.
The third coconut tree survives the storm. Its roots were well developed and its stem was flexible in the high winds. It wasn’t living to please others or intimidate them through might.
By focusing your energy on your roots you can weather any storm.
By staying flexible, you can bend with the strong winds of life.
A wave breaks at the shore.
Never to be seen again.
One wave allows room for the next.
It accepts its impermanence.
It allows for its transformation.
The wave is both impermanent & infinite.
Each drop of water is interconnected.
Within the vastness of the ocean.
So are you.
A deep mental fog.
Why must I be distracted from my life?
Is my cell phone more important than joy?
I must change this behavior.
Today, I will rip off the band-aid.
No more social media.
No more scrolling away my life.
In front of you is a dense forest. Alone your mind wanders of what lies ahead. The path will be treacherous at times. Will you survive what lies ahead?
Dark clouds lurk above.
Fear, worry, & doubt in every step.
Will I survive the path unknown?
I could just stay in the cozy open field.
Take the easy route.
Ride out my one life in a security blanket.
Imprisoned by doubt.
Step into the lush forest.
Embrace the path unknown.
The ego whispers “you’re right”. Unchecked, our ego will lead us into hatred of anyone who different than us. Hatred cannot be stopped by more hatred. It’s a vicious unstoppable circle of ego, fear, and hatred. Without the light of peace, the circle is infinite. Apathy & fear fuel the ego. I believe compassion and love can bring humanity true peace. Does humanity really want peace though? That’s a million dollar question. If we truly want peace we have to be mindful of the ego and its tendency to label everything as “right” or “wrong”. Labeling is the first step to hatred and violence. Labeling isn’t always bad (foods, streets, colors, etc) but when we label our fellow humans we put them in boxes; which we then label “right” or “wrong”. This distorts reality and makes peace difficult.
Understanding is the first step towards peace.
Without understanding peace is not possible. This is why mindful listening is so important in peace talks. Understanding the suffering inside another is a skill we can develop with compassion. Understanding, compassion, and peace are intertwined at their core.
Do we truly want peace or to be right?
I see this in my fellow animal right’s activists. Well-intentioned people who let their ego blind them. They care more about being right than understanding meat eaters. They end up pushing their meat-eating brothers & sisters further from plant-based living; causing more violence in the world. We all have been guilty of letting our ego take control of a conversation. I intend to show true compassion to all living beings, even those who believe the exact opposite of me. How will they know peace if we don’t show them? MLK, Gandhi, Jesus, Buddha, and Mother Theresa all preached this message of peace.
Let’s start today by mindfully listening to others instead of allowing our ego to lead into hatred. If we truly want peace in this world we must live peacefully with all living beings. By living this way, we leave the world a better place than we arrived.