The night I was hit by a bolt of spiritual lightning

June 15, 2020

Photo by Rena McDaniel taken in Wyoming May 2020.

Big sky is calming and the rainbow coming out of the cloud looks like a bolt of spiritual lightning.

We need calm and a bolt of spiritual lightning about now.

I don’t know about you, but I have lost any modicum of patience I had with people who say stupid things, deny reality or lack human compassion. Consequently, I’ve found myself snapping back in ways that are not all that loving. RE-acting, instead of acting.

Almost immediately, I’m embarrassed by it. I know better.

So when Krishna Das did a teaching on that very subject recently, I felt like he was talking directly to me.  The teacher appears when the student is ready.

Here’s a synthesis of his teaching that night:

We get a vote in how we respond to the world around us and within us.

Whoa! What a good reminder, particularly as I shake my head at my recent knee-jerk responses to statements that provoke me. I don’t have to snap back, even if it’s my first response. My response is my choice. So very true.

First, find love within.

This very difficult time is also a good time to look within. (It’s always a good time to look within.) KD suggests that we must first find love within ourselves and also feel compassion for ourselves. Only then are we able to transform that love into social action. And social action is so badly needed today. Still. Maybe always.

Do you feel compassion for yourself? Sure, many of us feel compassion toward others, but toward ourselves?  We’re not used to that. To looking at ourselves and our failings compassionately. Not as an excuse, but with love and the desire to do better.

How we respond to the world  is within our control, KD says, and it’s important to recognize how our own actions can create more suffering for ourselves –and others.

Yes, first, look at how we create some of our own suffering. Then, we can see more easily how we impact others.

Act, rather than RE-act

It’s useful, he says, to find the strength to release our knee-jerk reactions to the world around us. To people who irritate us.  Much of the time we respond blindly with no mitigating function of consciousness or awareness. Something or someone provokes us and without even thinking about it, we lash out.

KD suggests thinking first, then choosing our action.

This hit me like a bolt of spiritual lightning. Not because I didn’t know it already–I do know we have a choice. Of course.

I just haven’t been exercising my choice as much as I could have. I haven’t acted out of love and compassion when I encountered ignorance. Instead, my responses were instant knee-jerks without an instant of thought. Not even one second of thought.  My all-too-human failings show me constantly that I am a work in progress.

Carol: Think first.

It’s a simple lesson, but like all effective ones, it came to me at a time when I needed it most.

The Universe does work in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?

If you like this kind of discussion you’ll find it several days a week on my other blog at A Healing Spirit.. Scroll down to the bottom of the home page to subscribe to the blog and get all sorts of subscriber freebies and discounts. See the blog tab to look at past posts.

12 comments on “The night I was hit by a bolt of spiritual lightning
  1. LAURIE STONE says:

    Love this and love him. Just discovered him over the past year and do my yoga to some of his songs every morning. He has a wonderful voice. Very cool guy.

  2. Diane says:

    Oh, this is SO true! Think first. Sometimes, think ONLY!
    Thank you, Carol!

  3. Beth HAvey says:

    In my post today, I tackled similar issues. I have stayed quiet for 3 years about 45, but now I can’t stay quiet anymore. THINK FIRST. Maybe that will help me quiet myself, while I take a deep breath and try not to say something I might regret. But this is abnormal, as you say. We should not have to live like this. We should be able to think and then speak.

  4. Lauren says:

    I think a lot of people are snapping now and it makes me sad. I have had t learn to bite my tongue. If I inhale deeply and exhale to the count of 10 I calm right down. I have been doing that a lot lately.

  5. Katrina says:

    most people ARE aware of their failings.
    good luck on your journey to find yours.

    • Thank you, Katrina. People may be aware of them but sometimes bury that awareness, because it’s too difficult to deal with. When we are not in touch with them, we can’t work with them. It’s always an interesting journey and a lifelong one for everyone who cares to take it.

  6. Rena says:

    I struggle with these same things these days. I was so mad as we drove across this country to see so many people living in denial. There were places that we in our masks were made to feel unwelcome. Like we were the crazy ones. I wore my mask, I washed my hands, I socially distanced and guess what I’m not sick. What are the chances that I would be sick if I hadn’t, visiting 18 different states! This is a great reminder for sure.

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