Posted on July 14, 2019
Earth angel? Far from it!
“It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.” dahnyoga.com
Sitting on the underground train a few weeks back I overheard a late-middle-aged couple – I guess late sixties, early seventies – bitching about someone they know. Well the woman was bitching. The man just nodded his head imperceptibly while studying the map of the Piccadilly Line.
He’d probably heard it all before!
‘Can you believe that woman?’ she spat. ‘Claims to meditate and go ‘on retreat’ (two fingers on each hand waggling for emphasis) and all the while she’s trying to stick her poor old aunt in a nursing home.’
She tutted, shaking her head, lips pinched tight.
‘What’s the point in being ‘spiritual’ (the fingers thing again) if you’ve no compassion?’
She went on to complain that ‘that woman’ gossiped, was selfish and thought she was better than everyone else and ‘didn’t have a Christian bone in her body’.
She clearly didn’t like her.
I don’t know the woman she was talking about and for all I know she may be everything the woman on the train complained about but it was her view on spirituality that I took issue with. She was implying that someone who is trying to tread the spiritual path should somehow act like an angel.
The whole point, surely, is that aiming to become spiritual/enlightened – and I include myself in that desire – is because we know we have a sack load of faults and are struggling to deal with them. We know we shouldn’t gossip; should have empathy for our fellow human beings; should not get angry or vengeful.
But we are human and often behave in a manner we’re not proud of. I know because I do it all the time!
The difference between the woman spouting venom about the person she knows and those of us walking (or rather stumbling) along the very long – and often disheartening – spiritual path is that we usually know when we are behaving unconsciously, even if we often realise it too late!
We try to control our outbursts of bad behaviour in the hope that over the years we’ll get better at it. We know it’s about making the effort – even if we don’t manage it all the time.
I have learned over the years to resist the urge to talk about my spiritual beliefs and practises when meeting new people. Some feel threatened; some assume I consider myself superior. Others have high expectations that I can say/do no wrong – and, of course, are inevitably disappointed!
It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort.