Sometimes I find myself questioning things in my life. Things that I chose to do that are not of the norm, like being vegan, homeschooling and living simply, among others. I find myself questioning myself when it seems that no one else around me really cares about these things or that the people who chose a different path seem to be happy with what they are doing. So I ask myself why can’t I? Why can’t I just forget about these things that I do and try and just be normal? Why is it that I can’t simply send my kids to school with ham sandwiches, while I go to work to earn money to spend on stuff that temporarily gives me a tingling of satisfaction that I confuse with happiness?
Yes, I have low times and times of question in my life, like any other human being. I sometimes am tempted to just forget it all and just try and be ‘normal.’ Why not just buy the food that is in the supermarkets, even if it has been genetically modified or another being had to die for me to have it? Why not just forget about this whole homeschooling journey and instead just send them to school to learn about life from others and a system that has been handed down for generations? It is hard to keep striving for love and to bring love to this world when it seems that most people seem completely oblivious to this idea of love, or the love that they do know is only a selfish love, a love of self.
It seems everything our society is based upon is this love of self and love of ease. We love ourselves so much that we don’t want to have to give up what we enjoy and what gives us some sort of satisfaction and sense of belonging. You can see this in the way that our whole economic system is fooling us into giving up our lives and thoughts in exchange for a perceived security, comfort and convenience. In church or religious groups, in the people who feel superior to others based on their beliefs. You can see it in the way that people confine, abuse and kill animals by the billions for food without so much as a thought to what they are doing because they think that they need meat and are too scared to question their deeply ingrained conditioning or they simply ‘like meat.’ You can see it in the way that we continually rape the earth, our mother, to take what we want to create things we use for some sort of selfish pleasure and then dispose of whatever it is, which in turn pollutes and kills the earth even more.
Why don’t we care? Why do we continue to act as if we don’t know any better?
Sometimes I feel like we all really do know that much of what we are doing is selfish and it is wrong, but we just don’t want to change because we are afraid. (At least that is what I would like to believe). It’s like we are waiting to see what others will do first because we don’t want to be the first one to start questioning anything or changing our ways because that would make us different and weird and here again is another deeply rooted fear, a fear of disconnection and loneliness. That fear is a valid one because we need connection with others, yet sadly we are seeking to find that connection in ways that are actually counteractive to true intimate connection. We have all methods of technology and social networking that supposedly ‘connect’ us to others, yet we feel more disconnected and alienated than ever. The connections that we make are only superficial. There is rarely anything substantial and meaningful in our present-day (internet) connections. Rarely do people really and truly want to get to know someone.
We prefer the idea we have of a person than getting to know and accept the actual spirit of the individual itself. We prefer wearing a mask and pretending to be what we think others want us to be than to let ourselves be seen for what we truly are. We are afraid of making true connections, as though we have this ingrained belief that people are bad. The news and media are always conditioning us to fear others. When we walk down the street or see another person in the grocery store (even someone we may see everyday) we are afraid to even say a polite ‘hello’ let alone anything more. Instead, we either keep an idea of others in our mind, an idea that imagines others as like ourselves, (again as a love of self) or we close ourselves off completely and choose to live in our fear and disconnect.
What has our world come to? What has been happening as we have been lulled into a comfortable, pacified existence? Do we really feel as though we are enjoying our journey when our eyes are closed? How long before we open them and start standing up for love and freedom?
When I search inside of myself for the answer to the question of why I do what I do and chose to live the way that I live, I find that ultimately it is for love and freedom. It is for living in a way that aligns with my beliefs about why I am here. I don’t believe that I am here to take my share and live a selfish, pacified existence. I don’t believe in keeping my eyes closed and conforming to a standard set for me by who knows, but that we are all here to awaken to our true nature and that it is one of love and of freedom. We have been set upon this stage of earthly existence with the freewill to choose love. We don’t have to keep living in a way that does not align with our true nature. We don’t have to be afraid of whatever it is that each of us fears. We can choose to bring a selfless love to our world.
This love can be expressed in so many ways. It is not just a flaky, spiritual idea or fantasy, but a reality that we must learn to live and breath in.
We can show love by taking the time to talk to someone and letting go of our preconceived ideas about them, instead choosing to really listen to them and to look at them as though seeing them through new eyes.
Love can be expressed by cleaning your home for your family or taking the time to curl up with your children and read a good book. Love could be sharing the last cookie or even letting another have it.
We could come to better understand love by noticing the beauty and providence all around us, how the sun is always shining and giving life to all things on earth or how the changing seasons paint a picture for our senses of our spiritual evolution.
We could feel love when we chose to see other ‘lower’ beings as our equals, as feeling, sentient beings, instead of mere commodities who deserve to live in the same love and freedom that we do and not be subjected to cruelty and death for the sake of our appetite.
Love can be better known by humbling ourselves and not letting our knowledge or understanding turn to bitter pride and superiority. By not letting our different spiritual or religious beliefs separate us from each other, but to always see every other as our equal, our brother or sister.
Love can be sacrificing our pleasures and dying to self in any manner of ways. We could choose to recycle, plant a garden or buy organic foods. Love can be taking the time to do something for someone else that would require a little or a lot of effort on our part, expecting nothing in return.
Love is not some dreamy, make believe idea. Love is not something we sit around and hope for. Love is real and is why I believe we exist. Love is what gives us life.
Today I was feeling this sense of doubt creep up inside me again. I often question my life and why I do what I do. On our walk this morning, I decided to turn back early because I was feeling tired. We took a different way home and I saw our neighbor mowing his grass. I don’t even really know him, but I do often see him in passing. He stopped me and asked if we would like to use his tiller for our garden, since he noticed that it hasn’t been tilled yet. Craig has been working nights and so we haven’t had much time to get our garden ready or planted anything yet. I told him that I am sure my husband would really appreciate that and I would tell him when he got up this afternoon so that he could go and borrow the tiller.
A little after lunch I heard the sound of someone tilling and when I looked out the window, there was our neighbor tilling the garden for us! This selfless act came as such a reminder to me to never give up on love. Even though at times we may want to question why it is that we do what we do, or why we strive to take this idea we have inside of ourselves and put it into action, we must not think it folly. When we choose love, we choose to align ourselves with the very source of life itself. We feel full and not empty in giving of ourselves.
That is why I choose to live the way I do. Even though it seems hard sometimes, I am thankful for the times of doubt and questioning too because through them I am reminded that the choices that I have made and the seeds of love, compassion and consciousness inside of myself that I choose to water daily will grow each time I choose to do so. And as those seeds of love and compassion grow inside of me, I too grow and feel myself as I was truly created to be. A being of love and freedom.