by Jessica Graham
As spiritual warriors we can run into many traps along the path. One of these is the trap of meaninglessness. It is often triggered after one has seen the inherent emptiness of self. If there is no self, what is the point of any of this? If our likes and dislikes are just waves of impermanent phenomena, and our passions and joys can no longer bring the sticky satisfaction they once did, why bother to engage with life at all?
I’ve been caught in the meaninglessness trap. A few times. It’s a fine place to visit, but not a great place to live. So, I’d like to suggest that you step out of this trap and choose to engage. We need you.
Respond with Kindness
One of the ways I’ve chosen to engage with life is through social media. I do so with intention and kindness. It actually amazing how people respond to this kind of interaction. In an age where people will tear a person apart online for how they look, kindness really matters. This kindness isn’t just for the one being bullied. It needs to be for the bully as well.
The other day I saw an ad on Instagram. It featured a model who wasn’t photoshopped. You could see a her pores and some almost healed acne on her chin. She was also fuller-figured than what we have become accustomed to seeing in advertising. I knew if I looked at the comments there would be some not-so-nice comments.
When I read through the thread of mostly negative comments, I felt my chest tighten and my skin get slightly hot. I wanted to say What the fuck? Why don’t you act like a human and stop saying these horrible things about this woman?
But instead I paused. I allowed the sensations and thoughts to billow and vibrate. I waited a moment for my body and mind to settle. Then I made a conscious choice to respond to a comment like this:
This comment hurts my heart.
The woman who had commented asked why? Again I paused. Then with kindness I responded. I shared that I too saw the imperfection, but only because a part of me still saw the imperfections in myself. I commented that our culture has programmed us to see what is wrong, instead of what is beautiful. I stayed open and kind as we conversed. And guess what? She began to respond with kindness too. Two beautiful humans working it out, allowing kindness to lead.
More and more, I’ve seen interactions go this way for me on social media. When I see someone soften and open to love, it fuels my resolve to engage. My kindness matters. Sure, it may ultimately be just a tiny drop of water in the ocean of everything, but in those moments it matters. And what else is there to do when faced with the great emptiness of everything, but love all these gorgeous humans who are doing the very best they can? Just like you. Just like me.
My Invitation to You
The traps on the spiritual path all show us how to dive deeper. Greet the trap of meaninglessness with curiosity. Find out what’s beyond the feeling that nothing matters. Find out what you are when you let the meaningless and the meaning merge. This is the dance that you’ve always been dancing, and it’s time to remember.
This is my invitation to you. Be kind. Be kind to those who don’t yet know how to be kind. Be kind to those who have a belief system that differs from yours. Be kind to the bullied and bully. In being kind to others, you will learn deeper kindness for yourself. Chose to engage. Chose to be the change. Your kindness matters.
photo by Katarzyna Grabowska