What Really Makes Me So Smart - part one
Do you know what really makes you smart? How well do you know yourself on the deepest level?
Well, that’s an arrogant title! What can I say? I find the truth amusing – even about myself - and possess the boldness to speak it out loud. “Wow! What an ego!” you say? Now that you have made an assumption about where this story is going, well, just read on; you won’t be disappointed.
Seriously, here’s the story behind the story. People are suffering badly right now in this global downturn economy. People are losing their homes, their jobs, their spouses, their friends. Even the family dog doesn’t want to know them any more. People are losing their joy.
Bad circumstances vs. Joy
Circumstances outside us can be daunting when they contain negative qualities that produce fear, worry and loss. It can be difficult not to focus on all the negativity flying around your head and sometimes landing in your front yard. You may wonder when a pack of vultures will descend to feed on your misery.
This is why cultivating joy is so very important. Cultivating joy on a daily basis is like exercising a muscle, to help keep you strong through the tough times when they come. You will be able to draw upon that joy. It keeps the frantic meter from wildly clanging off the charts when you get blindsided by something so unexpected it is unnerving.
Part of the smart answer? Prayer
This is what makes you so smart? It’s part of it. Prayer is part of the answer. “Not some religious nut!” you wail. “No, not my agenda,” I answer. “What do you pray?” I pray FOR people rather than AGAINST them. I pray FOR people of other religions that are not of my own - not against them. Same goes for politics and other countries.
After the terrorist bombings on Nine Eleven I began praying FOR - not against - those terrorists and the people of those countries who hated America. I prayed they would experience God’s Love where clearly they felt none. I gave them my forgiveness, yes, forgiving the unforgivable.
Who complained the most? Other Christians! They were and still are horrified I would dare to do such a kind thing to someone who is an enemy. These same Christians read Jesus’ teachings every day and go to church every Sunday and still do not do. Perhaps some day they will understand the value in choosing to love when love is virtually impossible.
Spirit vs. ego - both wrestling for control
One of my favorite scriptures comes from the Old Testament about “Follow God, not man” and it is what validates me to do smart. It’s about following the higher level of your spirit that is linked to God, and not following your lower nature of the controlling ego. The ego really doesn’t understand much since it’s a concrete thinker and always gets into trouble – like starting destructive wars. Millions of people die needlessly all over the globe because of one thing: the selfish ego.
Long ago as a small child when I observed adults heatedly squabbling over religion and politics I decided to pray FOR people and not against them. Too often I observed many others behaving mean-spiritedly and smugly self-satisfied toward those who didn’t believe like their denomination. Yet these same people claimed citizenship to Christianity. Never mind it was in flagrant violation of what Jesus taught.
Pray FOR your enemy not AGAINST
I pray FOR those who decide to be my enemy no matter why they made that choice – religion, politics, different country, and different race or because their abusive ego cannot succeed in bullying me. Take your pick. You could call me the most unofficial official peace diplomat in the world. Never mind the world of egos did not exactly hire me. Not to worry; I work for free, always have.
Too much precious time in this short life span of humankind is spent finding fault with others. Why waste another minute giving energy to such negativity when life can be so much easier? Giving from the heart the great gift of goodwill easily transcends all languages, politics, religions and countries. It certainly has worked for me whenever I have travelled. People are always amenable to me because of it.
Goodwill works globally and eternally
An Egyptian intellectual living in xenophobic Austria when I was visiting asked me, “How do you get these people to like you?” I thought about it a minute and replied, “I make them laugh!” He shook his head as he couldn’t believe it was that simple. I spent some time relating to him it isn’t about telling jokes but rather the joy of life – like a little pantomimed comedic improvisation where there are language and cultural barriers. It is often the humor of real life situations that really make people laugh. They felt my joy and it was contagious.
Trust me; you haven’t lived until you have had a great conversation with a Middle Eastern intellectual. I was always bemused they took a woman seriously, especially one from the West. Women are always complaining men don’t take them seriously. Well, serious men do take serious women seriously. That and it helps to not have the smell of fear on you, I suppose.
Jesus inspires humankind to spiritual development
The goodwill attitude Jesus taught is why, in my mind, the inspiring message of Jesus has lasted 2,000 years. Every now and then, arriving and leaving in cycles, a virulent form of a religion arises to leave a bad taste in that generation’s mouth. It turns people off to God. It turns people off to spiritual development. They observe all this fault-finding and ask one question, “Is this as good as it gets? That’s not worth it and not for me,” is their reply. Most notably it disgusts those with impressive intellect.
We can talk later about religious people who have not yet developed into spiritual people. Everyone has to begin somewhere. Try to make sure you don’t trade one addictive behavior for another one, only sober and straight. Many don’t understand that processing their life once they accept religion takes time and is not done in an instant. It takes a lot of time to train the ego to truly accept God and rise higher to the spiritual level. Mostly, the ego likes to play in the sewer of self-destruction and the mud puddle of foolishness.
Choose to inspire yourself as well as inspire others
Let’s face it throughout history humankind has been the meanest animal around. We are supposed to be the highest life form on this planet. Sometimes that status is debatable.
Humankind also has the capacity to rise above it all to inspire and build a better life. Free will; it’s our choice. What an interesting gift free will is from our Creator. What tragic consequences too. Yet there will also always be those who choose to rise higher and ascend to spiritual status. That’s when a whole new world opens up to the joy of discovery. What do you choose?
Other spiritual articles by Denny Lyon
Blogs by Denny Lyon
The Social Poets - a blog to read poetry, nonjudgmental place for aspiring writers, also online coffeehouse for discussing the social issues in a convivial atmosphere.
The Soul Calendar - wondering about the Universe without as well as within: astronomy, physics, psychology, neuroscience and more.
The Healing Waters - a welcoming place to stress down and approach health from many angles, healthy recipes too.
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