As a mother of four, grandmother of six, and “caretaker” of all those I know, it can really plague me when people are in distress.
I just want everyone to be happy!
But much as I would like to ease another’s journey, I don’t have that power.
So what is my responsibility?
I try my best to do what I can do. But when I don’t see results, what then? Just wring my hands? Pray harder?
I have found it to be more skillful to pray differently, rather than praying harder.
Instead of praying for some kind of divine interference, my responsibility is to remember the Truth about others.
And the Truth is that every one of us is The Christ — the essence of God. This is our Real nature. We can call this our Buddha nature, or use any other word that equates to the Divine.
As Teilhard de Chardin has said, “We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
So let’s first remember our spiritual nature, and pray from this.
As I remember this, I can much more easily accept what is. Wherever we are emotionally, or physically can be trusted, because Spirit is in charge and where we presently are is according to God’s law — which I don’t understand fully.
Since God is love, God’s law is always the most loving possibility every minute.
Each being must find their own connection to their own Reality, which is always within them.
Two of the statements I use to help me remember my responsibility are from the Buddhist tradition:
1) All beings are owners of their actions, heirs to their actions. Their happiness or unhappiness depends upon their actions and not upon my wishes.
2) All beings have their own journey (according to their karma).
Accepting the truth in these statements, I regain a sense of the balance of all things, and I sigh in relief.
I realize that we all get to choose our responses, but we don’t get to choose the consequences of those choices. This is karma.
By noticing our consequences each of us can gain wisdom.
So, I offer the above practice to you when you find yourself worrying about someone and wondering what your responsibility is. Here’s how it goes:
First remember that all beings are truly the Christ nature, divine goodness, in physical form. They are made in the image of God.
Then repeat either of the above statements, hold these ideas in your heart, and say them over again, relaxing more with each repetition.
Notice your feelings and your suffering, and remember that God is showing you a path out of all suffering. Give thanks!
Then use statements again, allowing their truth to percolate all the way into your heart.
When I truly respect and honor others, I remember that they are the essence of God and have access to their own wisdom.
Within them is the place where they can ask, seek and knock — and the door will be opened for them.
My responsibility? To give thanks that I can always choose to love. I can give love, and hold others in my heart.
And I can choose to trust the Christ in everyone, to the best of my ability.
The Buddha also taught “Lovingkindness” prayer:
May you feel safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you be at ease in your life journey
Yes, we do have a responsibility toward each other. It’s called love, honor and respect!