The Demons in Our Heads

It’s taken me well into my 40s to learn that we can live in our hearts, or we can choose to live in our heads.

Yesterday’s blog was a full-on rant about bad behavior. I’m over it. I’ve moved on. Life is good. It’s always good. And when things go off-track, it’s still good.

But I have to say, there were several people who emailed or called or texted to ask if I was writing about them. Anxiety-riddled. Of course not, I told them, which was the truth.

Even the people I was writing about are still good people. They still mean well, even if their visions are short-sighted or off. I don’t wish anything bad on anyone. I just want peace and harmony.

Heart-based living means that we shower the world with love. Not love as in I prefer you but love as in I can relate to you, I can walk in your shoes, you are me and I am you.

That’s the harder kind of course because we look at people walking down the street and people complaining and people driving too fast on the long straight road and we wonder what they’re thinking, what it’s like to be them.

There’s this concept that we are them. And they are us. That’s there is only one “being” in existence in the first place, and we are all connected, we are all it.

Yesterday, I was walking down Mackinac Island’s Main Street, holding my dear husband’s strong hand, and watching the people all around us. One woman wore a green and blue horizontal stripe dress that shifted and moved with each step she took. Her companion had tattoos snaking up his arms the way the leather straps of tefillin wrap around a Jewish man’s arm in the morning.

The view from behind St. Anne’s Church

People went by on bikes. Horses clopped by in the street pulling wagons of onlookers. Piles of horse manure stood fragrant in the middle of it all. We passed one of the oldest Protestant churches in Michigan and stopped at the brass stations of the cross outside St. Anne’s.

At one table at dinner, full of twenty somethings, the laughter and chatter were loud and boisterous. At the table next to ours, an old man with his shorts hiked up too high devoured the night special, ribs with french fries and cole slaw, while his overweight wife looked on, eating nothing.

There are people everywhere. We too often see the surface – the extra pounds, the too-short Lululemons on the mom on the ferry, the super-long nails, the haughty nose in the air.

Why don’t we see the souls?

We have a choice to look past the surface and see into the humanity of each person, but we don’t. We have a choice to relate to passers-by and next-tables as me-me-me but we don’t. We believe that we are singular sensations that begin and end with our own flesh and blood.

I’m afraid it’s not the truth, though.

The idea that all humanity are connected with a common thread of holiness is a tough one to wrap our brains around, but it’s closer to the truth than the stories we perpetuate in our heads and in our lives.

Nobody need be wrapped in anxiety that a story is about them. And then, if they so closely align with that story, a part of it is truly theirs.

Perhaps the anxiety-riddled worriers (of which I can certainly be one!) do realize that there’s a little bit of them in everyone and vice versa. Maybe a ranting story hits so close to the bone that it’s a wakeup call to do better, be nicer, take a strong hard look deep within and choose the path of peace.

A couple weeks ago my son accidentally called an old number for my father that is inhabited now by some man. The guy was befuddled when Asher rang asking for Papa, and the call ended when we realized he’d called the old number.

Ever since, the strange man has been calling Asher back. It unsettled him – and me. So yesterday I asked him if he could block the number. Figuring he could understand the technology better than I.

Within an hour he texted me that he figured out how to block the stranger. I had to make him a contact and then block him, he said.

Interesting. First pull them close, then cast them out.

It’s all related. If you’re reading this, I can pretty much promise I didn’t write about you yesterday. But if it strikes a chord, maybe dig deeper and see what unsettling part of you (for we all have them) could use a little smoothing.

The thing of it all is that there is no cost to being nice to others and being genuine, honest and sincere. There is no need to be defensive or harsh or mean-spirited. It’s just not necessary.

You won’t do a better job and you won’t make more friends and you won’t feel better about yourself.

So if the ranting story resonates, take this opportunity to smooth out your edges. We could all stand to do so. For in the end, we’re all the same – all connected – all one with creation.

If you don’t believe me now, you’ll figure it out soon enough. And the answer to all is love, love, love.

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