Want to Be Spiritual? Change a Bed Pan.

Want to Be Spiritual? Change a Bed Pan.

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” ~ Mother Teresa

I see so many people trying to be spiritual, yet failing to see what it means to be human. They can talk enlightenment, how to massage their chakras and how to make a great green smoothie, but can they be silent enough to hear what others are saying? Can they talk slow enough to offer space for the words of others? Can they offer enough empathy to simply be with another’s experience, without enlightening them? Can they rest in curiosity with another, asking question after question about that person’s experience, without turning it back onto themselves, their processing, their high-level perspectives? Can they refrain from giving the significant platitudes, the spiritual dogma, to speak the language of a child?

How spiritual you are has nothing to do with how many chakra books you have read. And it has nothing to do with how many awakening experiences you have had. There are plenty who have had awakenings, and claim to be enlightened, yet struggle to have any social or emotional intelligence. Rather, being spiritual boils down to how well you intermingle with the humans on this planet; how well you do the little things, speak the little things, offer space for the little things that desire to emerge in others. How well you donate your time to the needy, spending hours with those who don’t speak a single spiritual word. How well you speak the language of the masses. How well you get into the gritty corners of life, where suffering exists. Not up there in the sky, but in the trenches of this muddy earth, getting messy.

I praise those who change the bed pans for the elderly; tend to the dying child in the hospice; patch up an abused animal; fill our baskets at the farmers market. Those are the “spiritual” ones. They are the courageous warriors who live in the reality of the human realm, feet anchored, hearts breaking open to what it means to be an ordinary person.

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Check out Vince’s book: Wild Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart

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