Remember Frances Moore Lappe’s excellent book, “We are what we eat”? She was most perceptive. But, truth is, we are even more. We are ALL that we ‘eat’ in every way: all that we expose ourselves to, all that we ingest, all that we embrace intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, all we associate with, and all that we find ourselves attracted to. We do
emerge from the great amalgamated sea of worldly waters, manifesting our uniqueness from all those waves and depths that have washed through us. We are one with them all; we are our unique little eddy, a drop, wave, or water spout. We may wonder how we have assimilated and arisen as we are, and we observe others birth themselves in icy oceans, in tropical waters, or in deep subterranean, dark depths. All of us unlike all others, having become what we have floated in, while we are all simultaneously one with the waters that hold us all.
At a less metaphoric level, but not losing this wonderful big picture, we first float and integrate into our physical expression and emotional view of the world when in the womb, then in our mother’s arms, and then in our early family experience. That is when we learn who we are and what is safe. We trust caring and nurturing. Survival depends on being in that environment and with those people. Fear arises when we are with strangers and in unfamiliar places. When that fear arises, it must be soothed as those we are safe with teach us to embrace new things. If we sense that fear arises in our safe people tackling new and unfamiliar people and places, we learn that they cannot handle such challenges, so we fear the new too. We follow our caregiver’s lead and handle the new with anger, rejection, fear, tears, or emotional disintegration. Those who feel unsupported, who lose their safety with their caregiver’s disequilibrium when new and different challenges arise, will retreat fearfully back to the known instead of enthusiastically going forward to find out who they are in the new world.
The child who learns to embrace the challenges of new and different experiences, develops the emotional skills to integrate and balance themselves ever more successfully during times of challenge. They develop a relationship with themselves that supports seeking to expand to meet the world and all that it is.
But no matter the permission we are taught, to expand or retreat, we all long to be whole. We push to be whole. We each are a dynamic energetic flux of potential that gradually reveals itself over the course of our life. We are potential catalyzed and then manifest through our many physical, emotional, psychological and age related aspects of self. If we are healthy and feel supported and encouraged in our self-expression, we push into wholeness with enthusiasm and confidence. If we do not, we may repress or hide aspects of our self. What is disowned and unexpressed will energetically long for completion, and we will feel pain. When the most natural pathway is blocked, we may find less appropriate ways to handle potentials on our path to wholeness. We may even find secret and unsupported ways to be whole. Our innate push is to become all that we are meant to be! But when there are obstacles, we will do anything to manifest, even with some extra twists and turns.
Even though no one is ever their ultimately healthiest possible self, flowing effortlessly and without obstacles from infancy to completely realized being without challenges along the way, those lucky and loved can flow with much faith. Inner wisdom will blossom and allow their path to be a rewarding revelation of their inner self. Some will joyfully find themselves at the end of their life quite satisfied at all that life brought forth from within them. Others, sadly, may feel that life was a tragic struggle of non-fulfillment. What was never owned or actualized tormented them with longing. Their alternative paths to fulfillment may have been more self-destructive than self-actualizing.
But with whatever path unfolds for us, opening with ease or with struggles or somewhere in-between, we all keep pushing towards wholeness even unto death. A magnetic pull commands us to keep reaching out to all that stimulates our growth, while taking the healthiest paths possible. We weave around conscious and unconscious barriers to embrace disowned parts of self and bring them to the fore, constantly calling us to continue in our growing experience. We see this when a plant is placed on a table in poor light. Even though watered, our little plant grows towards the source of light even if it must become stringy and ungainly to gather every ray. It knows what it needs to survive. Day by day, it grows as it can to maximize survival. It is magnetized to be attracted to what it needs to live.
We do that too… We also may become rather ungainly in our pursuit. Sometimes others are confused by these various expressions of self and wonder what might possibly be wrong with us. They don’t appreciate that we are so starved for sunshine that we will contort our precious body in order to get what we desperately need. It is harder to see that human beings are struggling for survival, or even gleefully growing into wholeness and completion, and that all is self, grown through this mystical amalgamation. Others don’t see the shaping of those underlying magnetic tugs. They don’t see that living beings are swimming in the waters that they need to become all that they are becoming. They don’t know that we all are living where we need to live, doing the work, living with the people, eating the food, wearing the clothes, moving their bodies, embracing ideologies or intellectual approaches to all that the universe offers up to each of us to munch on or devour. Even more confusing to others are the contortions that grow out of various glitches and challenges that enable many to keep growing into wholeness, while owning their not yet-owned or disowned aspects of self. Whether painstakingly or with jubilation, beings never give up on living their life to the fullest.
Would we re-consider our judgmental observations of others if we reminded our self that each and every one are trying hard to become themselves?
Even when one’s becoming looks skewed or disordered when held up against some fantasized norm, that individual may well be trying to embody a growth task and courageously, just not giving up. It is quite likely that if they could reframe their behavior in their own awareness as their wisdom push or explain it to others as an attempt to become whole, they might not judge themselves. They would be better able to see what the task actually is and understand why they are so magnetically drawn to it. The more this wisdom is known to us and seen as a most valuable process, the more one will gain ownership of this self that has been obscured to us in various ways.
Often, as we observe ourselves through a more typical world view, we find that we conceptualize within a template of right and wrong, black and white, good and bad. We want to proclaim that our ways of being, our beliefs about politics, religion, life, or anything at all, should be true for all. But what if we are to see that another needs their particular way of being, of believing, and of exploring life in order to fully become themselves on their path? Ordinarily, we might see that various illness, addictions, personality disorders or mental illnesses, or life activities could well be perceived as a path towards death. When we see within an energetic emerging of life, we can envision the motivation within as a path to a higher form of survival. That is their perfect way for their self-realization. If we hold a view that honors the perfect unfolding of energies within, we wish for each and every one of our fellow travelers to find insight into what will enable them on a path fulfilled instead of piling on obstacles that could derail them or even invite their death. And yet, it may well be that what might be perceived as obstacles are actually the fastest path to all that one is in their emerging.
In truth, everyone’s path is perfect. We each do the best that we can with what we have been given. We never give up. We might consider our path driven in part by the unfolding of our karma, or the wisdom push of an inner God-self, Atman or Buddha, or the psychological and emotional maturation beyond our wounding, or even as the biological template that perpetuates our species survival among all living things. It might well be all of that, or, we just “don’t know”. No matter how we conceptualize the process, we can see that it manifests effortlessly in all of nature in inexplicable and undefinable ways. Everywhere, we see that living things push against all odds to survive and to perpetuate their gifts to the world. Sometimes that survival is more a battle than a celebration. Yet, if we hold our metaphor of our one ocean and all that is as unfolding perfection, integrating and amalgamating all energies entering the process of becoming, we are in awe. There is nothing to say. We let go of all fabricated emotional stories in which we have a fantasy of knowing or understanding. We can only appreciate the great teaching of life becoming through each little drop of water, each ripple, each eddy, each wave arising and falling away into the great sea.
We were each birthed in the waters unique to our life. To fully develop and evolve into all that we are, we need to nurture and support the next evolving aspect of self that emerges on our path to wholeness. We must float in the waters that nurture and support that next growing self. We must fully know and assimilate that self into all that we are. Then, our next step emerges for ownership and expression, and then, the next. Gradually, we experience this process with more awareness. We allow ourselves to feel strongly the magnetic pull towards that which will enhance our physical, emotional, psychological, subtle energetic qualities, and the spiritual vision of all that we are becoming. We are knowingly fed and nurtured by all that is around us and arises within us. At different times of our life process, we find that we need specific ‘foods’. Just as a tiny child knows what their body needs nutritionally to be healthy and to grow, we are tugged throughout life towards all that we need for our optimal growth and the ownership of each evolving aspect of self.
To hold this view and to hold each living thing within it with an appreciation of the perfection of swimming in the waters needed for becoming, we can rest effortlessly in letting others be as they need to be. We have no need to direct their activities, to fix their ways of thinking or behaving, or in trying to live their lives. When we can lift the obstacles of our judgment and share compassion in securing their alchemical needs, there will be free and loving expression and far less aggression directed at imaginary enemies. There will be less fear and less need to see others as objects of fear. Ideologies and the need to have others believe in the world that we believe in will be understood to be archaic and narcissistic. We will encourage one’s brain and body and self to develop the qualities that they need as they grow to become their highest self.
We can all trust the perfection into which we were birthed and all that we receive on our journey. Even those that struggle enormously or fearfully are perfectly growing themselves and owning themselves into wholeness. Our only task is to remember to leave behind our judgmental mind. We can instead remember perfection. We then rest effortlessly, floating in the waters with equanimity and gratefulness. We are deeply relaxed. We allow ourselves all that we need to nurture our growing self. Be your little drop, your ripple, your water spout, your eddy –
but do not forget that you are one with the great sea. “We are members of a vast cosmic orchestra in which each living instrument is essential to the complementary and harmonious playing of the whole.“ – J. Allen Boone
Ours is not a journey of individuals alone. We are interdependent and inseparable with all that is, in every way. Just as the drop of water is inseparable and interdependent with the great sea, as we evolve, all grows with us; influenced by us. We mirror each other and they mirror us, in bas relief, shadows, reverse images, depths and surface, birthed and birther, eater and eaten, all dynamically refocusing again and again as we are stimulated and motivated, changed and molded by each other, and all as One. As one heals, all of us heal and emerge with ever-growing wisdom. Together, we are a vast organism unfolding in perfect balance and unanimity. We stir, reconfigure, stimulate, engage, and separate, again and again, to find our one flow to complete perfection.
Waves rising and falling away, the depths roil, the surface ripples, and we are ocean.
And we are drop.