Imagine for moment that you're lost. You pull over and ask someone for directions. The person says "I know exactly how to get there" and begins to give you the directions. "Make a right at the next light......".
But you think to yourself, "those directions are too hard! I'm just going to continue straight on this road and hope for the best". What are the chances you're going to get to your destination if you ignore the directions?
This morning I needed directions, spiritual directions. I couldn't get my thoughts together for a bhavana (intention/theme) for this morning's yoga sadhana class. With 15 minutes till I need to leave the house I realize that I need Divine guidance. I sit on my meditation cushion in front of my alter and I close my eyes.
Silently I ask the Divine Mother for directions. "What road should I take today?"
The intention I set for the week's yoga classes is the intention that I try to put into practice in my own sadhana and my own life. I was feeling lost today; not sure if I even knew where I was going let alone how I was going to get there.
The directions I received were very clear "PRACTICE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE". Oh man! I didn't want to hear that! I could feel my resistance - "But I do love unconditionally" - "PRACTICE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE" - There was no denying the message. I surrender to the message. I look into that mirror of self-inquiry and I don't like what I see.
What I see is that it's my judgemental nature that has been blocking my ability to love unconditionally. When someone isn't behaving the way I think he/she should be behaving I judge them as being undeserving of my love. When someone says or does something hurtful, I judge them as not deserving of my love. When someone is not loving me unconditionally I feel hurt and angry and I withhold unconditional love. It's not a conscious decision. I have always thought of myself as being a loving person but I saw today in that mirror that there is a little part of my heart that I keep hidden. Locked away - safe from injury. I am realizing that as long as I keep that little part closed I can't fully love unconditionally.
The message is clear - practice unconditional love - It's not up to me to decide if someone needs or deserves unconditional love. My responsibility is to LOVE - that's it - just LOVE and leave the rest to GOD.
The practice of stepping back from the judgement of how people should be and accepting them just as they are is going against the grain for a lot of us. It's scary to open your heart fully and completely. It leaves us vulnerable. That's were trusting in the Divine comes into play. We ask for directions and we accept.
Let's face it, some people are just easier to love than others. Some people are like teddy bears - who doesn't love a soft, sweet little teddy bear. Others are porcupines. They are prickly and keep you at arms length but they need love just the same.
If I expect to be loved unconditionally then I too must give unconditional love. Always and Forever without expectation of how it's going to be received or whether or not it's going to be returned to me. Accepting the guidance and offering to fruit of my effort to the Divine.
I got the directions I needed. Now all I have to do it follow the directions I received and I'm sure I'll get to my destination - Yoga - Union with the Divine.