Poke, Provoke, Confront, Elevate
Here’s a little secret: Everything you think that you hide about yourself is readily and easily seen by those you want to hide it from. Surprise!
Are you insecure? That quality is flashing above your head like a motel “vacancy” sign. Judgmental? It projects out of your gaze. Impatient? May as well carry a trumpet. As a matter of fact, every single so-called negative personal quality has its own little minion herald who walks in front of you wearing a sandwich board and hollering through a megaphone, alerting all and sundry that you are, in fact, insecure….judgmental…impatient….fill in the blank.
So, now, accepting that, let’s move on to think about the amount of energy you (we) expend trying to run out in front of our own heralds. Think about the amount of energy we expend trying to pretend that they don’t exist, or trying to convince others that what they see isn’t at all true. Think about the sheer amount of delusion/ illusion that creates. Think about the layer of dishonesty that coats you with. Think about yourself, walking through your whole life never accepting and loving truly who you are.
It isn’t the end of the world, having negative qualities. We all do. But if we can start to accept them, then we can work with them. Then we can integrate them and polish ourselves up a bit. Then love can come through, and we can begin to access one of our greatest gifts.
Because here is another secret: You are a mirror for others. The light of your being reflects Sat, truth, and helps them to see themselves more clearly. Ideally, this reflection is free of your personal distortion (not easy!!!!), and shows them what they cannot see. This is a gift even if it seems harsh. This is a dharma, a duty, and to shirk it only perpetuates an illusion that –while perhaps pleasant in the short run—does no services in the long run. We are here to help others on their journey; I am convinced that is our sole (soul) purpose. Love, compassion and truth are the only ways to honour that.
So. Poke. Provoke. Confront. Elevate.
This is Yogi Bhajan’s recipe for waking up. As a mirror, as a being who reflects Sat, you are responsible. You cannot simply swim around in a person’s illusion and call yourself a friend. An acquaintance, sure, a comrade, sure, a co-worker, sure, but a friend? A lover? A teacher? Never.
With love, always with love, poke. Show them what you see. Provoke, make them see it, too. Challenge the delusion that we all carry. We aren’t perfect. Hell, most of us are as crazy as belfry bats. And guess what? That’s okay. Everybody has bullshit. Everybody has baggage. Pretending that you don’t, or allowing somebody else to, doesn’t serve any evolutionary purpose. That kind of behaviour is like throwing a party on the train tracks, inviting all of your friends, and then spending the evening convincing each other that the train isn’t coming.
Not smart. Because you can’t ever hide from yourself. Not truly. You might give it a go and have some measure of success, but in the long run the crap you have to work on will leak out. Those little minion heralds will just shout louder and make a bigger scene. If you never handle it, the crap only gets worse, more intense, and more irreparable. Why allow that to happen to yourself? Why allow that to happen to the people you say that you “love”?
Do yourself a favour. Do your tribe a favour. Be honest. Plainly honest. Poke. Provoke. And when the time comes, confront. With compassion, always with compassion, confront. You don’t have to shove your mirror in somebody’s face; if they won’t see then they won’t see. But don’t you dare put that mirror down! If you have love, be resolute! Take the chance that they might run away screaming, but do the right thing for them and for yourself. Don’t be afraid to confront those behaviours that are holding somebody down.
If you love, it is the right thing to do. If you love, you are willing to risk the loss in order to help elevate another. If you aren’t willing to risk your personal attachment, then you aren’t willing to love. It’s that simple.
Elevation is messy. It isn’t sitting in a lotus pose in a quiet room, muttering mantra to yourself and feeling pleased about your organic cotton yoga pants and vegetarian lifestyle. Elevation is battle. It’s dirty, bloody and brave. It is risking your personal comfort, your personal illusions, and your emotional safety zone in order to be a force for good. Elevation is sacrifice of the most ruthless kind.
But what more noble goal is there? When you leave this world, would you rather leave behind a large estate, or an army of people whose experience was better for you having been? What do you think matters more?
Poke, provoke, confront, elevate and journey on…..