When we relate to another as a thing our experience is flat and lacking in depth. We never really share ourselves; we touch on surfaces alone. When we relate to others as spiritual beings, our experience opens into a ‘vertical dimension’ that stretches toward infinity . . . We become confidantes – literally, those who come together in faith. And it is not through this faith – – the faith of creeds and dogmas – – but the simple ‘animal faith’ of resting in communion with each other and with the natural world of soil and sunlight that we touch the divine. ~ Gary Kowalski. UU Minister. The Souls of Animals.
Last night a group of friends gathered at my house for an Open Circle I host every month. Our discussion revolved around connections with the animal kingdom and how we think we fit in. Part of the lesson was the above quote. The discussion centered around several questions, but the one that sticks in my mind is this: How would you describe your place (or humanity’s place) in the family of things? Does your understanding of that place require or request anything of you?
Part of the conversation wrapped around how our animal friends are much more capable of just “being” than we are. The human race has been both blessed and cursed with the ability to “think” at a much higher level than most animals creatures. While this blessing allows us to analyze and plan, it also curses us with the ability to obsess over the past and worry about the future. We are scurrying around in our heads so much we don’t pay much attention to where we are and who we are with in the moment. Animals, on the other hand, behave and act from who they are. When loved and cared for, they bless us with unconditional love and are ready to just “be” with us at any moment in time.
Don’t worry, I will get somewhere with this. Over the last several years, I have been actively living a life of heart connection rather than living in my head so very much of the time. Now, I don’t always succeed in stepping out of my head quickly enough, but I’m getting better and better all the time. (Practice does make perfect.) It occurs to me that because of this, my divine path is opening up before me and that the more I open myself to my heart, and the act of being in heartfelt communion with whomever I am with, the path will grow wider and wider as I move forward. My place in the family of things requests this of me; this is my purpose: Creating connections
My circle of friends is growing exponentially, both on a face to face level and through the time/space continuum (what I call the Internet and the telephone). My friends bless me with their presence daily. They include me in their life experiences – in joy and in sorrow. We help each other and we share the energy of life with each other.
Today, I say thank you for being my friend and send you unconditional love, the very best gift I can give when I am being who I am.