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The Force

There is a force in this world, a gentle benevolence that exists alongside us, it is actually within us but I don’t think that is where most of us experience it. I think it is seen best in others, not often enough, but it is there. It is happening and unfolding and moving all the time. We can feel it and we crave it but we are so very often seemingly unaware and act like it isn’t there.

I call it loving kindness but you may call it something else. It has many names. And it is giant like the Mississippi and it is tiny like molecules of air. It is in all that we do and all that we are and even so, we miss it. Wholly sidestep it.

We get caught up in ourselves. An endless series of thoughts, ideas, needs, wants, machinations of the egoic mind that cause us to be short sighted of seeing the force, holding the force, being part of the force because it is so near, that we mistake that we have more time.

Most of us spend our entire lives seeking it in all the wrong places, only to find it, way too late and then spend the rest of our days regretting that we didn’t see it and feel it, allow it to wash over us sooner in our lives.

Some of us wholly miss it altogether because we are too committed to selfishness and greed to pay any attention to it at all.

Others of us are in tune way earlier in life but have trouble holding ourselves still enough to really experience it. We move at the speed of life and we are so mired in the details of daily living that we forget that there is this fundamental and higher purpose to our being.

And then there are the lucky few that seem to be born into knowing the force. They allow it to command their lives, to hone them, call them forth into some other form of existence. Sure they are the priests, the ministers, the rabbis, the prophets, the Buddhas and the Jesuses. But I believe that those who exit conventional life often know it too. I have seen the force operating in the eyes of a homeless man, a vagrant woman, a shelter dog. I have seen it in the eyes of a prisoner in jail. I have seen it in the ones most ragged from the perils of life. I have seen the force be misunderstood and misaligned. But even in the most broken, the most haunted, addicted or committed to everything but the force, I have still seen it in the mad, the deranged, the miserable, the mentally unstable, the lost, the forlorn, in fact I might see it best in these people because it calls it into being in myself.

And that for me is what others are, they are opportunities to practice allowing this force, this benevolence, this loving kindness to prevail over my ideas to the contrary. It is present when you cut me off in traffic and instead of flipping you the bird, I pray for you instead. It is present when my life deals me another blow, when I was barely off the canvas, I still rise. It is present whenever there are two or more of us gathered together be it animal or human. Any being with a soul will do. Once that energy is combined even for a nanosecond, there is an alchemy of spirit that calls forth the force and gives us another chance to love.

I was talking to someone last night and he said that we are in a war between love and fear. And one day, fear will pass away and all there will be is love. And I believe him. I feel the war raging now. Our society totally polarized, judging without compassion or understanding, seeking personal gain over concern for others, racing rockets to the heavens instead of applying that intelligence to the problems here on earth. We are all spinning through space and time, burning it as if we have an endless supply.

The battle to move toward love and be rid of fear is upon us, the force beckons us all, and we distract ourselves with petty issues, online profiles and endless other addictions that keep us forever cut off from truth, from love, from the limitless existence when we allow ourselves to be fully occupied and owned by the force. And that only happens when we serve, not ourselves but others.

I don’t know that love will be the ultimate victor. But I want to believe that. I want to believe that we all can turn to the place inside ourselves where the force dwells, the place where we do have compassion and love for even those we misunderstand the most. I hope we all allow love to win. I can feel the stand coming for each of us, what will we choose? Will we turn forever toward fear and the hearbreak of living life turned away from the holiness that exists in every molecule of life? Or will we allow love free passage to teach us that which we are so afraid to know?

The craziest idea I have ever had is that the war is here now. It exists in all our minds and hearts every day. Every second we get to choose to live to love or fear to live. What is your choice? How do you show up for the life you are given? How much do you let the love lead you, to command you? How do you serve others in love and graciousness?

The force is more powerful than hate. It can survive even the most austere conditions because it is always and forever found deep in the hearts of humankind. Which, unfortunately for all of us, is the last place we tend to look.

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