“Imagine a tiny spark of the essence of God existing deep within each of us, like a tiny flickering candle within this dark room. If our minds and emotions are distracted by the competing spotlights of greed and wealth, jealousy and lust, pain and depression, elation and euphoria, or even thought itself, we become blinded from seeing the tiny flickering candle in the center of our atman, our soul.” [Spoken by a character in Breathe of God, while describing the foundation of Hinduism and subsequently many religions, based on The Upanishads]
A dear friend commented on my post, Shine On, Soul Beacons, Shine On (click link), stating that she sees her energy as the Divine that flows through her and outward, keeping her replenished. And I heartily agree! But she also mentioned concern over giving her energy away (depleting herself) or taking on the energy of other’s (not wanting to take on negative, fearful, hurtful energy). This is a concern I’ve heard echoed by others, so I thought it was a good place to start a dialogue.
I picture my energy source as a “River of Grace,” an ever-flowing stream of Universal love and energy. Yet any river will go stagnant if it is stuck in one place. Therefore, by letting it flow outwards and shine on others (no matter who they are), I am constantly keeping my divine river charged with healing energy. This is much harder to explain than to experience! So you will have to practice you own techniques and see what is best for you (see starting point at end of post).
I warn against pre-determining who has positive energy that you want to share in versus those you see as containing negative energy you want to stay away from. I found that those with the most negative, caustic outlooks are the ones who are hurting the most; who most desperately need someone to see them, and share their light and love. It is not up to us to decide who “deserves” the light of the divine. A person’s exterior rarely reflects the true nature of what lies beneath. (Think about yourself, with chronic illness, and the oft-heard comment, “but you look so good!”). No one wants to be pre-judged by their “cover.”
There is no “giving your energy away to the extent of depletion.” The divine source is endless! The problem lies in each of us living in fear of this imagined depletion, and keeping the light of our Soul Beacons all to ourselves.
Rabbi Laurence Kushner wrote, “If everything is connected to everything else, than everyone is ultimately responsible for everything. The more we comprehend our mutual interdependence, the more we fathom the implications of our most trivial acts. We find ourselves within a luminous organism of sacred responsibility.”
This is not a burden, it is a gift! We are there for others, as they are there for us.
I’d like to leave you with some final “food for thought:” a simple exercise you can attempt at any time…
Next time you go to the store, notice if you feel harried or overwhelmed. Many times we move through the store as zombies; trying to “get on” with this chore so we can start living our “real” lives. Instead of looking as your trip to the store just a place to pick up food fuel for your body, try to look for opportunities to re-fuel your Soul Beacon, too.
The best place to do this is in the check-out lane. Watch the cashier while you’re waiting in line. Observe the interactions. Most times, there is little if no eye contact between cashier and customer. The customer may even be complaining or perhaps even ignoring the cashier, tapping their foot in exasperation.
There are so many moments in our life where we are only waiting for the next moment when our life will begin, instead of seeing each moment as a possible beginning.
Use this lesson as a new beginning. When it’s your turn at the cash register, greet the cashier by name and ask them how they are doing. Perhaps make a sympathetic comment about how busy they are today or that they look like they could use a break. If you don’t know how to pronounce their name, use that as a starting point (“What an unusual name. How do you pronounce it? Oh, hi ________, that’s very pretty!”) You will be amazed at the physical transformation in this person that has changed from a “cashier” into a “human being.”
Treat this person as you would want to be treated. No matter how hurried you are, think about this pretty thankless job this person is doing; one that makes your life easier. As you engage them in conversation, notice how much quicker the time goes. And even more importantly, notice the physical change in the cashier. Most times they start to stand straighter, make eye contact and smile.
Now this is the most important part of the exercise: when the transaction is complete, say “Thank you” and their name. If nothing else, just doing this one part will make a difference. For both of you.
As you leave, you may want to look back. I am always amazed at how differently the cashier now approaches the next customer… with a warm greeting, with a proud stance. That’s their Soul Beacon recharged, now shining their light on another.
Notice yourself. How do you feel? That’s your Soul Beacon glowing brightly. Not only did you shine your light on another when you were feeling depleted, that light recharged their energy and, in return, they shone back on you, recharging your own energy source.
This is a simple yet very clear way to see energy in action… being passed from one, back to another, and on to the next. You’ve started a chain reaction. The more you practice this (at the bank, gas station, restaurants, etc.) the more natural it will become. And, soon, you will notice that others around you are exhibiting similar, positive energy-interactions. . . because this process is contagious.
“Divine abundance follows the laws of service and generosity. Give and then receive. Give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.” (Paramahansa Yogananda)