Ida Lawrence, Contributor
Empathy for the poor and the homeless comes from somewhere, just like with all things, ‘been there… done that’ gives you the feeling of a particular experience. You have felt the disdainful glare… and it makes you tender hearted when the homeless man approaches. No matter that it might be self-caused – you know he longs to feel dignity, and so you offer some money and tell him, “I wish you the very best.” And you mean it.
Last night I was talking with a very wealthy man, listening to his experiences. He told stories about his friends, and these were the oddest stories… so far outside my realm of experience. “Wow, you really know some strange people,” was all I could say. What stood out? The fact that I had never lived that… I had no feeling for it. And I confess… I was grateful.
I have nurtured the belief that a focus on money would take me away from my purpose. So it seems this belief is a personal challenge of mine, and maybe it is yours too. Can we step outside the system’s control, focus on the spiritual, and have plenty of money at the same time? Can we actually be limitless in our expectations?
Denying yourself certain experiences because of the entrapping nature of those experiences is real, and it’s wise. But why money? Why do we see it as entrapping? We’re getting to the point where the renewal is to be manifested, and it wouldn’t hurt to have some to spread around.
So today I’m working to understand the conditioning and programming behind this mindset… the closest I can come to it for myself is ‘sacrifice is divine’.
Who taught me the nobility of sacrifice? Well, I don’t need to ask really. It was the sacrifice of Jesus story that I absorbed in childhood. I didn’t realize that the underbelly was guilt. Do I regret taking those messages to heart? Not at all. They led me to experiences that have increased my understanding.
I’m sure my stories would be as strange sounding to the wealthy as theirs are to me.
I know how it feels to be homeless. I’ve been homeless under the worst of circumstances… pregnant with a 1 ½ year old baby. I didn’t get there through drug addiction or ill behavior… it was inadequate planning, trying to travel on a wing and a prayer. One wing is not enough! But two human angels did help me out of it. I can now teach the wealthy how to help the homeless if they’re interested in knowing.
I know how it feels to be trapped in a ghetto, and how the poor are overcharged, offered the worst food, subjected to the worst pollution, beaten down by the worst education and programmed to death. I have lived within the devastation and rubbed shoulders with the great spiritual core that centuries of pain could not destroy. Afro descendants and Native Americans rule the empirical experience classroom. If the wealthy are interested in knowing, they could sign up for class. No stealing: class requires moolah.
I know how the white peasant class feels – the kids in the trailer park whose mom is working hard in a low-pay job, giving them the best that she can, but she still can’t afford heat, and decent food, or Christmas. They walk to school, getting mocked for their ‘bummy’ clothes and they learn how to steal from the convenience store… because they’re hungry. These kids have sad eyes and big dreams… and they could manifest those dreams if offered guidance and a financial pull-up.
I write these things out of respect for my own life experience, and the people who have shared their life experience with me.
So, I opened up by talking about ‘sacrifice is divine’ programming. There are threads to tie together here if we wish to let the heart invite the universe’s offering of abundance into our lives. How do I pull together sacrifice, empathy, and karma, and still reach abundance.
Well, I don’t see sacrifice as a bad thing, but the programming around it, associated with guilt, is a trap. Every parent sacrifices for the well-being of their child… it’s just nature. So, love just plain requires putting the ego’s desire down, and we can call that sacrifice if we wish. Guilt is not divine, it’s just more ego… oh lordie lord I’m so bad. Be comfortable with your sacrifice, and remember… you didn’t do it so somebody would ‘owe you’ or somebody else would praise you.
Empathy… what are you if you can’t see another’s suffering and empathize. You can empathize with a tree getting cut down but not with a suffering human? There’s a thought trend now that says if you help the poor you’re making them dependent. Bull crap. With few exceptions, the poor desire dignity more than they desire dependency. I will forever remember the names and faces of the two beautiful women who became my angels when dignity was lost. My gratitude is eternal.
Karma is an unknown waiting to happen. I listen to people rail against the elitists… they want to enslave us, put us on ‘reservations’. Well? This is not new… it just hasn’t happened to you! There is no finger-shaking god in the sky saying bad, good, hell, heaven. There is non-judgmental balancing… everything must come into balance. So how will that pan out? We can only watch and see how things unfold, and be the best humans we can be.
And now we come to abundance. Wealth seems to corrupt because we observe the sucking and hoarding of money and the damages resulting from that. But what do our liberated feelings tell us about wealth? There is only energy: you put forth energy that benefits someone, they recognize the value and they put forth energy that benefits you. When we call it money it’s still just a representation of energy.
I’m adjusting my feelings: money is neutral just like karma; it flows without judgment. Many of us who are in the heart/mind decided long ago to live with little money… kind of crazy programming, wasn’ it? It got me! But now it’s time to build and detox the money programming. Let it flow I say… heart open!
About the Author
Ida Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has authored two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Ida is also a certified Tai Chi instructor with a special interest in helping seniors and the disabled with Tai Chi and Chi Kung practices modified for their use. Her goal in life has been to find answers to the question of ‘why’ and then to explore the question of ‘what is’. More of her work is available at her personal blog, http://talk2momz.com/.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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