We are born with a joy of being. Children show us what that looks like.
The joy does not always last. A lot of people work hard to discourage us as we grow up, and it intensifies when we get a job.
We receive little or no instruction on celebrating our own significance. We may forget that we matter, and if we remember we might not know what to do about it.
I use the word matter to mean that we have a place in the natural order of things. We have virtues that we do not recognize because they are obscured by fear, or guilt or a combination of the two. Our role emerges over time as we continue our practice of exploring the true nature of things.
The first thing to do to honor our significance is to take a careful inventory of who we think we are. Chögyam Trungpa tells us not to judge what we see, but simply to notice it. Many people blame themselves for who they think they are. Blame does not lead to freedom, we are told.
The next thing to do is give up the quest for security and safety. This effort is merely a distraction. Life happens. Our lack of control does not indicate that we do not matter.
Then we go on to practicing love and affection. The Sanskrit word for this is maitri. Trungpa’s book title is Smile at Fear. I think what he is telling us in the book is to smile at everything, including our notion of self.
Smiling at everything, we are told, invites the universe to dance with us. Good fortune emerges out of thin air. Smiling also creates a shift in us that awakens our enjoyment of dancing.
I am not in this wondrous state of being. I still think of mundane things to do. I practice simple things such as photographing people. I maintain this blog. These acts are expressions of myself consistent with how I see myself at this stage of understanding. I recommend being real as you understand the term.
I recommend shrugging off the morality of the crowd. I read a quote today that said the body is not a temple, it is an amusement park.
I like to keep track of what I have done, and celebrate it. I publish books to satisfy that intention. I encourage people to express themselves, and to take notes in some form. Notes demonstrate respect for our experience.
Finally, don’t indulge those people who don’t recognize that you matter. Hang out with people who appreciate you. You deserve it.