The Universe, though largely a mystery, is known to contain billions of galaxies just within our limited view of its vastness.
Each of those galaxies, like our own, contain billions of stars and each star is very likely to be at the center of its own planetary system.
That’s hundreds of billions of planets and each and every one of them has the potential to be home trillions of life forms.
Our galaxy alone could be home to trillions of trillions of life forms.
The numbers are beyond calculation or comprehension when we consider how many potential life forms there are in the universe, which may just be part of a larger system of billions of other universes bumping and squeezing into each other like cells in a body that make up something even larger.
We just don’t know.
What we do know, what we are absolutely certain about, is that among all those planets circling all those stars in all those galaxies there is only one you.
You are unique in all the universe.
And it is incomplete without you.
Image from just a tiny section of space observed by the Hubble telescope.
In order that I may understand the path to peace:
Let me be able, upright, and authentic, impeccable with my word, gentle and caring.
Let me be content and easily satisfied, without pride.
Let me cultivate a boundless, limitless, unconditional love and compassion for all beings and all things in the world.
Let my prayer be:
“May all beings be well and safe, may they be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be, whether moving or standing still, without exception, whether large, great, middling, or small, whether tiny or substantial,
Whether seen or unseen, whether living near or far,
Born or unborn; may all beings be happy.
Let none deceive or despise another anywhere. Let none wish harm to another, in anger or in hate.”
I often hear the voice of the Divine and find wisdom in unexpected sources. An overheard conversation between a couple in passing. A single line of something I’m reading or a song I’m listening to. The way someone might shoo a mosquito off the shoulder of a complete stranger without their knowing.
Or the old black man with the foul mouth and the fixed smile who writes my load tickets on the dock where I load my truck. He is a lifetime docker, worn and broken. His hard life shows on his face.
We are talking about the long haul I am about to make. The rate I make on this haul is minimal. I am enthusiastic about neither prospect.
Okay, I’m bitching about it.
He just laughs, stops what he is doing, looks me in the eyes and says “Take your time, enjoy the scenery, look at those azaleas, watch the birds and the trees, it pays the same either way, you might as well enjoy it.”
That’s my advice. Those are my words coming from his mouth. I am stopped cold. My frustration dissipates. The Universe has spoken directly to me through this man and I am grateful.
The message received, I take a deep breath and smile with this gift and continue on my way. Taking my time. Enjoying the scenery. The day passes peacefully.
The Universe is always talking to us. Telling us to be patient. To breathe. Telling us it cares. That we are loved.
Image: “Finding” by Mario S Nevado
We all have them:
Days when we want to save the world
Days when we want to see it burn
Days when the lightness in our heart can lift us to the skies
Days when it’s so heavy that the weight threatens to sink us to the core of the earth where we’d gladly lose ourselves in that molten hell
Days when the sun shines and lights our way
Days when the sunshine hurts our eyes and makes us wish we were invisible
Days of love and joy
Days of suffering and pain
We have very little control over the events of our days and sometimes simple things can trigger either incredible happiness or intense sorrow.
What we can control is how we deal with those events. The more aware I am of this and the more I practice mindfulness and meditation the more awake I become and the more better my days are. But its not a cure, it’s a practice. A practice that never ends.
I hope you have a more better day too but if this turns out to be one of “those” days then remember; we all have them. They pass.
And remember to breathe.
Image: “Deep” by Mario S Nevado
Change is the only real constant in the Universe and it happens whether or not I want it to. It is a guarantee.
If I allow myself to be swept up and carried by that inevitable change there is no way to know how it will affect me. It can carry me to places I am unfamiliar with. Places I don’t want to be. That can have any of a number of negeative consequences: confusion, frustration, anger.
But, when I am aware that even change itself is impermanent, and accept that it is the only constant, I can be prepared when it comes and guide my own destiny by remaining focused on the things I want in my life. I can incorporate those changes, own them, make them mine, I can use them to become the very changes I want in my life and my whole world can change in an instant.
Yes, change can, and often does, alter my path in ways that make progression difficult, even impossible, but when I step back from whatever situation has been created by those changes I can clearly see that I am always moving forward and can always choose where my next step is.
Change happens. Where it leads is almost entirely up to me.
Image: “Icarus” by JMGreff.
You are truly extraordinary, a marvelous wonder to behold, a manifestation of the Divine, you are sacred and worthy and deserving and oh so unique.
So be the best You you can be and don’t judge yourself or allow others to judge you for being who you are.
You are perfect in your imperfections.
Image colored by me from the Recolor app
That soul you carry, the one that can feel as heavy as a crate of stones or light enough to lift you to the stars.
The part of you that you ignore when it pleads for attention with pain.
That calls out to you and opens your heart to the exquisite heights of love.
That makes you dance and cry and sing and laugh without effort. Without thought.
It is a part of the living energy of the Universe itself which flows through and connects all things.
That soul is who you really are.
Not the physical being that experiences those things.
Not the thoughts that drive or replay those experiences.
Not the memories.
You are the life within this temporary vessel that is a gift of a million sensations and thoughts and emotions and that life is part of the very universe.
A part of God.
You are Divine.
Image: “In Search of the Divine -Shiva and Shakti” by Pooja Bhapkar