I am woefully inadequate! I am powerful beyond measure! I am shy. I am confident! I am an introvert. I am an extrovert! I am self-assured! I am a kick-ass b**ch! I am a softie!
When I was about nine or ten, my class had to memorise the poem, The Blind Men and the Elephant by John Godfrey Saxe. I loved that poem and although I have no recollection of any discussion of its meaning, it has floated in and out of my consciousness throughout my life, each time with new understanding. Oh, the wisdom of teachers!
How often do we choose to define ourselves by what others see? How often do we define others based on what we see? Do we define them and ourselves by a particular action? Even when our interactions are stormy, resulting in hurt and pain, should we be boxed and labelled as being the interaction?
There is a passage of scripture that describes Jesus in a fit of anger in the temple, smashing stalls and tumbling down tables. He makes a whip from ropes and driving out the animals, shouts, ‘Get out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a place for making money.
I imagine the onlookers and the people whose livelihoods have just been scattered, watching on in shock and horror. I imagine one holding back the other, trying to avoid a knock-down, drag out fight in this holy place. How must they have labelled this man? In what box would some have forever placed him? Thereafter dismissing him and talking about the “real Jesus” whenever word of a miracle came their way?
Very often our conditioning leads us to believe that the world is a black and white place, and consequentially so are we. A thing is either this or that, right or wrong, good or bad. In such a world, there’s little room or tolerance for the wavy, brightly coloured, sometimes broken lines. When we are constantly judging or being judged, we eventually tie ourselves up in knots, trying to live up to some standard or the other, to some person or institution’s idea of who we are or should be. Life then becomes a weight that we carry, a burden on our shoulders from which we seek relief. We forget that Joy, our true nature, comes from Acceptance of our whole human self. And in understanding this, our multi-facet nature, we get to live – to experience life to its fullest.
There are many times when, caught up in clouds of expectations I get lost in my actions – confusing them with who I really am – a soul on a path of learning. Sometimes the learning is hard. Sometimes the lessons need to be repeated – again and again. Sometimes I fall. And sometimes, feeling misunderstood and engulfed in a world of opinions, I don’t ever want to get up. Then in a moment of spectacular illumination, the voice of the poet whispers to me,
“So, oft in theologic wars, the disputants, I ween, tread on in utter ignorance, of what each other mean, and prate about the elephant, not one of them has seen!”John Godfrey Saxe
A new understand is revealed and I know that my only obligation is to be true to my intent. To pay close attention and ensure that my intentions are powered only by Love. Herein lies my Power. This is what runs through my very core. That is what and who I see in its entirety.
I Am an Elephant!