Walking in spiritual awareness makes the world appear to be a different place than it was before. We see things more clearly, we hear our friends and family members more keenly. We understand ourselves on a deeper level. We feel our connectedness to others more strongly. We can often feel we have been thrust into a new, sometimes uncomfortable, dimension because our old ideas don't always comport with our new perceptions. We notice more quickly when people don't treat each other, or us, kindly; even as we may be less affected by it because we are more aware of and more in control of our own reactions. Dawning consciousness, in other words, takes adjustment.
A beautiful consequence of awareness, though, is that we have the opportunity to interact with the world more profoundly. Instead of walking by flowers without noticing them, we are welcome to experience them fully, embracing them with multiple senses. Instead of blindly following old patterns of decision-making, we can truly think through and choose our actions becoming more conscious beings and citizens of the planet. And, instead of glossing past interactions with the people we encounter, we can look them in the eyes, acknowledging them, and making real connections, no matter how brief. When we seize these moments, to be truly present when we interact with people, to connect and acknowledge the worth and value of each soul, we give a beautiful gift of kindness.
We may find that as we move through the world in our new awareness, kindness becomes our default way of being. Graciousness, gratitude, and gentleness are all byproducts of a spiritually aware state. The slowing down of our thoughts tends to give us more time to talk to the people we would normally dismiss. We let others know, through body language, eye contact, and words, "I see you!" We ask the cashier at the store, genuinely, how he or she is doing. We salute the person sweeping the floors in the mall with a heartfelt, "Good day!" We greet a person begging on the street with love and warmth rather than disdain; even if, in that moment we don't have any money in our pocket to give. We have more time and energy to give of ourselves to the people and world around us!
We also notice that our tempers take longer to ignite. When someone "wrongs" us we have more time to think before we react, and we often find compassion and empathy guiding our responses rather than anger as we contemplate what, inside them, caused their actions instead of why they did the action to us. We become observers instead of victims.
One of the most exciting parts of spiritual awareness is knowing that life has had the potential to be this way (gentle, kind, and drama-free) all along, we only had to slow down and open our eyes to see it; and if we find ourselves getting caught up in life's drama we can once again choose to wake up!
Walking in spiritual awareness softens our stances, gives us more reasons to smile, and less desire to push back at others because we wish to stay in calmness and non-reactivity. It also enables us to see the other person's point of view, even if we don't agree. It gives us opportunities to be kind in every moment of every day.
Isn't this a lovely way to be?
Emily A. Filmore is the author of the With My Child series of children's books about family bonding. Withmychildseries.com. She is the co-author of Conversations with God for Parents with Neale Donald Walsch and Laurie Lankins Farley. (Rainbow Ridge, 2015). And the author of The Marvelous Transformation: Living Well with Autoimmune Disease about her experiences with chronic illness. (Central Recovery Press 2015).