I am reminded of a war veteran’s story. The veteran shared that after each battle, they would search the dead enemies with hopes of finding some information that they could use to win the war. He stated that was rarely the case. However, he always found letters from loved ones and pictures of loved ones. He realized these people, called enemies, are just like me.
Over the past few months, I have been using a daily meditation book to support my inner work. The book is by Caitlin Matthews and it is called The Celtic Spirit: Daily Meditations for the Turning Year. The following is an excerpt from the book that touches me deeply. The focus of this reflection is seeing and honoring the sacredness and holiness of each life:
For many hundreds of years, the false tale that what ever is alive is evil has been told: This tale has been told from fear and denial, from pain and rejection, as a way of explaining why things go wrong and why perfection cannot be expected. Many people regard the living world as a predominantly evil place, full of beings whom we should be suspicious. For such people the only good place, the only good beings are in heaven. Living defensively in the eye of evil is not a happy way to live. Fear and suspicion darken everything with a sad pall.
The opposite view sees all of life as worthy of respect, as potentially able to achieve its fullest stature. Of course not every being alive reaches its potential; but then neither does it sink into irredeemable iniquity. Entertaining the possibility of all things living being able to achieve their potential of holiness is a powerful and supportive way to live. But, like all life-ways, even this view can be abused: when we live as though no harm could come, we are foolish rather than innocent.
Life is a sacred gift that all beings receive. It is the manner of our living that makes all the difference. The way in which we relate to other living beings encourages them to change the world for good or violate the world for ill; the way in which we spend our lives illuminates or darkens those around us. But if we are not aware of the sacred potential in each living being, if we do not acknowledge it and respected, we me become active agents of the soul’s darkening. Everything that lives is holy because it is an abiding place of Spirit; Everybody is a home where the sacred gifts of Spirit may be born anew.
Contemplate the living beings with whom you are in contact, not just human beings, but other living beings of nature as well. Hold each of them in your heart and acknowledge their sacred gift. Write in a journal or share with a trusted loved one about your experience.