Yesterday, I had a delightful encounter with a three or maybe four year old, extremely intelligent young lady. We greeted each other with a high five and she looked at me and asked, “What’s wrong with your face?” Now, how would you answer that question? I knew exactly what she meant. My face is that of an old woman with 82 years of experience–wrinkled, sagging, and liver spotted. I watch out for stray long hairs that grow out of interesting spots, unexpectedly. I cover the liver spots with makeup, but this day, I was in the raw, un-made up, “au naturale.” I also had a lot of sweat pouring from my pores, and reddened skin due to lifting some heavy boxes. My answer to Piper was that “I got really hot.” She countered with, “Why are you hot?” And that brought many possibilities to my mind. I thought she wouldn’t really be interested in the weather facts. We have had a very hot summer of record-breaking heat and no rain. (I call it the Rick Perry effect–lots of hot air and high pressure drying us up here in Texas.) But those ideas wouldn’t be interesting or pertinent in the life of a little girl. So we said good bye and I hope to meet her again very soon. I smile at the candor and honesty of her question. She is perfectly wondrous–a genius with original vision and incredible determination.
It brought to my mind one of the memories from my own childhood. They said that I would go to people and tell them, “I will be ‘free’ in January.” It’s true my birthday is in January and in the year 1932, I would have been three years old, so I was probably two and a half when I told people that I would be “free” in January. Then, my thoughts went to being free. Freedom to say whatever is on my mind. Like the crack about Rick Perry. Just as my new friend, Piper, said what she thought with no censoring. Such a loss when we are censored. How much more delightful to enjoy life from a totally honest place. To say what we think, without worry that it won’t please or be perfect, now that is a dream come true. How would the world be different if we were candidly honest and said whatever came to our minds? We have not avoided conflict or war by being unreal.
Some other words are on my mind. I call them the bad “C”s: Competition, comparison, and control. If we could replace them with collaboration, compassion, and communication, things might flow a little better. In the world of commerce, competition is a carry over from the long ago age when we quit being nomadic and became farmers with our own territory, which we protected. Then we compared our farm to our neighbors’ and competition to win became the name of the game. Cooperation is better than winning over them. Compassion and understanding are better than censoring. We are all in this big Cosmic Connection and we will do well to accept one another as we are, without blame, judgment, or fault-finding. Community and belonging are better than comparing and competing.
Honest, open communication and freedom to experience life in all its joy are added to my ongoing vision of “Beginner’s Heaven.” It is our privilege to construct it as we evolve into possibilities. Please join me in envisioning what your Beginner’s Heaven would look like and how it would feel.