What Is Our Perspective on Life?
Where do we look for comfort and relief from the stress and worries of the world? Society is never stable; it is subject to the whims of the moment. There is always a war somewhere, and poverty and disease endure on every continent. We hardly find a moment of peace as we are bombarded by the latest distressing news. These days it’s all about the pandemic; pandemic news without end. We turn to our gadgets as distraction for a few moments of relief, but more and more they seem to take on a life of their own. They are controlling us instead of us controlling them. How long can we go without checking WhatsApp or Twitter or our emails?
Our personal perspective changes as the outward events of the world constantly change. We find ourselves judging others with an abundance of criticism, but love and forgiveness are often in short supply. The underlying cause of unhappiness in the world remains consistent and unchanging. Since the world never really changes, a time comes when we realize that it is we who need to change. We cannot make the world a better place but we can make ourselves a “better place”.
We have the ability to look at life from a more positive point of view, to have a positive perspective, one of hope and joy. There is a perfect satguru in the creation. That fact alone changes everything. He comes to aid us in experiencing hope, joy, and gratitude. He reminds us that there is a higher purpose in life – that life is not a random and discordant jumble of events. As humans we have an opportunity to experience the underlying unity in life. And this unifying force, as we all know, is shabd. Shabd is the very Lord himself. It is the essence of all things. It is the creative Word that is the universe, holds the universe together, and created the universe in the beginning. It is the ultimate expression of God’s love. When shabd is withdrawn from any living thing, that thing ceases to exist.
As pupils of the living master we are working towards experiencing that shabd. Let’s approach this opportunity with a sense of awe. What have we done to deserve this grace? If we look at our lives objectively we know that we are as imperfect as everyone else. Yet the Lord has decided to give us this opportunity to experience what lies beyond this world. It is our time to view life from a new perspective. We begin to understand that we are all fragile and imperfect. By acknowledging that imperfection we begin to forgive. Instead of holding on to anger we start letting go of it. We are less bothered by the judgments and rejections of others. As we become more forgiving, we become stronger. This strength comes from this new perspective on life.
It is a positive perspective on life which is strengthened and enriched by our relationship with our master and ultimately by the shabd. What an opportunity we have! Soami Ji Maharaj says, “Now I have found a wonderful opportunity.” But do we expect the master to automatically give us the peace and comfort of the shabd? Anything worth having comes after effort and commitment. We don’t value things that are too easy to obtain. We take them for granted and don’t treasure them. Pleasing the master and experiencing the shabd are the most valuable treasures available to us.
Let us be clear about our purpose and focus and what will help us to sustain a more positive perspective on life. The forces outside of us will try to capture our attention and keep us focused on that which is temporary, things that will give us only a brief moment of satisfaction. It is only our time spent in nurturing positivity that will give us any long-lasting contentment. Our feeling of contentment also has an influence on everyone around us. And as we become more positive we are reinforcing and strengthening ourselves, so that when difficult times arise, and they will, we have the inner strength to cope with them. The grace of the master is not given to remove our karmas, but it is the strength given to help us go through them without losing or balance and focus.
What tools do we have to reinforce and strengthen our positivity? We have seva; in particular the seva of bhajan and simran. By practising bhajan and simran we are showing the master that we appreciate his faith in us. Bhajan and simran strengthen us from within and are his gift to us to reinforce our positive attitude, which will help us sail calmly through the events of life.
Any seva that we do out of the goodness of our heart, without expectations, awakens love in our heart and makes us stronger. We can do seva at our local satsang or property, or we help someone in crossing a busy road, or we can help a neighbour with shopping during this time of lockdown. Anything that we do without expectation of reward or recognition strengthens our positivity and strengthens our love. Such acts express our gratitude that the master has chosen someone as weak and undeserving as we are to receive his gift. We need to take the first steps in realizing that it is all his grace. And with that blossoming understanding of how lucky we are, we become more positive, more grateful. This virus-of-positivity will naturally spread and infect our whole being and will infect others as well. Let’s commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the master and his shabd. Let the way we live our life be a reflection of our gratitude, our commitment, and our love. We have a hidden treasure – let’s dig deep and find it.