The Light of Vexation

I see. I see so clearly. I’ve been on a spiritual journey my entire life and for the first time I finally feel like the scales are falling from my eyes. It’s like a complete awakening. I am seeing things as they really are.

I have been a seeker my entire life, but with all my seeking I’ve never truly found . . . until now. What am I doing differently? The only thing is that I’ve allowed myself to seek where I’ve never sought before. As St. Augustine said:

Seek what you are seeking—but don’t seek it where you are seeking it!

One of the most profound insights occurred early this morning. I awoke in the middle of a dream. It was a true awakening in every sense. For the first time I could see why certain people, their actions, reactions and behaviors bug me. I pondered the phenomenon profusely and am henceforth and forever referring to it as “The Light of Vexation.”

The Light of Vexation works this way:

Someone or something vexes us. Rather than get annoyed, we appreciate the trigger as a signal that we have some unmet need. We use the vexation as a light to discover what our underlying, unmet need is.  People bug us because their behavior or actions trigger something within ourselves that we don’t like.

For example, my child asking me for help when I’m doing something else may bug me because I have so much on my plate and I really feel like I’m the one who needs help, but unlike the child, I’m unable to ask anyone for help. Their asking me for help really bugs me because I have a deep, unmet need for someone to help me.

Of course, this realization doesn’t just happen unless we are “enlightened.” Enlightenment can happen as we pause in the moment of vexation and use the annoyance as a signal to look within and try to find out what their behavior is really triggering in us. As we observe their actions with non-judgement and compassion and turn inward to examine our own needs with the same non-judgement and compassion, we can discover some very deep and profound truths. First, we will feel such a love and outpouring of compassion for the person who was just moments before bugging us, and we will also feel an outpouring of love and compassion for ourselves and the needs we have been neglecting.

In that moment of vexation, we can open ourselves up to enlightenment about what really is bugging us. Our newfound awareness leads to compassion and love, which are the most powerful catalysts for change. We are born anew. Awakened. Enlightened. Repented. Whole.

The Light of Vexation helps us realize how much we need each other. We are each other’s best teachers. You rub me wrong and I become more fully aware of my remaining rough edges. The Light of Vexation helps me see the work I still need doing to continue to transform this rough stone into a smooth, polished shaft.  When I can hold myself in compassion, I can better hold you there too. When I can see my needs, and I know how to meet them, I can better see yours. I see bad behavior as simply what it is.  . . someone with unmet needs seeking to meet their needs in the best way they know how. No one is bad. No one is truly evil. There is only ignorance and darkness regarding how to best meet needs. How sorely the world needs enlightenment. May I be a light to others. May I reflect the Divine light that truly transforms. May I let my divine light shine.

I am light. I am love. I AM all that God is. I am God inasmuch as my light and my love can redeem just as His does. He has bestowed upon me all of His power and glory already. How funny that most of us think we must wait for such a bestowal at some future day and place. We can have Heaven, perfection and wholeness now. We have every power to save, bless, lead and love as we will ever have. I’m not kidding you that my mind and soul are blown away with all my new insights. Completely blown away. Life changing! I have to stop for this keyboard cannot capture the rapture. It’s here though in my head and heart. I will never be the same. I am forever changed. I love my new eyes. I have never before been so excited to see.

Isn’t it amazing what happens when we fix the projector as discussed in this post here. The screen play has always been perfect. It was simply the lens that needed the adjusting.

The Way We See

I’m reading Byron Katie’s epic book “Loving What Is.” And I’m loving it! I’ve come to realize that:

we are both the problem and the solution to our problems

I particularly enjoyed the example Byron used to illustrate how the way we see impacts everything. She shared the example of a projector. If the lens of the projector has lint on it, the movie screen will appear to have the flaw. We can try to remove the flaw from the movie screen, but all our attempts will be in vain as it is the projector lens that has the problem.  So long as the lens features a flaw, it will project that flaw onto everything else. To get rid of the projection problem, we need not concern ourselves with the movie screen. We need simply to clean the lens.

That is so how we live our lives. We try to change others when what we really need to change is ourselves. This truth reminds me of Jesus’s teaching about first removing the beam from your own eye before seeking to remove the speck of dust from the eye of others. It also reminds me of something Stephen Covey taught about how the way we see others is really a reflection of how we see ourselves.

I like to sum it all up this way:

When we finally see that the problem is “me,” we’ve finally found the solution.

The way we see is of paramount importance.