Every day I go out for a 1-hour walk that takes me through some streets in the neighbourhood, around the border of a soccer field, along a set of railroad tracks, and across the tracks to a park with a hill. Along the way I pass a lot of garbage thrown
on the ground, and it occurred to me one day that I could just pick up a bit of the garbage each time I went out, and drop it in the garbage cans enroute.
What's interesting is how I feel when I'm doing this, which is based simply on my
current level of consciousness and whatever crazy thoughts that pop into my head each moment.
Sometimes I'm frustrated at the "inconsiderate repeat offenders", wondering why they do it, and if they drop their garbage in their yards at
home too. Sometimes I wonder what other people are thinking when they see me pick up the garbage... that I'm a tree hugger, or maybe that they'll feel guilty and start picking up litter as well. Sometimes I think that it's nice to pick up the garbage, since
it makes for a nicer view for my walk the next day. Sometimes it feels nice to do my little part in paying back the city for access to a lovely little park with a hill (a big bonus in a very flat city in the middle of a flood plain). Sometimes it feels nice
to be kind to the Earth. And sometimes I don't think much about it... I'm just enjoying the walk, thinking other stuff, and picking up garbage along the way (and sometimes not picking up garbage along the way).
In each of these fleeting
thoughts, I'm thinking primarily out of fear or love.
Whenever I'm feeling negative thoughts (anger, frustration, judgment, self-righteousness, comparison to others in any way), it's just a result of my insecurity in the moment... The
need to be better than others who litter, or the need to be better because I am a good citizen who picks up litter, and ultimately, the need to be worthy. I am acting from the fear of not being enough, and therefore needing to be better.
Whenever I'm just "doing for the sake of doing", without comparison to others, and without seeing my behaviour as being in service or making me a better person, then I'm realizing my intrinsic worthiness in the moment, and I'm simply acting out of love
for being alive and present in that moment.
And so it goes for every single action in my life. Fear or Love. Fear or Love.
The great thing about understanding the Principles is the realization that all my thoughts
(whatever they are), are completely made up, and are not "who I am". My insight into Mind showed me clearly that we are all worthy, all equal, all connected, and all perfectly-imperfect human beings, no matter who we are, or what we do, or whatever crazy thoughts
we think up in the moment.
And so, if I have a bad feeling in any moment, I can notice it and realize it for what it is, and either let it go, or at least know it will eventually go away on it's own. And I don't have to feel bad about
thinking it. It's just a natural part of being "human" (an amazing thing in and of itself). And when I see that, and feel that, I automatically think and act more from love and less from fear.
Another interesting thing is that the idea
to pick up litter didn't initially come from a place of fear. On the sliding scale between fear and love, it was more toward the latter, just feeling good one day, enjoying the walk, and wanting to make for a nicer view along the way.
yet, the idea could just as easily have been motivated by fear, needing to know how much better I was than the "degenerate reprobates" who litter. LOL
The resulting action is the same (picking up litter), but ultimately, where do I want to keep living in my head? In fear or in love? I think I'll take the latter instead.