Photo by S. Ross Brown
My Dear Fellow Journeyers,
I have had a great first week of being 60 years old. As I write that number, it feels incredibly old- but I don’t feel “old”. I feel happy and for most of the time, I am not conscious or thinking about my age. Last week on my birthday, a friend asked me I had anything to say about turning 60. I said that I had felt the same way as I had the day before. In reflection of this past week, I have had a spiritual revolution, but it occurred a few days after my actual birthday.
Here’s what happened: Two days ago as I was walking to work I saw an older black woman. She had damaged her foot or had been born with a severely turned in right foot. She walked with great difficulty and I felt a moment of sadness for her. Right after that moment of sadness, I said to myself “That could be me in a few years.” The truth is that anything could happen to any of us at anytime and the things that we treasured about ourselves- our beauty, our athletic ability, our strong healthy bodies, could be taken from us at any given moment.
From this thought, I had a personal panacea; I could find myself in everyone I saw that morning. What I mean by this, was in the past I would walk by a homeless person and wonder how they got that way; was glad it wasn’t me and would quickly hurry away. On this particular morning I could see myself being homeless, being sick. What had happened to me that morning was that I became one with everyone.
I finally emotionally understood the quote which says:
When I do not know who I am, I serve You
When I know who I am, I am You.
I never understood what that quote meant. It does not mean that one literally becomes one with another, it means that we have empathy with another and from empathy we have compassion.
This is a huge spiritual move for me. Prior to that moment I had always held myself out as special and different- better, prettier, smarter, than most people. In that moment I saw within myself “the stupid girl”, “the ugly woman,” “the ordinary person”. Nothing physically altered except for my superior, stuck up attitude that I held about myself.
I don’t know if I will appear different to my friends and family. I look the same to myself, except that I see a softness in my eyes that I saw in pictures of myself when I was a baby. I have that look of brightness of and old compassionate soul. Actually, the light has always been there, I have only just acknowledged and owned it.
I am glad that I have finally become one with the world.
With all of my love and light,
Brianna S. Clark
Your Fellow Journeyer