About a year ago, I heard one of my favorite yoga teachers narrate a beautiful love story before class; and the story has been in my mind and soul ever since.
The story talks about Krishna and Rama, as they dance through the forest and it embodies all their love and devotion for one another. The story also speaks about the dance that Krishna and Rama shared with the gopies (also known as cow headers) of the little town near by, and how completely wrapped in bliss they all were until the little gopies started to notice that they were all sharing in this joy, and got jealous; wanting to dance with Krishna all by them selves, no sharing allowed. The story then proceeds to describe how Krishna takes Rama with him and together, they live in bliss while the gopies are forced to go back home and recognize the fact that they all need to share in the dance always, and not be selfish, and the fact that if they are open to grace and love, and stay present moment to moment, their shared and personal dance with Krishna need never disappear.
And that was just it, the aspect of the story that really made me think, and that stuck with me for months and months. See I was struck by the love story, but it was the fact that at a very human level, we all tend to be little jealous gopies that really struck me.
And this fact, though very, very human, is also kind of ridiculous. See, on some level, when we are happy, we can sometimes, consciously or unconsciously, resent those who are also sharing in this dance of happiness with us.
This is a very odd and disconcerting aspect of human beings, but never the less, I find it to be true. Just this morning, in fact I was listening to a radio host go on and on about how the fact that her best fiend was getting engaged as she was finishing her wedding preparations robbed her of complete joy. She felt offended that her friend's fiancé hadn't had the "presence of mind" (interesting use of words by the way) to wait until her wedding was over to propose to her friend! I mean she was livid! Her thunder had apparently been stolen, and she felt as though she had gone from being the belle of the ball, all eyes on her, to "oh, yeah, and she is getting married too"
I mean, I am sorry but I couldn't stop myself from laughing. Not because I thought the DJ was such a loser, but because I could relate to what she was saying. Oh admit it, we can all relate. I mean, how many times have you hear a story like this? Or how many times have you, your self felt this way? I know I have been here before, and yes, I am a little embarrassed by it, but I also realize it was a very human reaction, and I can learn to see it as a part of me. No, people, do not freak out, I am not saying it is ok or that it should become a constant thing, all I am saying is that I see it, and I can now start to work on it. You know, learning to be present with your self, good, bad, ugly and in between so you can grow and shine more and more every day, yeah, that’s the kind of acceptance I found through this story about my gopie self.
It's such a weird reaction to me, but this kind of thing happens all the time, and it only causes more and more pain, frustration, heartache, and dissatisfaction. Think about it. When was the last time that glaring at your "model" girlfriend for being so darn beautiful helped you feel better? Or the last time that wishing to be the only center of attention truly fulfilled you?
Are we so self-absorbed that all we can think about is being the one and only happy human being on earth? Have we become so ridiculously competitive that we think it is ok for our children to compete in "beauty pageants" at age 3 and then be crushed when they don't win the "grand" prize, when they could be a billion times happier playing together? When did it become the norm to begrudge someone for getting x,y or z at the same time, before or after us? Why can't we just be happy for everyone else as well as for our selves?
Imagine how amazing it would be to just embrace the fact that we are all living life the very best we know how to, and that we can all, in the midst of all the craziness that comes with living, can be happy at the exact same time! I mean, c’mon! How incredibly awesome is it to realize that right at this moment, a billion other people are laughing, rejoicing, and loving just as deeply, and purely as you are. Doesn’t that give you goose bumps? Doesn’t it make you feel excited to know that we, who are in fact all one, are all capable of joy, and contentment, and love, and so much more, all at the very same time. And that the world as you know it will not implode just because you aren’t the sole person on earth to be happy?!
Well, heck, this makes me super happy, and I hope we can one day all share in this dance as one, with out begrudging the fact that we are all in it together.
OM SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI OM