Recently someone asked me to describe my spiritual path. First, I dislike the word “spiritual,” because I’m interested in being a more loving and caring person; I have less interest in connection with the divine. I think of my path as being more about consciousness; becoming more aware every day.
The basic components of my path are: acceptance, love, humility, compassion, honesty, and gratitude. For fun I thought I’d make an acronym to remember them better, and the best sounding word I could come up with is GLACH2.
Gratitude: This has been a tough one for me. I seem to expect a lot from the world, and since my life hasn’t been perfect (according to my expectations) for most of my life I couldn’t see many reasons for gratitude. However, the foundation of my path is this concept: reality, as it is currently manifested in this moment, is perfect. This moment is whole and complete. The more I experience this, the more I feel gratitude for the way it is (no matter how it is!). I feel like I have a lot more to learn about gratitude, and perhaps that is why it ended up first in the acronym, to keep it present in my awareness.
Love: My definition of love is “the experience of unconditional acceptance of what is.” Loving what is means I am seeing the perfection of this moment of now; I’m not bitching about it and wanting it to be some other way. Loving what is dissolves the boundaries between the world and me.
Acceptance: My ego-identity fights to survive just like an animal, with fight/flight behavior. It seems like the world is almost never quite right, so I have to either battle to get my way or run from what’s happening. There is an option, and that is to face the world as it is, to bow to the reality of the now. This doesn’t mean I become a doormat, it just means I’m not rejecting what already is.
Compassion: Another foundational premise of my path is that everyone is insane (We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity). Crazy people do crazy things. In addition, free will is a cruel myth. People don’t choose to do mean, cruel, or hurtful things, they are driven to do them by their mental programming. The only sane response is compassion: seeing another’s limitations without value judgment.
Honesty: I used to hide myself because I believed that if people knew what I was really like, what I really thought, they’d start laughing or run screaming. But then I felt like a fraud, and hated myself for my weakness. I began seeing how I was hurting people by not telling the truth. As a simple example, say you’re about to give an important presentation. I notice you have a piece of food between your teeth. It’s a little embarrassing for me to tell you about it, but wouldn’t not telling you the truth hurt you?
Humility: This is another one that has caused me some trouble. I used to confuse humility with humiliation. I couldn’t understand why anyone could want to be humble, it sounded weak and pitiful to me. I tried hard to never make mistakes and to do everything perfectly, because I believed that only if I was perfect would people like me. I couldn’t laugh at myself when I made a mistake. I’ve come to realize that humility is extremely powerful because it’s just recognizing the truth of my limitations.
Every moment is an opportunity to experience/express GLACH2. Every moment I'm not experiencing/expressing GLACH2 is an opportunity to learn about what I'm still attached to, afraid of, or angry about.