by Connie A Moore, RScP
Before, during and after service a few weeks ago, I had the experience of finding large junks of a black, rubbery material on the floor at the center. I asked several people about it and no one seemed to know what it was. It looked like part of a tire but it was not curved enough to be a small tire. It would have had to be a car tire or something else that was large.
I finally determined that it might be part of someone’s shoe so I began to look at and ask everyone who had thick, chunky soles on their shoes but I still didn’t find anything like it. It was a small mystery and I didn’t think too much about it except that I kept running into these chunks of black stuff.
After service, we went about our normal routine – lunch at an Indian buffet, grocery shopping and then home to relax and take care of some chores. I changed into my “play clothes” and took the garbage outside to the dumpster. I admired the beautiful golden leaves that were floating gracefully down onto the driveway when I spotted it! There in the space between the two cars, lying on the concrete, was a chunk of that same black stuff!
I picked it up and examined it with bewildered amazement. It was a large piece of the stuff – a whole strip – right in the spot where I would have been getting out of the car just a bit ago! “Wow! Is the Universe trying to tell me something or what?” I thought. And then, not a split second before then, I realized that these chunks of black stuff were indeed rubber and they were indeed from shoe soles and that they were from my shoe soles! I went into the house and found the shoes I’d worn to service that day and sure enough, the soles were barely there. They were nearly completely disintegrated. “No surprise,” I thought, “I’ve been picking them up all over the place!” How could that much of my shoe be gone and I not figure it out?
I laughed at myself and at how long it took me to get around to the truth of this little mystery. Of course the rubber was following me around. Of course it was everywhere I went. It was my stuff! And, yes, the Universe truly was trying to tell me something in a very big way!
The rubber chunks (like hidden beliefs) kept coming into my awareness for me to deal with them. They were largely unrecognizable to me but still familiar at the same time. I looked for clues as to what they might be in everything around me and even when it became clear to me what they were, I continued to seek the source outside myself. Even when it showed up at my house, my impulse was to look outside myself for the answer to the mystery.
How many times do we do this in life? How many times do we seek answers and solutions from an external world when the source of all our concern is inside? We have the answers within our own consciousness and awareness – not in the outside world. The next time you keep bumping up against a mystery or a question in your life, I invite you to stop and look at the soles of your own shoes. Within is the only place you’ll really find a solution or an answer to your questions.
I close with a quote from the Buddha, knowing that “Peace” is a God quality and that all God qualities are intrinsically interwoven with each other:
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.