Pursuing justice while walking a spiritual path has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I believe in being kind to others and walking away from conflicts as often as possible, sometimes to a fault. Recently however, I received spiritual guidance through meditation that clarified the role that justice plays in spirituality.
The clarity that I received through meditation is that we are all connected. Prior to this revelation, I had the tendency to look at things only from my perspective. I was the one being wronged or mistreated and everyone else were the jerks inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering upon me. It finally occurred to me that perhaps the people involved in an uncomfortable situation all have something to learn from each other. There are no coincidences; the people involved in a turbulent situation all need to be there with each other for individual and collective spiritual growth.
My most recent personal experience with injustice involved a business transaction with a major bank. Being treated unfairly at the hands of a multi-billion dollar financial institution caused me to reflect on some deeply seeded societal perceptions of my personal worth as a human. Make no mistake, I consider myself a blessed and fortunate woman. My wealth is reflected in the love that I receive from my children, family and friends; it is reflected in the “thank you” messages that I receive from those whom I have helped. My wealth is reflected in my good health and my ability to use my talents and gifts in a multitude of ways. My wealth is reflected in my spiritual connection. These manifestations of wealth cannot be taken from me because they are derived from my internal power. I nurture, cultivate and protect my internal power because the world needs my gifts and talents, and I want to give my best to humanity and to the universe.
I consider financial wealth an external power because people can take away your money, so whenever I feel attacked in this area, I am a cross between a lion and a lamb. A lion because you are quite frankly messing with my money. You are messing with my ability to maintain my life and to develop my creativity (and don’t get me started with my kids- have you heard of mama bear people?). A lamb because I just want to return to the peaceful and harmonious land of internal happiness. I just want to have the financial freedom to write and create and travel and be happy. Is that too much to ask?
Justice is defined as the quality of being fair and reasonable; these are things that everyone is entitled to from earthly arrival to earthly departure. When justice is not delivered, there is a feeling of depletion and degradation. Is it just for a single person living a modest life to have their secured funds held for two weeks on the whim of a financial giant? Is it just that the people who work at the branch level of the financial institution be caught in the crosshairs of human tears and unjust policies? It is time that we think of others as individuals and not as social security numbers or credit scores; we are not being just with one another when we sum each other up within the first 2 minutes of meeting based on superficial averages and statistical data.
I am grateful that my eyes were opened to the need to pursue justice. Spiritually, we are all connected. There are lessons for each of us to learn from one another and from every human encounter. Although the bank employee involved did something that he thought was the right thing, it ended up hurting me emotionally and financially. I am not angry with him; in fact I feel deep sympathy for him. I know what it is like to be caught in the middle. Although he could completely see my point of view, he still has to remain loyal to the rules and regulations of the institution that employs him. My intentions to seek justice may or may not have an impact on his life, but it is not up to me to distribute or monitor his life lessons. Before realizing that we are all connected, I would have wanted to let the whole thing go as to not harm this gentleman, but how could I know for sure that it would not harm him? What if this whole thing leads him to something better, be it a better understanding of how the banking system works or even a better job?
I am grateful that I am spiritually supported enough to stand up for what is right. I am grateful that I was able to calmly and articulately explain my side of the injustice, because it may help others in the future. It may change a policy; it may keep another single mother from facing financial depletion and emotional despair. I am grateful that we are all connected and that we will all learn what we need to learn.
In the end, the internal powers (love, gratitude, compassion) are the real winners. The big financial institution continues to exert it’s external power by holding my property and funds. Internal power (love) however found a way to sustain me.
Just as saying no can be an external power in order to gain or maintain control of a situation, saying no can also be an internal power. Operating from spirituality often means seeing the bigger picture and walking away from things that are trivial, but sometimes it means standing up for what is right. On the one hand, I could sit and wait quietly for my money for two weeks while meditating, talking to birds and reading inspirational memes until my eyes bleed. On the other hand, I can stand up for what is right; I can use my intellect to research my options and implement a fair plan, then meditate, talk to birds and read inspirational memes until my eyes bleed. I choose the latter. Justice and spirituality can walk hand in hand peacefully and without harming others.
Love is not always warm and fuzzy. Sometimes love has to make us aware of what needs to be corrected. It hurts in the short-term. I know because I was also a part of this injustice; I had to learn something from this as well. Actually, love has been correcting me for months now and I am okay with that. The more you are corrected, the less it hurts. Although I am more comfortable with the love that ends with hugs and well-wishes, I am also okay with the love that has rough edges and spikes. It all works itself out. Namaste.