Events in childhood can influence the path we take through life (or the way we walk the path) and even deepen aspects of our personality. I became shy – an introvert – and did not easily reach out to others. I did not have many friends. I began to use books, stories, poetry as an escape. Another avenue of pleasure was music. My family (mother, father, brother) was very involved in church and especially music. I sang in the choir and also in the chorus in school. Music touched my heart but even there I was not good enough in my mind. My mother was an accomplished singer and played the piano; my brother was a talented singer and played the guitar. Dad sang in the choir and in a barbershop quartet. Somehow I decided I was the untalented one. The blessing in all this was that I had loving parents who always supported me no matter what and extended family that did the same thing. To this day I believe it is in that love that I first recognized the love of God.
During middle school an event occurred that deeply impacted my heart. An African-American girl in my class tried out for the cheerleading squad. She was very talented but the spot went to someone less talented that was white. It was my first experience with blatant racism. My parents never taught us that a person’s value was based on how they looked. I was horrified, mystified (this was the North not the South) and again disappointed with others. At that point my belief strengthened that it was not worth the risk to trust others in friendship. Yet if I look back now I recognize that early the concept of Oneness was seated in my soul waiting to be understood more fully.
During this time the seeds of joy were planted through literature and music. If you look back in your life do you see points where seeds were planted for positive and negative feelings? How are those seeds affecting your life now? If you believe in the Oneness of all, can you see when those feelings began to arise in your life?