The Empty Gaze of the Woman At The Mall
Continued from yesterday…
I’m reminded of a shopping center near my home in San Diego. (Stay with me here through the strangeness of this story. There’s a point here. I promise.)
Walking through the mall, I observed everything around me, including the beauty and charm of the people all around me. At the food court, I exchanged pleasantries with a cashier as I paid for my lunch.
As we spoke, I thought of my connection with her as a human being. I considered that in ways beyond the perceptions of my five senses she was one with me. The divine presence was in her even if she was not aware of it. Being present in the moment with her and providing her my undivided attention and her reciprocating created a moment of laughter.
As I walked away, my attention was drawn to all the people milling around the mall. For a moment it seemed like I observed everyone in a “caught up” spiritual state. Everyone was heading somewhere, apparently ignorant of our oneness beyond visible matter.
I know it sounds like I’m drunk on hippie juice, but I became cognizant of my union with these strangers, and how all of us were one in a nonphysical dimension. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and peace and knew that no matter where my thoughts would take me, love was the essence of the spirit and consciousness permeating the universe.
A few moments later, I saw an elderly Hispanic woman. I tried to catch her gaze, but her eyes were glossed over. Similar to a young child wandering in search of her mother, this woman seemed lost in her head. I’m not sure what she was thinking, but I knew her mind was somewhere other than focused on what was in front of her.
I looked around at the other faces in the crowd. Everywhere I looked, I noticed similar almost-hypnotized expressions. They were not aware of the union and source of life that permeates all existence.
Leaving the mall that day, I considered the tragic error of fear. The mind infected by fear perceives only separation. It’s unable to recognize our shared oneness with one another.
We view each other with reservation, even as a threat, a competition, an enemy that we must guard against, and keep at a distance. This perception of separation results in suffering —an inner hell filled with anxiety, worry, jealousy, depression, and feelings of rejection.
To be continued tomorrow…
Adapted from Section 1 of Awakening To I Am Love by David Youngren
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