Behaving As If the God in All Life Mattered

I was raised Catholic. In second grade, at the age of 7, I began preparing to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. 
Every child received a small catechism book with a brilliant blue cover. The book contained questions and answers which needed to be memorized before being allowed to receive first Communion. I recall only one question in that blue book - "Where is God?". The exact answer to this catechism questions was "God is everywhere and in all things". I don't know why this is the only question that I remember from a book containing so many questions that I had memorized so methodically at such a tender age, but the answer to this question is becoming quite pertinent in my life.

My daughter, Mira, and I were straightening up our guest room after a friend of hers had spent the night. We were arranging the pillows on the couch and Mira said "I feel like I've never really seen this couch before". We both had a chuckle because this seemed so weird after having lived with the very same couch for over 10 years. Weirder yet, I knew exactly what she was trying to communicate to me. I've been startled in my life when I actually "see" something that has been around for years. I've begun to ponder what it is that I'm "seeing", why I'm "seeing" just sometimes and not all times, and the significance that "seeing" has to me and my life.

It's been nearly 30 years since I've been a practicing Catholic and it feels like light years in consciousness changes, but here I am again back with second grade catechism, this time living it instead of memorizing it. I was meditating the other day and when I opened my eyes I saw a plant across the room. You know, one of those troublesome plants that are always getting yellow leaves while the remaining ones have brown tips. Finally "seeing" this plant was quite touching. It was exuding so much love, that tears just ran down my face. I've also been noticing that what I "see" in physical objects is also deeply present in empty space. I suppose this would come as no surprise to those with a scientific background, as our scientists tell us that the objects that we perceive as physical are actually about 90% empty space.

I have been observing my life, and monitoring when I can "see" and when I can't. I realize that whenever I'm too busy, in a hurry, preoccupied, resisting a task, or disregarding my emotions, I don't "see" much. By the way, I don't feel very good either. When I take time for myself and what I love, and allow myself to be present in the moment, present with the task at hand, my ability to "see" is greatly enhanced. Guess what? I feel a lot better too!

About ten years ago I read a book by Machaelle Small Wright titled, Behaving As If the God In All Life Mattered. I can't believe that I still remember the name of this unusual title, but I do realize how "seeing" can make the action in this title possible. When I "see" God everywhere and in all things, then it's simple to behave in a manner that counts life. When I open my consciousness and "see" everything in my life - plants, crystals, pets, food, water, land and the bazillion other human-made items - I cherish them and relate to them with loving attention. I don't waste and I surely don't want.

You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned people yet. Do you think we're exempt? I don't think so. I was saving the best for last. If God is everywhere and in all things, that means she/he is in you and me too. REALLY, even the Catholics say it!! For me there is a huge difference in hearing this, understanding it intellectually, and truly realizing it so that I am able to live it. Herein is my practice.

If this is too far a reach, start with the things you love - your crystals, a picture or statue of a beloved deity, a pet, a plant, or even your car. It doesn't matter where you start. What does count is that we "see" and behave as if the God in all life matters. Namaste. (Meaning: the God in me bows to the God in you.)

- Karen Kuk-Nagle