I almost missed President Obama's inaugural address. Thank God, my boss reminded me. I have a lot of work to do today, and had to force myself to take a break and turn on the TV. Once I started listening to his speech, however, I temporarily forgot about work. I was stopped. I started crying. His words spoke to me at a deep soul level. No other politician has spoken to me like this before, only spiritual teachers. Obama held satsang for me today. Satsang is the sanskrit word for a true meeting of a community--a meeting where spiritual teachers transmit freedom. For me Obama's speech was satsang.
He spoke about putting aside childish things. We have been teenagers too long. Especially us baby boomers, going after pleasure as if there was no price to pay for it. There is always a price. And the price has become too high. The price of not growing up is our survival as a species and as a planet. It is definitely time to put aside childish things.
On a global level, this means cleaning up our mess. We've polluted the planet and it's time to clean it up, just like a teenager with a smelly room needs to clean his room up. We need to stop the wars, just as kids need to stop fighting in the playground. We need to put aside the petty corporate politics.
I'm not political. I know that I can't go out and save the world. All I can do is put aside my childish things. I've been doing this for a while, but there is always more. A childish argument that I had with a girlfriend of thirty years has ended. I hadn't spoken to her in eight years, but we have connected again and the love is back. Actually it never left; I just wasn't paying attention to it. It's time to stop judging friends who think and act differently than I do. Thank God for our differences. How boring the world would be without them. People need our support and love, not our judgments.
It's time for me to show up in the world and take responsibility for my part. It's time to use the gifts I was given to help alleviate suffering. My book and this blog are about that. If my words help shed some light for someone else, I am happy. Even if they push people's buttons, at least they are serving as wake up calls. I can't be afraid to state what I think because it will upset people. It's time to be an adult.
Finally, it's time to put aside childish worries. Am I looking old? Do I still look good? Do people like me? Will I ever have a boyfriend? It's been forty years since I was a teenager. It's time to stop acting like one.
Obama is the first president who is younger than I am. I am getting old. In the middle ages I would be a toothless crone by now. It's time to support younger women with the lessons that I have learned from life, not compete with them for looks and men. It's time to offer wisdom and love, not petulance and fear. It is indeed time to put aside childish things.