This I Believe

Barbara - Port St Lucie, Florida
Entered on October 17, 2006

Barbara Samuels

One Step at a Time

I’m on a spiritual path. Granted, I’ve just heard the starting gun, but I’m determined to run, walk, and if necessary limp toward the finish line. It’s never easy learning life lessons. Just when I think I’ve developed mastery over one less than stellar habit, it pops back up like a piece of burnt toast. Next thing you know, I’m once again warming up with the beginners.

Good thing there are positive role models I can turn to for guidance. I’m grateful for my friend, Eileen, who exemplifies kindness and generosity. Then there are those people whose lives are literally guidebooks for truth-seekers, such as Mother Teresa. On a good day I try to follow their examples. On a bad day I just try to find a pair of matching socks and remember to brush my teeth.

Topping my own personal list of heroes is the Dalai Lama. An admirer of his teachings, I’ve recently replaced my old prom collage with a smiling portrait of this Master. I closed my eyes, focused on his peaceful countenance, and attempted to breathe in wisdom.

Unfortunately pervading thoughts of inadequacy continued to create roadblocks. My situation appeared hopeless, until an eye-opening observation changed my thinking.

Last Tuesday, after a day’s worth of tension I had an ugly run-in with a co-worker. I could have taken the high road and sent her thoughts of peace and love. Instead I focused on manifesting a huge zit on the tip of her nose. Embarrassed by my own pettiness, I dragged my less-than-perfect self home. While preparing to ingest huge scoops of Haagen Dazs topped with guilt, I happened to glance at the Master’s photograph.

That’s when I saw it. Now, I’m no podiatrist, but I spotted what looked to me like a large bunion on the Dalai Lama’s foot.

Finally something we had in common.

No disrespect intended. This new information simply reinforces my belief in a universal connection. If someone as highly evolved as the Dalai Lama has physical imperfections, there might be other more important ways we’re similar. Perhaps we’re all running the same race after all.

This thought warms me from my head all the way to my imperfect toes.

If the Dalai Lama and I were walking together, unless gazing at our lower extremities, you wouldn’t have trouble telling us apart. But, just maybe we’re more alike than I previously realized. In fact, I believe we’re all more alike than we think.

For quite a while, I’ve been anticipating surgery. Now, I’m thinking I should proudly display my lumpy foot as a reminder of my humanity and newly-found connection to a powerful religious icon.

Who am I kidding? I’m going to go ahead and have the condition corrected. Just knowing the Dalai Lama and I once shared matching bunions is good enough for me.

Besides, after the operation I’ll look great in sandals.

Something tells me that last thought puts me back at the spiritual starting gate. Again.