I am just an average middle aged man living in Wisconsin. I was raised in a very strict Irish Catholic family and always considered myself a good Christian. By the time I reached my early teens I began to have serious spiritual doubts. I was taught the teachings of Jesus. To turn the other cheek, to love your enemies, to not pass judgment on another and to be meek. By the time I reached seventh grade I started to realize that those who taught me these things did not seem to live that way.
When I started public high school not Catholic I stopped going to church all together. I no longer considered myself a Catholic but still believed in Christ and his teachings. I prayed to him most every night. When I got married I joined my wife's Protestant church, continued to go to church, raised our children in the church until they reached high school aged and felt the same way I did when I reached that age. My wife joined us in leaving the church.
I still however believed in the teachings of Christ I tried to live my life accordingly. However, I always felt there was something missing, an emptiness inside as if I was still to discover an untold truth.
Then one day I came home early from work. My wife had the Oprah Show on. I have never been a big fan of Oprah, even though I respected what she had accomplished. The fact is she just got on my nerves. So I had no plan of watching the show. I was talking to my wife for a minute but was half listening to the little unassuming German sounding guy who turned out to be Eckhart Tolle. It was then that Tolle said that we were not the voice in our head but rather the life force behind our consciousness and that this life force was the same in all living things. I stopped talking to my wife at that point and turned my full attention to what he was saying. That was the missing truth I was always looking for. I was not sure at first why I knew this to be so completely true but I did. Then all of a sudden I knew. Our children are adopted, our son is African American and our daughter is Korean. My wife and I love our children as much as any parent has ever loved a child. They are and will always be our life. Parents of adopted children know a secret that others don't. Your love for your children has nothing to do with genetics or DNA. So were we so incredibly lucky as to find just the right two kids in the world we could love this much? Not at all. I know that we could have adopted any other to kids on the face of the Earth and we would love them as much as the children we have. How can this be? Because every person on the face of the Earth is capable of totally loving any other person on the face of the Earth. How can this be you ask? Because we are all the same.
So I began my journey. I became a fan off Tolle and others not just spiritual teachers like tolle but scientist like Jill Bolte Taylor, Steve taylor and others. My life has changed dramatically. I no longer get angry about anything. I no longer attach labels to others or myself and over the last couple years I feel my life changing every day. I still believe in the teachings of Jesus and now better understand what he was teaching. I live most the time in the present moment even though there I times I still faulter. The only thing that kept bothering me a little was that I never really experienced the feeling of complete joy that others have talked about. Then it happened.
I am on the BOD of a foundation that supports music in our schools. I am selected each year to give a scholarship away at the local middle school. I dread this every year. I am not good at getting up in front of a large group of people and speaking. I however do it. I always get nervous and filled with panic every time. So this spring I am sitting in the crowd at the middle school waiting for the band concert to end so I can give away the scholarship. I found my self sitting there starting to panic when I looked over at a little boy that was there with his dad. The boy was staring right at me and I found myself staring back. I was looking right in his eyes thinking how much he reminded my of my beautiful grandson RJ. I then began to realize he looked nothing like my grandson. This child was blond and blue eyed. My grandson is half Korean with black hair and brown eyes. So why as I was looking at him did he remind me so much of RJ? Then I felt the joy that others talked about. I had all I could do to fight back tears. I knew then that this child as well as every child had the same life force as my grandson. I did not know this child but I knew I loved him.
Then I heard my name announced. I got up in front of the crowd, looked directly at them. I was not nervous, I felt no fear, I had awakened.