Who Have You Come Here To Be?
We are the ones we have been waiting for.
~Hopi Elders Prophecy
In our world of busy-ness, rarely do people inquire of themselves or of each other, “Who have we come here to be?” Instead we gather at parties and PTA events and ask each other, “So, what do you do?” We size each other up in an instant, looking at clothes, cars, shoes, etc. As a society, we have become conditioned to think of ourselves and others in terms of what we do and what we have.
The key to being who you have come here to be is to be more interested in your spiritual purpose than in your job or the outer evidence of fulfillment. You may be wondering what is yours to do in the world, only because doing and having seem to contain the power to complete you. You may strive, seek, and search relentlessly to know what is yours to do, because doing leads to having, and having seems to contain a measure of relief and protection from the uncertainties and discomforts of life. Deep down inside, you may intuitively know that your happiness is not in things or in your capacity to succeed. It is somehow rooted in a more intangible knowing of your own worth and capacity to make a difference. What might your life be like if your search for what is yours to do was informed by who and what you have come here to BE?
How can you find out who you have come here to be? Sometimes people get answers to key life questions through extraordinary experiences. Gary had one such experience which he shares as follows:
It was New Years Day, 2003, at a remote bunk-house in eastern Oklahoma. I (Gary) awoke gasping for air. I was dying. At least that was what I told myself. As horrific as that prospect might have seemed, I felt no regret or resistance. I was okay with moving on and joining my former wife, Nan, who had made her transition some four months earlier after a yearlong battle with brain cancer. As I lay choking, passing in and out of consciousness, in the grip of anaphylactic shock, I heard Nan’s voice say: “You are not going to follow me. You are going to move on in a different way. You have work to do.”
The excruciating sensations of my inflamed and engorged body were equally as unbearable as the urge to itch, to quench the insatiable thirst of my burning scalp, ears, and torso. I remembered having had hives before, but never this severe, never to the point of losing consciousness, or hearing voices, or being unable to get help. And then somewhere in the midst of my ordeal I resolved to let go—to let go of itching, to let go of breathing, to let go of needing anything to change. Feeling my pulse pounding in my skull, I sank my awareness into the center of my chest and imagined breathing through my heart. It seemed as if minutes separated each breath instead of seconds.
I soon felt myself become the pulsations of my heart to such an extent as to step out of any sense of body or consciousness of myself. I was quite literally a moment to moment stream of pure being—I was being my beating heart. As my desperation waned, I discovered an in-between, a kind of nether realm that exists between heartbeats, between each breath, between each thought, at what might be the crest of a pendulum’s swing where everything seems to stand still. To the casual observer, this stillness is nearly imperceptible. For me, it seemed infinite and spacious.
Gradually, I slipped back into my body, aware at some impersonal level that I was out of danger. Then I heard another voice. This time it was not Nan’s voice. As plain and as succinct as a radio announcer’s voice, I heard this new voice say: And your mission is to bring peace on Earth. You are the One.
Let’s take a moment to pause here. Imagine the incredible experience of hearing such a message. What might your response be to such a statement? Would you welcome this news? Would you embrace it or push it away? When you feel ready continue reading.
Hours later, and with medical assistance, I recovered from my ordeal and made the journey back to my home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It was a surreal trek across the countryside as few cars where on the road. The message that “I was the One,” to bring peace on Earth was echoing in my head. All my attempts to push it away, to deny it, to attribute it to oxygen deprivation only made it more apparent that I had an extraordinary encounter with Presence—the Lord of my own Being.
Then, the irony hit me. How is my denial possible when my life’s work is already all about peacemaking? For the past ten years I had been involved in creating a spiritual approach to implementing peacemaking principles in churches. I had worked for years helping people find healthy ways of resolving conflicts. Why was it so hard for me to imagine that I could be the One to bring peace on earth? How big of an ego does a person need to allow him or herself to be the One? Did Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, or Gandhi question their call to be the One? Is this what Moses went through when God instructed him to deliver the children of Israel from bondage?
I pulled to the side of the road feeling flush and concerned that I might be relapsing. After a few cleansing breaths, I closed my eyes and drifted asleep. I awoke calm and serene, aware of an intriguing observation: Every child that is born into this world knows that they are the One. They know that the world awaits them, and that they are here to make a difference.
This deep insight bears repeating: Every child that is born into this world knows that they are the One. They know that the world awaits them, and that they are here to make a difference. Then, something happens in their life as they grow older and as they are made to belong to this world. Eventually, nearly every child doubts their importance, questions their sacredness, and becomes converted to a system that distorts their beliefs and teaches them that their well-being and worth is wrapped up in what they have and in what they do. They lose their sense of who they have come here to be.
When the child becomes “one of us” there is little or no capacity to fathom the possibility that “I AM the One.” With a lifetime of evidence to the contrary—past hurts, broken dreams, misfortunes, and failed relationships—is it no wonder we no longer believe in ourselves? How can I be the One? How can someone like me be the One? In a perfect world, we would have a society that treated every child like the Messiah. Yet, because ours was not the Holy Family, we did not get the message that we are the One.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was born Lhamo Dhondrub on July 6, 1935, in a small village called Taktser in northeastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, he was recognized at the age of two as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama, and thus an incarnation of Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion. From then on, he was educated and prepared to be the leader of his people. Shouldn’t every child be greeted and treated from the moment of birth as if they are the Holy One? It doesn’t matter if the Dalai Lama really was the incarnation of the Buddha. The fact that he was treated as such, that his care-givers beheld in him the capacity to be the One, made all of the difference.
Although all children are born to be the One, none receive an instruction manual for being the One. No one knows how to be the One. You can take heart in knowing that being the One doesn’t mean you are the One all by yourself or that in being the One, you are the only one with that assignment. With very few exceptions, no one is the One all by themselves. Yet, you must to be willing to be the One—all by yourself in the beginning, if necessary—if you’re really going to own the assignment and connect to the activity and power of Spirit. You must simply start by opening yourself to the possibility that you are the One, the One to make a unique and critically important difference in this world that only you can make.
As you open to the idea that you are the One, you may come face-to-face with a reluctance to let go of a lifetime of myths, messages, and beliefs about yourself that you have grown use to—beliefs like you don’t measure up, that there is something different about you that needs fixing, or any other thought that denies your wholeness and perfection. You may try to point to your past “failures” as proof that you have too much baggage to be the One, and therefore you are excused from stepping into this “impossible” role. However, your past is in no way a predictor of your present or your future because the infinite field of possibilities is at work at all times. Essentially, the real issue is whether or not you are willing to give up your “small self”—your inadequacy, unworthiness, self-importance and petty expectations—to claim your divine inheritance: the capacity to be the One. A life without excuses, without blame, without the capacity to make someone else responsible for one’s happiness and well-being and success is a very scary prospect. After all, you can no longer be a victim if, instead, you are going to be the One!
Only you can be the One in your life. Your particular expression of the One is unique to you. And your unique thread is needed as all of us strive to weave a new tapestry of life on planet Earth, together creating a world that works for all.