Friday, February 17, 2012

Buttons and Those Who Press Them

Could it be that those that press our buttons, be they so-called conservatives or liberals, democrats or republicans, atheists or believers, assholes or saints, men or women, are really our greatest teachers? Could that be? What could such jerks, assholes and idiots possibly have to teach us?

Wholeness, they are teaching wholeness. They are teaching, as John Donne said, “no man is an island, entire to himself, each is a part of the main, a part of the whole…. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”

So, by virtue of their existence alone, the people who press my buttons, are showing/teaching me that not only are the buttons and the button pressers a necessary part of the whole, difficult as that is to believe, but reflect back to me some place within me that needs healing. Button pressers are calling me to ‘fix’ my buttons, to heal myself and find the place of deeper love my ‘buttons’ cover, then honor my wholeness despite my flaws.

Doing this - healing myself and finding the deeper love for myself within myself that the buttons are covering, is the first step in making a loving, compassionate contribution to a world that works for everyone and everything. One can not give what one does not have. The buttons and the people who press them, offer an opportunity to be kind, loving and compassionate to myself; to heal the place where the buttons are; to help take my attention off the external challenge and struggle and focus on loving and healing myself, and doing the inner ‘work’.

This is the ‘spiritual’ view of ‘buttons’ and the people who press them. The more typical and predominant ego view, which unfortunately is alive and well and on display in the various t party dominated Republican campaign events, is that people who press our buttons are like a cancer and need to be cut out of the body politic. Not that we need to take responsibility for our buttons, but rather our buttons are ok and the people who press them are evil. Think for a moment, who were the greatest purveyors of this view – the Nazis and the Communists, and more recently the ethnic ‘cleansing’ in Serbia and the killing fields in Cambodia.

We always have a choice in how we look at, experience and react to our buttons and the people who press them - the spiritual view or the ego view. We always have a choice. Even when we forget we have a choice and fall into the predominant almost ‘natural’ ego view that buttons are ok and the people who press them are a cancer that needs to be cut out, still, when we realize what we are doing, we can wake up and choose differently. The love, wholeness and compassion are always, always, there – the still small voice, waiting for us to listen.

Our function here, is not to put love into things, it is already present, but to remove all the obstructions to its flow – in ourselves; ourselves, not others. Not to ‘fix’ other people, the people who press our buttons, but to ‘fix’ our own buttons, to be responsible for ourselves, first, without blame, shame or guilt. Buttons come with the territory. The more we fight our buttons and the people who press them, blaming the buttons and the button pressers for our mistaken choices, the more difficult it gets to turn within and take responsibility for ourselves. It’s never about them, but always about us.

So, take your attention off the seeming external challenge for a moment, take a deep breath, invite the love and healing already present in you and in the button pressers to flow, then, from that place of love, wholeness and compassion, go forward.

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