I was sitting on the bus enjoying the sunshine slanting through the windows, and the peaceful bumpiness of my morning commute, when I felt a small tickle on the back of my hand. I looked down to find an animated lime green speck. As I brought my hand closer to my face, it became easier to denote the six small legs and reeling antennae of my new friend. I had been working on meditations and exercises that help expand ones capacity to Unconditionally Love, and part of my recent routine was showing respect for all Life, no matter what size. This meant spending a fair amount of time lying in the dirt, and allowing myself to become utterly entranced by ants whose shells gleamed like topaz, or by giving a wasp the opportunity to sit beside me and not be swatted. As I drew myself further and further into this microscopic world, I found myself stepping lighter, becoming more attentive, and in doing so, this level of existence began to share its wisdom with me.
At first I was simply watching the tiny green bug crawl. I breathed deep and cleared my head to make space for a simple shared moment. Slowly a wave of gratitude swelled within. I felt overwhelming thankfulness for the companionship of this tiny bug, the same as a human might feel nestled next to a dog. That, to me, was the key to unlocking Unconditional Love. First, you must find the avenues where this type of energy flows freely and effortlessly. Then you must expand it to become more and more inclusive. Eventually comfort can be found in any moment indulged with the presence of Life, and you begin to realize there was never a moment without it.
Even a bug so small, it struggled to mount the hairs on the back of my hand, was brimming with Life. It held a deep intuitive intelligience that perfectly equipped it for its specific survival. My mind rolled over onto the concept of consciousness. I wondered in what sense this insect comprehended that what it was crawling on was a giant complex organism. I tried to radiate that it had nothing to fear. Of all the humans who may have accidentally or purposefully ended its Life, it had found its way onto a mere spectator of its splendor.
Knowing that too quick a movement could cause the bug to be blown away, I appreciated the opportunity to uncover my own capacity for delicacy. As I poured my tenderness and Love into this tiny creature, something began to stir in me. An image flashed in my head of standing in the center of a vast green field, and I could feel a distinct parallel between myself and the bug. Compared to the vast wisdom of the Universe, my own level of consciousness which i had moments ago felt supremely surpassed that of the insect worlds, was indeed just as small of a fraction. Even Mother Earth, which only inhabited a small corner of the cosmos, put everything I would and could ever know into one simple sentence within the grand narrative of existence. The concrete jungle often made it difficult to remember that we ourselves are also wandering across a giant, complex, Living organism.
The bug pacing back and forth between my fingertips had no means of acknowledging what hair, or hand, or human was. This was akin to the way most humans looked at rocks, oil, trees, and water, as nothing more than resources at their easy disposal. Without acknowledging the Golden Energy being gifted to us by each living thing, without grasping the concept of consciousness even in the intimate, it can become all to easy to feel entitled and lack appreciation as we traverse our Life giving Mothership. We are fed visually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually by all Life surrounding us. But too often we remain unaware of this vital interplay taking place.
Just as I maneuvered my hands so that the tiny bug would always have somewhere to step, I have often felt something far bigger than myself keeps me from walking off the edge. Mother Earth would never squash us. I was horrified but not surprised to realize how often we have tried to squash Her, how close we may have come to squashing ourselves. Yet it's easy to throw a rock without remorse. For most it's also easy to step on bugs, even though we are conscious of their Life. It's just not enough Life. there are "too many" of them, and the are precursors to many mild irritations and irrational fears. The reactions are automatized-swat, squash, kill. But it's not "really" kill. Not to most. And this proves the giant (or perhaps microscopic) yet none the less vital gap in our emotional awareness.
All of this gurgled to the surface of my mind in less than ten minutes. All while carefully observing the tiny green bug. When it was time to switch buses i took the bug outside and left it on the top of a bench. I would have liked to find it a patch of grass, but then i may have missed my bus. I became submissively humbled to find even my own compassion was still limited. But I was working on it. And I did feel genuinely honored to have been bugged in such an eye opening way.
I am not suggesting we mourn the death of every bug, as the next step may be granting birth certificates to every blade of grass. We would then become hesitant to lie or walk on it- it's very purpose. It is not my aim for humans to find yet another reason to be miserable or wallow in our seeming lack, but to offer a fresh perspective on how to more fully Celebrate existence. This can be done by embracing the fundamental respect of Life, and growing our Hearts SO BIG that even the smallest are welcome there. Death is natural. It is not to be feared. But if we are to achieve balance, we must see ourselves as no more or less important than insects. We must grant them the right to exist free from unnecessary harm. And if it still feels like an odd concept, think of it this way-if all humans died, eventually every ecosystem would thrive and flourish again. if all bugs died- everything else would die too. We are all connected, and even the smallest organism can teach us, if we take the time to listen.