And Isn’t It Ironic, Don’t You Think?
I once received–as a parting gift after a deeply spiritual 10-day retreat in California–a couple of ounces of holy water. Holy water blessed personally by some now dead Hindu holy man who could manifest solid objects from thin air by just willing it to be so. True story.
I came home from that retreat in a state of bliss; feeling like my richest spiritual teachings had just been lived-out during this extended workshop in paradise.
I could not have been more wrong.
Those spiritual lessons were to be fully lived after I arrived home and began to search for that container of holy water. The holy water I had gingerly carried with me on the plane, in my own personal, bpa-free, pc, stainless steel water bottle (so as not to contaminate the holiness of the water). The water bottle that now sat on the kitchen cupboard. Completely empty. Drained into the now very blessed plumbing system of our kitchen sink. Baptized by my beaming husband who had just generously unpacked my carry-on bag for me. He is often very thoughtful in this exact way.
Sigh. I love my husband more than that holy water. I really do. But I’m not gonna’ lie, it is a love that was sorely tested that day.
Often we believe our greatest spiritual teachings come from the wise quotes of ancient gurus, saints or holy men and women throughout history. Or maybe we idolize contemporary spiritual leaders like Deepak Chopra or Dr. Wayne Dyer, or (fill in the blank). Don’t get me wrong, I believe all of these instructors are wise and wonderful resources of light who have a lot to teach us, and we have a lot to learn from them.
But the real spiritual lessons come from the Guru cutting you off in traffic, or the unapologetic, pudgy, two-foot tall cherub who just knocked over some ‘precious, precious’ fragile doodad and shattered it into a million glittering pieces on the floor. (A doodad you loved like Gollum loved that damn ring.) Even that curmudgeonly relative, or friend, or coworker that always knows the perfect snarky comment to send you into an apocalyptic Facebook rant . . . THEY are our most noble spiritual teachers, our truest Gurus, Saints and Rabbis because it is really all about how we respond to them. Well, them and the wonderful lessons they deliver all wrapped up in spiritual irony.
I love life’s Spiritual Irony 101 classes and all those rumpled, rag-tag professors that you assume are clueless when you first enter their classroom, but turn out to be quite brilliant. Their lessons are always so humbling, so holy and often funny (given the right amount of time passing)!
A robust sense of humor will get you far on any spiritual journey, so pack it generously in that carry-on! (And you might want to have it clearly labeled as well.)
There is really so much divinity in the everyday!