There is a story of a Rabbi from Krakow who, in a deep sleep, has a dream.
And it isn’t a normal dream — it is one of those vivid, real dreams. A powerful, altering, wake up and do something about it kind of dream. And in this dream the Rabbi had a vision of a place far, far away and in this place was a bridge and under the bridge was a treasure buried deep beneath the earth.
So immediately upon waking up, the Rabbi grabs what he needs and departs on a journey far, far away to find this bridge. He goes many, many miles, through many, many places, but, finally, he sees the bridge he had dreamt about the night before where he knew a treasure promised to be awaiting him.
He wanted to ensure success so he slowly made his way to one side of the bridge to scope it out and he noticed a guard. Not wanting to be seen, he snuck off to a bush adjacent to the bridge and waited for the guard to disappear so he could make his move.
After many, many hours, finally the guard looks over to the bush and yells, “You there. Come out of that bush!”
The rabbi, disappointed at the failure of being caught, slowly looked up to the guard.
The guard prompted him, “Yes. You. I’ve been watching you for hours and you are spying on this bridge! What are you doing here?”
The rabbi, who was embarrassed in the face of defeat, mumbled to the guard, “You are never going to believe this, but I came to this bridge because last night I had this dream where I saw this exact bridge and buried under the bridge was a treasure…so I came to see if I could find the treasure and take it back with me…”
At the rabbi’s explanation, the guard burst out in laughter with a deep, guttural, belly laugh and finally exclaimed back to the rabbi, “Are you serious? You believe in dreams like that? If I believed in dreams like that I would believe that there is a treasure buried under the bed of a rabbi from Krakow!”
The rabbi slowly looked back at the guard with a gaze of realization and said, “Thank you very much, sir,” and he returned home.
Which Posture Do You Start From?
There seems to be two different postures of understanding our humanity.
The first is the earn system.
That your humanity and goodness is something you have to attain; that your worth comes from what you do. Your value, therefore, is not based on the fact that you are a human being with a heartbeat and breath and life and history and depth, but on how well you measure up to the ideal.
There is a sculpted, perfect image that you must work hard to acquire.
Then you will be human.
So you start with what you are not then you live from that negative space, that lack, and spend your energy trying to receive. It is the world of the resume where we shout messages of, “Do more! Showcase you are better! Prove your value!” After that, you will earn the gift.
What happens is that our energy is consumed with the pressure of competing to make the team and measuring up. Which means it is directed in a very narrow trajectory to fill a void.
But there is another posture that, in my experience, leads to a healthier, more impactful presence.
The second is that you are already enough.
Which implies that you don’t have to do anything, but that you get to.
When you start with the fact that you are already human and that, in and of itself, is enough then your life & your energy are liberated to flow in the world. Instead of spending our time trying to fill a cup that our culture has created to make us think we lack something, we recognize that we are like the head of a river, already full of water waiting to be unleashed in the world. If you start from your worth and value as a person with life and breath and energy and this immense potential then you start with a fullness that leads to the infinite possibilities that are now possible.
If you already have the gift, then how much more is possible for you to do with said gift?
If you are already on the team, you don’t have to earn your way in, you simply get to play.
When you start with this posture, you are released to flourish.
Being a good person, then, is not something that exists ahead of you waiting to be earned in some sort of points program; it is a natural result of your inherent goodness flowing forth from who you already are.
Can You Start Here?
What would your life look like if you released yourself from the anxiety of trying to attain something and simply took on the responsibility that you have a gift that can be shared with the world? What if you saw that, just by being alive, you are already enough, you already belong, and you already have this treasure with you?
There is something powerful about realizing that there is only one of you. The points program is all about you becoming something else, but we don’t need you to be someone else…we need you to be you. That is your responsibility and there is only one requirement for this to be true: That you are alive.
You’re a human being? Great! Now, let’s go.
But there is something else that needs to be acknowledged — that if this is true about you, then it is certainly true about the other human beings around you. We can start with ourselves, but can you start here with others? What would your life look like if you released other human beings to live from their humanity?
The invitation is to see yourself as already human and, then, to see others the same way you see yourself; to no longer require anyone, including you, to first measure up before we can access this gift.
We spend so much of our time searching for and trying to earn that which is already ours.
We spend so much of our energy trying to get that which we already have.
We spend so much of our life trying to get “there” when it has been “here”, with you, the entire time.
May you see that the treasure you are looking for may just be in the place you thought you needed to depart from to find.
May you see that the gift you think you need is right there within you…and it has been there the entire time.
And may you start here.
I’m trying to discover how to “Become More Human”
If you’re interested, I’d be happy to share what I’m finding to help craft how you live, too. You can find more here:
Originally published at tylerkleeberger.com.