I’m grateful to invite Taylor Murray to be guest blogger on Smuggling Grace. I love the phrase that she shares in this piece below, as well as her reflections upon it.
Lifts Us All
I went to my weekly spiritual gathering this Saturday. It was our last one in a series we started seven weeks ago. We have been coming together, as a group of spiritually-curious 20s year olds, and trying to connect with our inner spirits. It’s been really powerful.
This week to celebrate our work and the work left to be done, we each were asked to share our intention of what we want to work on with Spirit in the weeks to come. At the end of each intention Angie, our leader, would say “We honor your intention, it lifts us all.”
I fell head over heels for that phrase. It lifts us all, it lifts us all. Your growth and intention lifts us all.
This mindset is countercultural. Our capitalist society says that another’s success, another’s happiness and nourishment is threatening to our own. It even convinces us that their success is a success stolen from us, their achievement should be ours. We are taught to be angry about other people’s betterment because it means we are failing.
But Angie brought abundance that day, and she could do that with ease because we were interacting not on a physical plane but a spiritual one. There is no limit to the amount of love you can give or receive, and the more someone else has, the more you will get because they have more to give to you. Your abundance of love lifts us all. Your abundance of joy lifts us all. Your wisdom lifts us all.
I carry this phrase in my back pocket now. When I used to see someone succeed, heat would gurgle in my body as I sunk into the depths of shame.
They stole that from you, my mind says. You deserve it more.
You don’t work hard enough. You are undeserving of amazing things.
My mind is expertly able to deprecate myself while inflating my ego, both forcing me down into a dangerous part of myself that I wish was not a part of me.
Today, my friend got a research position with an amazing professor we both adore. Immediately, while my fingers were typing over-the-top congratulations, my heart started to turn to the darkness in me. I could feel it turning. But out of nowhere a light switch flicked on as I remembered: her betterment lifts us all. It lifts me too. I am connected to her, and the more opportunities she has to expose herself to this amazing work, the more I will be connected with it and will learn from it.
It lifts us all.
I offer this to you now, when you feel the shame wash over you. You may have envy like a mold growing inside you, like I have for the past 20 years. If so, let the knowledge that the string that pulls others up is tied to you, and up you go with it.
It lifts us all.
Taylor is a student at the University of Michigan, currently taking a semester off from her computer science studies. She is the co-founder and president of Tech for Social Good a student org creating critical conversations about technology and society. She is also a self-described renaissance woman and currently is learning Korean, thinking about communal grieving, and combatting grind culture. You can reach her at email@example.com.