This morning I was thinking of maps and our lives. We have physical, mental, moral, and spiritual maps ingrained in us. They can be quite challenging to change once they become automatic, habitual and how we show up in life.
Our physical maps help us find our way to the store and to a friend's house and school and church. They are practical, We know how to navigate our part of the world.
Our mental maps can be practical too. Mathematics are very practical, as are the alphabets we use and grammar rules taught to us in school. They can be a problem if we learn inaccurate mental maps and cling to them.
Moral maps are somewhat or very different in different times and places. They can create some huge clashes in our lives. Right now we are seeing clashes between the Taliban's version of morality and that of the Western world. They have a vastly different set of moral maps from when and how violence is sanctioned to how women are treated.
Spiritual maps mostly come from the religion of our families, which also means from the area of the world into which we are born. Occasionally a person changes their religion from that of their family and part of the world they call home, but this is not the usual experience, If I had been born in India, for example, it is highly likely I would be Hindu.
It is helpful to be aware of our own internal maps and maybe update them to a more compassionate life plan. Observe yourself as you navigate your days and take note of what you learn about yourself and your maps. It can be quite surprising.
Ask yourself things such as: what is my automatic reaction to people who are different from me; do I judge critically those with different maps; am I willing to open to more empathy and understanding, etc????
We are called to love, which means we likely need to make some inner adjustment. Being self- aware is essential to updating our maps.
Lord, center of my soul, center of all souls, guide me to develop self-awareness. Lead me to live as walking, talking love. I hear Your call to be more. Here I am, Lord, lead me.