I see a stunning scarlet poppy field backed by blue mountains, the beauty easing my being on a cold Monday morning. But then I look at the source of this image on my Facebook timeline and my sense of peace turns to ire. “How dare she post this with no credit to the photographer!” I yell to no one but myself.
I get up and pace my home’s great room, from the kitchen—still smelling of cinnamon from breakfast—to my living room with its cushiony rug.
The fieriness of the emotion informs me that this is about more than copyright infringement. But what? I release the issue to my Beloved and go about my day.
I answer emails and edit a client’s essay. I recognize that part of my reaction to this woman’s Facebook page—on which she posts beautiful images she finds on the Internet, always without giving credit—is simply jealousy.
It has taken me many months to build the Facebook page for The Inner Adventure. I put time and energy into creating original content, including hours out shooting photos. How easy it would be to use the very best of the Internet and represent it as my own creation. (For more about my journey in writing about the Beloved, check out my post All In.)
But I also know that’s not this woman’s intention. She simply has a keen eye for inspiring photographs and she’s using it to good effect. Practically everyone steals images off the Internet these days. Again I release this to the Beloved.
I log onto Facebook and there find another stunning image from her page. On this one in the comments field I write, “It would be great to know the source of this, and that person would probably appreciate the credit.” It’s as neutral a message as I can muster.
In the coming hours I wait to see if the message kicks back. If it does, it’s usually a sign that my own message has a bite.
Still I ask the Beloved to guide me, to show me what this is really about. In the night, while I sleep, the answer begins to come. And in the morning as I do my reading contemplation, suddenly a truth illuminates.
It is I who fail to give credit for the bountiful gifts in my life. Each time I reach to the outer for love, money, health or recognition, I am denying the true Source.
All comes from the Beloved. It is only a trick of the mind that claims responsibility for this magnificent creation that with every breath draws me closer to my true home.
As I enter my day, I’m released from angst toward this beautiful soul and her creation. I do have a message from her explaining where she gets her photographs. Through the innocent reply I realize she has no idea that she is misusing others’ art, and so I briefly explain and direct her to a Facebook page that lovingly educates about downloading photographs from the Internet and posting them as your own: Photography Copyright.
I am able to do this with neutrality because it no longer matters to me what she does. That is her business. On my own photographs I get the long-overdue nudge to place watermarks—notations with my web address—an easy solution.
Later in the day, I log onto Facebook and see a message from her page saying she will no longer be posting except on her personal page. At first I am struck with a sense of responsibility and sadness at the loss of the beauty of her posts.
In a note back to me she writes: “I understand it’s important to give credit where credit is due.” I write back saying that I hope she will continue and simply find a way to give that credit.
A week later I’m closing up the house for the night. I lock the doors and secure the shutters. All is quiet out here in the piñon forest where I live. Suddenly my mind churns about money. It counts days and weeks and years and dollar amounts trying to be sure I will have enough.
I call on the Beloved to stop my mind’s grasping.
I suspend into the now, here with my cat, the quiet of the night, and the calming love that flows in upon my simple request.
In the next dawn as I lie between flannel sheets and listen to the quiet, I recognize the power of that moment. I see that when I let my mind count, calculate, or in any way rely on the outer, I give credit to the mind, as though my sustenance comes from it, from the material world. Instead I can call on the Beloved and move into that spectacular state of knowing that Its Infiniteness supplies all, and that I can rely on It always and forever.
With this dawning, I grasp the imperative of dwelling in the Love vibration in every moment—since It truly creates all.
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