I’m working peacefully at my computer when I glance out the window and see a six-foot cedar post. I stand to look more closely and come to find that my neighbor is erecting a coyote fence between her property and mine.
Immediately, my mind goes into emergency mode. It’s alarmed about the fence placement, which seems to be on my property, not hers. But there’s a subtler disturbance within me that I can’t quite identify.
Feeling my inner panic, I call on the Beloved. I need this counsel to calm me down, to advise me on what to do. I head out on my daily walk. As I make my way down the trail my mind keeps returning to the fence, and I keep drawing my attention back to my mantra and the image of my Beloved. Slowly I calm. I can appreciate the cirrus clouds skating across the sky, the chamisa bushes with their downy winter coats.
I come to see that this fence is not a personal strike against me. Ever since our neighborhood association won a court case against Dee (see The Divine Court), she has been erecting fences all around her property. Night and day, sun or rain, she is out there building her fortress.
Arriving back at my house, I walk around the side to get a closer look at the construction. Indeed, Dee has put up five or so main posts and filled in one section with cedar fencing. I hear her working there now.
Behind the blockade, her dog barks. “Good dog,” Dee says. “Good dog.”
My heart aches with the thought that my neighbor would encourage her dog to bark at me.
Back inside my house, I call the title company to ask what to do. I immediately reach an officer who recommends that I use my survey to check the measurement from my house to the fence line. I pull out my longest tape measure and head outside. It turns out that the fence is within her property. I simply didn’t realize that my house sits so close to her line. Relief washes over me.
As I settle in for the evening, I chop carrots and broccoli for a stir-fry. But I still feel uneasy. It’s as though that fence represents my neighbor’s hatred of me, and I have trouble reconciling that.
I have always tried so hard to be nice. My whole life that is the identity I have most fostered. I stop and look out at the sunset, blazing a thousands variations of red, pink and orange. Suddenly I recognize how limited that identity is. Nice Lesley—how little room there is to act in that matrix.
It is pure ego—a desire to be liked at all cost. The truth is, sometimes I am not nice. I can manifest meanness, thoughtlessness, selfishness, any number of lower tendencies. Over the years with this neighbor I have pretty much shown my worst, until recently, when I have come to view her as soul and her combative acts as mere tendencies.
I bring in the Beloved, feel the loving power fill my being. This, I say, is my true identity. I am not nice Lesley. Instead I am the Divine Power. When I align with my Beloved I take on the omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence of this Divine force. It is the power of all creation. It has the ability to negotiate any situation with love.
I see that this experience with my neighbor is not about her and me, fence and property. It is about the unseen forces acting behind these outer manifestations. The opposing force wants to draw me away from my Beloved. When I stay strong in the love, I realize yet more of my Divine Self.
In subsequent days, the fence construction continues and I simply let it. I come to see the fence as a beautiful reflection of an important boundary between my higher and lower self. I need not react to, nor fight, nor run from that lower vibration. Instead I can simply let it play out its karma behind its little coyote fence, while I enjoy spring, its chirping birds, cobalt sky and sun that warms my cheeks.
Above all, I bask in the Love that I am.
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Hi Lesley, I just read this amazing post of your which of course held me spellbound with every word! It is amazing how you turned this everyday Pinda event into a higher lesson in love and devotion to the Divine. You used the alchemy of the Master to see the higher purpose or lesson in this karma that seems to be hounding you from this unfriendly being who is a so called neighbor.By changing your point of view you changed your reality from your lower self to your higher self in Soul. I thank you for this post since it makes me more aware of things that happen to me everyday that need to be viewed from this higher point of view. This channeling as all of yours has done, has helped me raise my own viewpoint and thus expand my own consciousness in dealing with everyday events!
Thank you, Michael, for your enthusiastic response. You summed up the experience well. Our Beloved instructs us to reduce experience down to the basic components, and I find when I do, the emotionalism leaves and all is laid bare. The truth of the journey is so simple when viewed in this loving way. Thank you for journeying with me, dear friend.
Thank you for another spot on contemplation, Lesley. It amazes me how often the Beloved channels the guidance I have requested through your blog posts! Since yesterday, I have wrestled with guilt over issuing a reprimand to one of my librarians and feeling like maybe I wasn’t “nice” enough, although I wasn’t mean or nasty at all; just firm with her that she had made an error which she needed to correct and not our secretary. But I, too, suffer from that programming that says I have to be nice, regardless, although I fail at that so often it’s laughable. What a different perspective you were graced with in this lower-world incident. Thank you for sharing your insights. They were so helpful to me in my spiritual walk today. Many blessings!
Marian, I am so glad to hear this came in at the right time for you. The perfection of creation continues to astonish me daily, as does the ways the Beloved “speaks” to me through experience. It sounds as though you handled that situation with an “arrow dipped in honey.” Thank you for enhancing the conversation.
I enjoyed reading this! And was surprised that it was so timely for me–this morning I acted in a different manner towards one of my piano students. I too have always tried to be “nice” and have let other people take advantage of me in the process. But this morning I acted in a more balanced and truthful manner…. and always working at focusing on staying centered in the LOVE. Thank you for sharing your story in such a beautiful manner!
Sonja, thank you for sharing one of your piano lessons. It’s so true, the Divine power very often allows us to act in a “balanced and truthful” manner. I am happy for your loving identity.
Simply loved this. Knowing every experience is a test and living it as a gift! So much love in a truthful life. Thank you Leslie.
Wonderful story, and beautiful responses to it. I think all of us identify in some way with the expectation to be nice. I think it started with Bambi’s Thumper, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all…” What I loved most about this post is your interesting observation that being nice can truly be a boxed matrix, and that following the Divine’s power to negotiate all of life using Love may actually lead to the same outward appearance — being nice — but through an entirely different matrix — one of freedom. There is nothing wrong with being nice, unless that is one’s identity. We have a much higher identity to nurture than that — BEing Love, Truth, Master-full, for example. Thank you for the lovely contemplation this morning.
Thank you, Rudy. That is a great distinction you make. It is so true. The subtlety of a more refined matrix appears small, but its reach is huge. When we own our Divine heritage, we are truly free.
I love this: having a matrix of freedom.
Powerful, Lesley, and universal in its message. Thank you for baring your soul in this way. I am looking at the world differently today—and my own “lower tendencies.” We all have them, verdad?
Yes, we do all have “lower tendencies,” Richard. I find as I engage with them less, they lose power. I am happy to hear that you are looking at the world differently. Thank you for joining in here.
I loved this essay. It’s actually a message I really needed to hear today. Thank you.
Lesley: Your story has a familiar ring to it for me. I lived 30 years in NM. The neighborhood I lived in was more rural than city and my lot was over an acre. I kept to myself and tried always to be a good neighbor. I had my own business so I did not go off every day to some work place somewhere. I started ever day with a run which set me up to face whatever I had to do for the day. There were a few neighbors who ignored my presence but most would acknowledge me. About four years ago the neighborhood started to change but I still loved where I lived. There was close neighbors who started doing various things that I felt were to bug or bully me (I won’t get into the details). My neighborhood had CC&R’s and rather than take my problem, with the neighbor, to the HOA I felt I could just talk to these people and work out some mutual resolution. I found that, to my dismay, talking didn’t work. I was threatened with physical violence and strange things started happening to my home. In my years as a negotiator I found my best reaction in situations like this was “no reaction”. I had always felt it was more difficult to pick up or hold a person that went limp then a person who did not. I have always, and still do, want people to like me, so I give out what I want back, that’s me. I started ignoring these people and then early last summer I lost my brother. I attempted to talk to the neigbors again and after their aggressive approach to me I walked away which was hard for me as I have always stood up for what I believed in. I have a lot of responsibilities in my life and needed to devote my attention to what I had to do. One day early after this last incident I put my house on the market to see what would happen. I sold it in ten days for full asking price. I loved my house but had to tell it good bye. I now live in a completely different place and I am still the same person. I have never had so many people be so very kind to me and understanding of my situation—never. People in my new community ask me what I miss most about NM besides the sun and I laugh and tell them “green chilies.” I have found there is nothing I can do to change others behaviors toward me so I say nothing and just get on. This change has been radical but I am at peace with what I did. I still really feel what goes around comes around. All this said I totally understand what is going on in your neighborhood.
John, thank you for your comforting story. These challenges are such teachers for us, and they can be great catalysts as well. It sounds as though yours was both. I appreciate how boldly you acted, creating a whole new life in a new place that I know serves you on many levels. This story will resonate with me.
Oh, yea! another victory, another win.
I am more amazed every day with how quickly all the lower tendencies grab on like tenacious vines to a coyote fence and attempt to strangle the Love that we are.
How it is that those lower tendencies have any appeal whatsoever perplexes me, when Love is so soothing, so enriching, and has no ill side effects.
But, although I do indeed have more familiarity than I want with the initial and ongoing reactions, I also more richly identify with your last line. Yummy!
Thank you, Sheila, yes, more and more I identify with the last line too: Above all, I bask in the Love that I am. I am coming to see how valuable every experience is because each one moves us closer to the ability to hold this state always.
I thoroughly enjoy the easy way you transform a possibly negative event into a positive, and I wonder who added the blue bottles which transform the drab fence into a happy piece of art?
Thank you, Diane. My neighbor and her worker are nearly finished with the fence, and it turns out it is very beautiful. So often things that appear alarming initially turn into blessings, just as you said. I photographed the bottle fence in Capitan, NM, many years ago and have always loved its whimsical beauty.
Doesn’t matter what you say, Lesley. You’re nice.
Haha, that is so “nice” of you to say, Bob. You are definitely seeing yourself reflected. Thank you.
What stood out to me is “negotiate any situation with love.” Thanks for all of it <3
Yes, me too, that is an important phrase to remember, Shabdarider.
Wow! I’ve really enjoyed your “Inner Adventure” in the past, but this one is so insightful for me, that I have to comment! Your analogy “I come to see the fence as a beautiful reflection of an important boundary between my higher and lower self” is very profound to me; your ability find the true “inner” meaning to difficult and often upsetting “outer” experiences, and express it like you do, is very insightful for me!
Thank you Lesley
What a great story!
I had just layed down in bed with my new iPad Air, and turned on Facebook. There popped up your lovely post about your neighbor,s barrier fence.l
It must have been a.shock at first, because it,s true that everyone wants to be liked. I think it takes great detachment and discernment to rise above those lower emotions. Your tools really work well for you!
I wonder if a hidden blessing will be when pretty songbirds begin to sit and nest in the fence?
You are so lucky you can get out and x-country ski. I,ve scheduled my 4th back surgery for May 29, and will be laid up in bed for 2-4 months depending on hoe the healing goes. would it be ok if I wrote some shrt notes while I,m recovering? This iPad is a little hard to get used to typing on at first, but I’m getting faster.
Keep posting your great writings, and your great pictures. 8 like them.
Bob, Thank you for your kind response to this post. And you are right, now that the fence is up, it is beautiful and I am sure birds will enjoy it too, as you say. I do feel blessed to be able to ski and hike, and I know that those are great gifts in this life. I wish you well with your back surgery and recovery time. I will message you about the rest of your message.