Seeing the World as Sacred


Today I was on an online radio program hosted by Rev. Mark Gilbert. The episode will air in a couple weeks and I will post the link here so you may listen. The theme for the episode was the same as the topic for this blog, Seeing the World as Sacred, so you’ll get a preview here.

My notion of sacredness is best captured with the word, value. When see something as sacred we see it as valuable and worthy of our care and attention.

In order to see the world as sacred, first we must see ourselves as valuable and intrinsically good. If we don’t see this in ourselves it will be difficult or impossible to see it in others or in the world.

I have often said that a person who doesn’t know who I am (see my value) doesn’t know who they are. So my goal is not to change their opinion about me, but rather to help them to see their own value.

When we know our own value, it is easy to see others’ value. When we know that our own life is divine, we can see divinity in others and in all things.

Those who commit harmful acts toward others really don’t know who they themselves are, and our collective calling becomes to help every person know the greater truth of who they are, their sacredness, their goodness and value to us and to the world.

There is a song that goes, “I love myself so much, so I can love you so much, so you can love you so much, so you can start loving me.” While our goal is not necessarily to get others to love us, it is natural for people to love others when they love themselves. Many of our issues in society have their root in a lack of self-love.

And ultimately, self-love is an inside job. There’s a saying that all the water in the ocean won’t sink a ship, except the water that gets on the inside. This is true for both negative and positive qualities. While love from the outside helps us develop love on the inside, in the end we have to let it in and accept that we are lovable and worthy of love.

With recent events in the news of shootings in various parts of the world, it is good to remind ourselves that all of life is sacred, and for us to recognize our own sacredness. Then we can remind ourselves of the precious gift that we are and the precious gift that each person is.

When we pass someone on the street or in a coffee shop, do we acknowledge, at least silently to ourselves, that this is God passing before me? Do we bow, even if internally, to the sacred that we see all around us? Do we bow to the tree, dog, cow, soil, or flower as we behold it? Do we recognize in inanimate objects that there too goes the sacred?

To see the sacredness, the value, in all things and all beings creates the opening for us to show greater care, respect, and reverence for all. Yes, we have our opinions about this person or that person, and our likes and dislikes of things, but beyond these biases we can see the greater truth that all is sacred.

The invitation this day is to remember the sacredness or value of all beings and things, and to focus more on the value than on our judgments or opinions. In this way, we live in a world of the sacred.

Enjoy the journey.

Gregory Toole offers spiritual coaching to individuals and groups who want to create and live extraordinary lives. For more information, go to

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