There is only one Spirit that is expressing as me, you, and every other thing and being in the world. To be spiritual is striving to live knowing that we are all intricately connected and essentially One. But is it really possible to live up to this ideal all the time?

A few years ago, I was torn by a conflict between my priorities as a homeowner and having to deal with some unwanted ‘visitors’. While it may seem like a funny story to you, I seriously can’t say I know for sure what was the absolute ‘right’ thing to do.

It was February 2013 and we were having our front door and windows replaced. The installers did what they could to do the job as quickly and as efficiently as possible. The fact remained however, that there were gaping openings for several hours that not only allowed the cold, but also some unwelcome ‘visitors’ in.

Common pantry MothHere’s what I mean. A few days after the installation, I noticed two tiny little moths in my kitchen. They seemed to like my snack cupboard and were just hanging around inside and on the door. I guessed that they were harmless.  Since there were just two of them, I figured they’d die off soon enough. How long is the life span of a moth anyway?

Ordinarily, when I notice any insect in the house, I pick it up gently with a tissue and shake it off outside in the garden, letting the insect free. But since it was February and cold, I thought I would live and let live. So, I decided to be a gracious host and allow them to temporarily live in my snack cupboard.

A month later, in mid-March, I noticed several moths in and around my snack cupboard. Those naughty rascals were making out when I wasn’t looking! One or two moths were okay, but twelve of them?

Out flew the oneness ideal and in came a feeling of indignation and a sense of betrayal. Is that how they repay me for my hospitality?  I decided to evict the ingrates immediately without notice.

Armed with some tissues and a plastic shopping bag, I chased the slow-flying freeloaders and pinned them down (as gently as I could) with my tissues, and tossed them into the bag.

I stalked over to the front door and threw the bag of live moths onto my covered front porch. “There! GRTBR!!” I growled. (That stands for “Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish!” —A phrase I learned when I was 10 years old).

Satisfied, I stepped back into the house.

Sleep didn’t come as easily that night. “How cruel—you threw them out in the cold,” said my conscience. My disgruntled mind justified itself, “But they are in the tissues and inside the plastic bag. That should keep them warm and protected.” “But it’s minus 5 degrees Celsius,” my conscience reminded me. “Yeah, but they’ll be fine!” retorted my mind unconvincingly. This back and forth went on for a little while until I finally fell asleep.

The next morning, the first thing I did was to retrieve the bag from the porch and take it to the garage. At least they wouldn’t die as it’s warmer there. Then, seeing that Spring will be here soon, I will shake them off outside.

For a week now, I have been bagging an average of three or four moths per day and taking them out to the garage. There is a corner that is quickly filling up with moth-bags.

I’ve begun to question myself: “Am I taking this Oneness idea too far?”

You may be chuckling as you read this but, it was no laughing matter for me. Believe or not, those pesky moths kept appearing in my kitchen for literally months!

The Right Thing To Do

I’ve given this a lot of thought and come to accept some clear facts:

From a higher perspective, I did not live up to the spiritual idea of Oneness.

However, I have not renounced my worldly life and living like a monk. I am a householder, wife and mother with a responsibility to ensure that my home is a clean and safe place to live. Looking at the situation from this perspective, I think getting rid of the moths was the right thing to do.

After all, “Active resistance to all evil” is what my Guru, Swami Chinmayananda used to say.

What do you think?

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Manisha Melwani

Manisha Melwani is a teacher and the author of, "So You're a Spiritual Being–Now What?" She offers spiritual and wellness solutions for life and stress management. She teaches classes in personal growth, stress management and meditation. She is based in Richmond Hill and Markham, Ontario. Contact her for more information or to have her speak to your group or organization. She also offers private counselling sessions in person or on-line.
Manisha Melwani

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