I spend a lot of time professing everyone’s right to their own spiritual beliefs. So much, in fact, that you would think I would lack judgmental thoughts and behaviours, at least on this subject. Sadly, I found myself in a position where knee jerk overrode common sense, common courtesy and those not-so-ingrained-as-I-believed beliefs.
When the subject of religion came up at the club where I dance a couple of weeks ago, I unintentionally went into offensive mode simply because someone stated her belief that what she believed was the only truth. If I truly walked the walk, I’d have let it go at that, but instead, challenged her belief (which really is ludicrous if you get right down to it) and in the process, made a very sweet lady who has never, ever said an unkind word to my knowledge, feel uncomfortable.
It took me a couple of weeks to get around to it (partly because she wasn’t at the club all the nights I was) but I finally worked up the cojones to apologize to her for my unkindness. She was incredibly gracious about it, echoing my own words “everyone has a right to their beliefs” and even told me she accepted my apology though it wasn’t necessary, which, sadly, only makes me feel like more of a hypocrite for being unkind to her in the first place.
Clearly, there is a big difference between saying you believe something and actually living it! I definitely need to work on the living it part (yet another lesson!) and the keeping my mouth shut part as well! And there’s a big difference between discussing the style of someone’s shoes and challenging their decision to buy them in the first place.
It appears, much to my disgust, that I am still influenced by the people who have, over the years, claimed that I wasn’t a whole person because I didn’t believe as they did, which leads me to wonder just how many incidents from our childhood and teenage years (and even beyond) are we unconsciously holding onto, to the detriment of our spiritual and emotional growth?
More importantly, when we do recognize one of those malignant issues, how best to let it move out of our lives and dissipate until it no longer influences our thoughts and words? Pondering this question, I gaze down at the hand where one of my semi-feral cats scratched me many months ago. I had begun to think I would have a permanent scar, but notice that a portion of the wound has already disappeared and the rest has faded considerably. Are old emotional wounds similar? If we accept that they impacted us at one point and that maybe they will continue to be a part of us and maybe they won’t, will they then, if not completely disappear, at least allow us to put them in perspective and minimize or even negate the influence they have on our lives from this point forward?
The first step, of course, is to stop beating myself up over it, since by so doing, I’m giving the whole thing a lot more attention than it deserves. The second, at least for me, is to love and appreciate this beautiful, kind woman who inadvertently gave me another life lesson.
The Universe has its own ways of challenging me to live up to my own standards, knowing that I’m not always going to rise to the challenge, but will, instead, learn another hard truth about myself: that for the time being, I’m only human and as such, a work in progress who aspires, for now, to be a better person. And maybe that’s the point in the first place.
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for people who put me to the test so I make sure that I treat others as I wish to be treated.
2. I am grateful for lessons which make me reassess and make adjustments where necessary.
3. I am grateful for the examples I am given.
4. I am grateful for quiet Friday nights at home with my kitties.
5. I am grateful for a cat who will lap up a brie covered pill rather than be wrapped in a towel and have his sore face messed with.
Love and light.