Yesterday, I was rather surprised to find a vituperous rant from a fairly well known musician on my Facebook news feed. He lashed out at people who refuse to accept unconditional love, behaving rudely when they should be falling on their knees in gratitude. He made a few religious references, stating that he’d pray for these poor, lost souls.
My first, knee-jerk reaction was to be incensed that he had the audacity to be an authority on what another person needed.
But then I took a step back. I was reminded that in judging him, I was doing exactly what riled me about his rant. Regardless of how deplorable we might find a person’s behavior, the truth is, we have absolutely NO IDEA what path they are on, or what motivates their behavior. With that reminder came a memory of a woman I allowed to hurt my feelings in a way that was covered in a polite facade of good intentions. At the time, she and her husband appeared to be the perfect, madly in love couple. The key word, here, is “appeared”. A few months later, their polite, loving facade fell away as they filed for divorce and went their separate ways. Clearly, part of what was behind her unkindness to me was her own, well-hidden unhappiness.
We certainly don’t have to continue to expose ourselves to unpleasant behavior, but it is not our place to determine whether the behavior is right for their path or not. To take offense to their behavior is to allow…yes, folks, I said allow their actions to affect us. And that, my friends, is a choice.
It is also a choice to use a forum like Facebook to air your views on everything under the sun, and heaven knows, I do so on occasion, but try to confine my rants to this blog so people don’t get socked in the face with whatever I was unable to control my reactions to.
I’ve made it pretty clear, on occasion that I have a real problem with so called “Christian values” when someone thinks that part of their belief system is that they have the right to shove their beliefs down someone else’s throat, as is the case with the post which has set off my current mini rant.
I believe, with all my heart, that people have the right to accept or deny help without recrimination. I think that a good Christian or Jew or Buddhist or whatever we call ourselves should understand and respect a person’s right to be left alone to work things out themselves. To pressure them to accept unwanted help is to invite rudeness because, from personal experience, it is sometimes the only way to get these well-meaning but misguided individuals to shut up and go inflict their “help” on someone else. How utterly audacious it would be for me to assume that I know what is best for someone else!
In fact, when doing any kind of healing, it is imperative that the potential recipient’s Higher Self or Guide are consulted before attempting to offer that healing. If they deny permission, the respectful thing to do is accept the decision and understand that they have their own reasons for declining outside assistance. The same should be true of offers of help to our physical selves. We should all understand and respect the fact that “no” means “no”. It doesn’t mean, “you can try to help me even though I don’t really want your help, but I reserve the right to be rude to you if what you do annoys me!”
Isn’t the decision whether to accept or reject “unconditional love” the same thing? And while I’m on the subject, if that love was truly unconditional, would it really matter whether it was accepted or not? Last time I checked, “unconditional” meant to offer something without any expectations.
We are all given trials for a reason. Those trials allow us to learn now skills and grow both as a human and spiritually. If we were forced to accept assistance every time things got tough, we’d never learn to be strong for ourselves! The human race sure wouldn’t last very long under those conditions! While some of those trials may appear needless from those of us on the outside, to the one having the experience, it is a necessary part of their growth, and it is we who are selfish if we deny them the opportunity the lesson provides.
It sure gives the words “Love them to death” new meaning!
So let’s look at “unconditional love” for a minute.
As a mother, I love my daughters unconditionally. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything they do or say, or even get along with them all the time. It just means that no matter what they do, I will still love them. I don’t smother them with it, but hope they know I’m there and will love them no matter what happens. It also doesn’t mean that I step in to try to fix things in their lives. Now that they are adults, I respect that fact and understand that there are times when they have to figure things out for themselves. If they get stuck, they know that they can come to me, but only if they feel that they want me to be part of the solution.
It isn’t always easy to bite my tongue and watch them stumble, but I do know that it is a much better example of my love for them than to deprive them of the lesson they need to learn!
As with everything, when something elicits an emotional reaction in me, I know it is for a reason. There is something I need to remind myself of because if it bothers me, I’m probably guilty of unwittingly committing the same act. So thank you to a certain well known musician who reminded me to be respectful of others when I offer help. If a person declines my help, it is not a personal affront. They simply need to be allowed to work things out for themselves.
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for gentle reminders to treat other people more respectfully.
2. I am grateful for a plethora of learning experiences in my life.
3. I am grateful that I am learning to step back, pause and figure out what the underlying message is.
4. I am grateful for the unconditional love I share with my pets.
5. I am grateful for abundance on all levels: Love, opportunities, prosperity, health and lessons.
Love and light.