9/30/10

Do I want my understanding or your approval?

Too often, in our quest to be 'good' we get too caught up in gaining the approval of others. I once heard a friend tell me she does not post her thoughts about her politics on Facebook for she does not want to 'offend' her friends. Now, that would only make sense if you were politically affiliated with some hate group perhaps, but I absolutely do not prescribe to such set of ideas. I cannot imagine straddling worries about what is going on within me, AND what is going on in minds external to myself; and try to control it.

I find that when dealing with people who may come from very varying paths as one you might encounter on a social media format it's best to be a single way with all of them and allow the balls fall where they may, with a huge emphasis on the word ALLOW. Spiritually, my journey calls for congruence of thought and actions to one's true self. This approach allows all other concerns about external consequences to our actions to just fall away, as if they never mattered at all. And they don't matter. People who may have their doors closed to you might never open them enough to see you as a good, valuable or an even decent person. Therefore, this 'ALLOWING' approach lets you still value your own voice, your own path, your own journey and most importantly, your own understanding.

The quest of a spiritual person should not be to achieve the ultimate set of good graces by others, or being thought of as saintly even. The goal of a spiritual being should be to (1) value their own journey and voice enough to not hesitate being themselves always and through that (2) allow others to also be where they are on their path without feeling the need to change them or reacting to them or their actions. I find this part of my spiritual journey particularly key in keeping me focused. my own journey is ultimately all that matters for I'm the one who has to live with myself.

You will always encounter people on our path who may be rude, aloof, unfriendly, or just plain mean spirited toward you . When this happens, I remind myself that I can only control what I can control and others' preconceptions of me are out of my hands. I have this saying that I think about every time I encounter a person who for whatever reason has written me off before they've even spoken to me. The thought is, "You'd love me if you knew me." Equally, in times when I experience a deep dislike of someone I do not even know, I also remind myself how I do not know this person and maybe once I knew them, I'd surely like them too.

My journey for example, has taken me so many places it would make your head spin. If my own humble path has an amazing story to tell, surely others' stories also carry just as many twists and turns and its own weight in learning experiences. As the saying goes, 'life is stranger than fiction'. You can live life open and allow others to teach you about humanity and yourself or you can live your life cushioned by your preconceptions with a proverbial wall surrounding your true self and learn nothing......the choice is yours.

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