Wouldn’t it be a different world if we raised our children with the idea that they must overcome their fears and learn to love one another? What if instead of being raised to compete against everyone, they were raised with the idea we could all be successful and happiness and share in our joy? What if we raised them with the idea that it was noble to serve one another and to not think of “positions,” or “money,” or “power,” or “fame?”
When I most struggle with people or situations, I have always found that stepping outside my ego is the only way to get over it. Personal loses in my life made me fearful of a certain religious culture when I was much younger. I found myself one day working alongside someone who was devoutly involved in that very religion and so I invited him to lunch one day and asked him to talk to me about his religious beliefs.
We spoke with honour and respect and explained doctrines and ideas that were beautiful. I realized my head was filled with misconceptions that other people had told me, people who were not part of the religion at all. It prompted me to read much more and study and I came to a greater understanding and appreciation for the intents of many different religious practices. I would never have benefitted from that experience had I not first put myself in the position to be the student to a teacher that I clearly was prejudiced against.
The only thing it cost me was my ignorance.
I have been struggling with this quite a bit lately. Realizing the cost for me to enjoy all the modern conveniences and luxuries in my life is not sitting so easily.
Years ago I remember the dialogue about how disconnected city kids were with the food chain. Many of them thought food came from a grocery store and did not connect cows to milk and wheat to bread etc. We are just as disconnected when it comes to our clothes, our electronics, etc.
The horrific conditions under which people are forced to work in sweat shops and mining and factories is not ok with me and my having luxuries (not even necessities) should never be more important than people.
I also think about this on the larger scale of how we are all interconnected anyway. I remember my grandparents trying to explain to the wild flower child me that we were not free to do whatever we want as in “It’s my body,” or “It’s my life,” or “It’s my choice.” They wanted me to understand that the choices I make impact other people whether I like to admit it or not. It took me awhile to get past my own teenage narcissism to understand that fully.
Nothing matters to me more than the truth – to myself. I might have social situations where it is not appropriate or required but with myself, the absolute truth, no matter how painful, is always required. I am willing to incur anger with others if I need to speak the truth. I expect it.
What I struggle with sometimes is dealing with anger.
As a woman I was so taught to fear anger. I was not supposed to get angry, certainly never express it. It made me fearful of anger in other people as well. Not a very healthy response when you realize that part of healing from emotional trauma is the anger phase … how do you heal when you believe you are not allowed to be angry?
I think I struggle with that the most of all my emotions – what to do with anger. I feel guilty for feeling anger. And then I get angry that I feel bad for feeling angry LOL.
I have made progress by being able to allow other people to be angry. That was actually easier for me. I am not responsible for their anger. Once I know they understand me correctly, that is to say they have not misunderstood my words or my intentions, then if they are angry … I get out of their way. I accept that not everyone is going to agree with me or like me. I actually respect people who are honest in that regard. At least I respect them much more than I do people who pretend they are fine when they are not.
I can respect people who don’t like me.
I frequently need that reminder of who I am so that I don’t get pulled so far away from myself that I can’t find my way back. It is easy to make other people’s problems my own and then find myself in a sea of emotions I don’t want. I think that is why I like to get up so early in the morning … 3 – 4 AM … it is the best time of the day for me. Maybe it is because it is so quiet and so there are less distractions and I can hear my inner teacher. Maybe I am just more empty at that time of the day. I just know I love watching the night turn to day and hearing everything wake up and pulling it into my reality instead of waking up later and I have to be pulled into the reality that others have already created.