Personal Enlightenment

Sometimes I look at various posts on social media and shake my head in wonder. People who hurt others are demanding apologies from the same people they hurt. Instead of talking to that person, they throw hurling accusations and are guilty of the pot calling the kettle. The innuendo is that when others don’t think others are giving them the reinforcement they need, they do nothing but insinuate others behavior. It’s petty and a waste of time and energy. I choose to not communicate with certain people in my life because their behavior has exemplified a level of thinking that I don’t wish to emulate. I’m not going to get all righteous and religious on people just because I think others need to be saved. In fact, while I may believe in God, I don’t believe in broadcasting that I think I’m better than anyone else because I’m not. I’m human. I make mistakes and I own them.

The last few months have been an enlightening time for many of us. We are having to re-evaluate how we do everything in this life. Most of us washed our hands but we didn’t always do it as regularly as we should. Now it’s become the norm. Many are wearing masks for various reasons. There are many who don’t wear the mask but no matter which side of the spectrum a person falls on, we all have the freedom to make those choices for ourselves. There are places in this world that do not have those freedoms. We are blessed.

When I go to work, I’m amazed at the pettiness and drama that is exhibited among peers and coworkers. There’s a lot of gossip that occurs in workplaces. It seems to be something that people can’t help do. I’ve been guilty of it a lot and the more I retreat, the more I appreciate staying out of drama. The added stress and anxiety isn’t worth it. We have enough issues to contend with as it is. The pressure to fit in can be high. Ask yourself what you are really trying to fit in with? Is it the superficiality of the cool group? Yes, you need to better yourself at every opportunity but don’t sell your soul to do it. Stay true to your values and your goals. If you make a mistake, own it. If you spread rumors, stop. If you like to step on others toes, remember karma. Everything comes back in one way or another. Good karma returns ten fold. Bad karma – well let’s just say no one wants bad karma. It finds a way of biting all of us in the butt.

Recently I wanted to go grab dinner with a friend after work. Because of the pandemic restrictions most of the restaurants in town that are allowing dine-in options are closing at 6:00 pm. The exact same time I get off work. It’s annoying but while I understand the reasoning, I still don’t have to like it. I think of all the restaurant and bar staff along with hotels that had to shut down and the lack of ability to work and earn money that people are dealing with. I was blessed. My job kept me working through the pandemic but a lot of others weren’t so fortunate. My heart aches for all the kids that were denied their senior year in the same manner as those who came before them. In many ways, these young people who the world threw a tremendous curve ball have adapted for upcoming changes better than many others. While their year was tested, they all managed to forge ahead and achieve success. That is quite an accomplishment. To all the parents that had to step up and home school along with keeping an income continuing, you should all be very proud. It didn’t just take a village to help each one of you to get through the day, but it did take a lot of patience, love, tenacity, courage, and will power to ensure each child got their requirements done and were able to finish the school year. Well done. While I’m not a parent, I have plenty of friends and acquaintances who are. This has been a very trying time in our history in many different ways. Changes that are necessary are occurring all around us and while it’s an exciting time, it’s also a time filled with angst.

It’s not difficult to ascertain our environments. All you need to do is look around you. As we begin to get back into a somewhat normal mode, let us not forget that each of us is filled with trepidation, fear, anxiety, and concern that we don’t say or do the wrong thing. There’s a lot of walking on eggshells. People are genuinely afraid to have serious discussions because of what will be perceived. That’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to have those fears. The next step is to have those conversations and grow from them. You are never going to change someone else. You can educate others, be patient with them, show kindness and sensitivity but ultimately the decision to be a better individual stems from their behavior. Kindness will generally exude more kindness. It’s like a seed. If you plant the seed, nurture it, and give it the right conditions, it will grow into a plant or flower. In many ways, people are like this too. When we are abused, we tend to retreat into our shell. We seem to feel as if we deserve the negative energy being hurled at us. Sometimes when we are so broken, it’s really difficult to find the footing to stand back up. People will tell you to get up but when you’ve been continuously knocked down, it gets harder each time to gain strength. Sometimes the wobbliest of footings can have the most stable earth underneath. That’s a good thing because when you are down trodden, you really need to know that something or someone has your back.

I’ve watched people over the years treat each other well and be abusive all in the same evening. I will never forget having gone to Target and hearing a man yelling at his wife and children that they were all a mistake and that they had no business even existing on this planet. My heart dropped to the ground. I felt really bad for the family because the man was causing a scene. When I went inside I found a security guard and alerted him. I don’t know what happened from there but I fear the family may have paid a price for the man’s outburst. I hope that isn’t the case but I’ve never forgotten that family or the impact they had on my awareness of psychological abuse. That was a mild case. I know of others who have experienced much deeper problems. One of the men I used to date experienced a fire that was started by his father in a drunken rage. It scarred over half his body in second degree burns. I will never understand why people can be so cruel but it happens every day. I never knew him to be afraid to talk about what happened but you could see the pain that he lived with through his eyes. Eyes are a powerful tool. Not only do they help us see but they are a portal to our soul. You can visibly see when the life is being drained out of a person. The light that can radiate in a person’s eyes can be dimmed by the actions of others. It’s a powerful choice. It’s also an opportunity to change the world.

My hope for all of us is that we use this time to stop belittling each other. There’s enough division in this world already and we all have opinions that many others don’t agree with. I hope we can all find ways to have engaging and meaningful conversations that lead to positive change for the future along with prosperity for each other. Money won’t solve all the problems of the world. It’s a huge asset. I won’t even try to pretend its not but the way we treat one another is something that can’t be bottled and sold. We’re all people. Our blood lines are all connected. Be nice to each other. Show the compassion that others don’t. You might be surprised at how quickly positive change will catch on.

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