(this is basically a transcript of my “Stew on This” podcast, episode 29)
I feel the need to check in with everybody to make sure that nobody is operating under the illusion that I have all this love stuff completely figured out. If you do my first thought is that you should talk to my wife, which reminds me of something Wayne Dyer wrote years ago, about his wife saying to him: “How come you show the whole world your holiness and you only show me your ass-holiness?”
I am always honored to be mentioned in the same sentence with words such as “loving”, especially as loving is my most important core value, but I just want to assure you that I can definitely forget. One of the blessings of teaching, speaking, writing and doing podcasts about love is that I get to hear a lot of reminders about how I want to show up.
So, I have to disclose that yesterday for the first time ever I deleted one of my own FB posts, a couple of hours after I posted it. It was about a gentleman who I saw driving and texting while wearing a mask. I found it ironic. It had been a frustrating morning with my mom and with the world (including a trip to the supermarket which has been a bit stressful these days). But I deleted the post after a bunch of comments came in, not because I condoned the behavior or I even understood it, not because I agree with the level of fear that has been propagated that may have led to the behavior, and not because I am afraid to discuss or share my opinion on masks, or on anything for that matter, with anyone who truly wants to hear it.
I deleted my post because it didn’t contribute to anything I believe about love. It was a vent. I need to vent like everyone else, but venting in a judgmental or mocking way really didn’t do anything to help me find the island of peace in my soul. In fact, it just left me with a bunch of increased righteous indignation and, unfortunately, it encouraged and gave permission for others to join in. Maybe that helped the people who commented in some way, but more likely I owe you an apology.
There was 1 comment to my post that did really help me. It was from someone who saw a similar ironic behavior and said they really had to work to find their “inner Stew” in order to deal with it. This person found their center before I did! Bless you, because you reminded me that my post was “not like me” and I was then able to find MY inner Stew. That’s when I deleted the post.
I completely honor and appreciate everyone’s need to express, to vent, and to share frustrations with people of like mind. I completely honor and appreciate the posting of information that mainstream media doesn’t seem to recognize, especially as most of it could actually help folks with their fear levels. I will undoubtedly continue to cheer those posts that I agree with.
And, I’ve discovered that, according to my values, I’m going to stick to only putting love and light out there and to keeping my heart open to everyone. I’m making this choice because, to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., we may be navigating this pandemic on different ships, but afterwards we’ll all still be in the same boat.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to look at half the people on my boat as being wrong or stupid, even when I think they are. I don’t want to look at people, or have people look at me, as enemies or as competitors, or even worse, as vectors of disease.
I want to look at people on the boat as fellow travelers on the way of love.
If my choice is the way of love and to create the kind of world I want to live in, I’m going to have to get a lot better at disagreeing with people’s behavior with more compassion and respect. I’m choosing to practice that now more privately. I get plenty of practice with the people I love. I get plenty of practice with myself! I could get a lot better at disagreeing with myself with compassion and respect. I’m choosing to practice this now so when folks out there are a little less fearful and maybe are able to hear other points of view again, my voice can then inspire freedom, open hearts and minds, and be an effective vehicle for beautiful change.
Right now, I owe an apology to the guy that I wrote about. Sir, I will say to you right now that regardless of my opinion of your behavior, (by the way, I still think it’s ironic to do 1 thing in an effort to save lives, while doing another that threatens lives), I apologize because I still honor you as a human being who is undoubtedly doing the best you can, based on your experiences and values. I would love to talk to you sometime about why I find your behavior ironic and I promise you that I will do my best to be open to your opinion as well. In the meantime, you’ve reminded me that our choices affect everyone and everything. I appreciate your behavior because it’s had me look at my own choices and given me the opportunity to make sure they are congruent and loving; that they are “like me” and aligned with my inner Stew.
Bless you, and in the meantime, I’m sending you love, I’m sending everyone love and I’m sending myself love, too.