If I find myself giving respect so that I can get respect in return, I’m not being respectful to the one spirit that dwells within all beings.
Day and night, and even in my dreams, there’s this pervading sense that everything has already been resolved in favor of love.
…and that for myself, my part is simple…experience whatever appears in my perception, and let it be.
I’ve discovered that leadership has nothing to do with getting other people to behave a certain way or telling anyone else what to do. For me, leadership is about living in alignment with my values even when the world presents convincing reasons why I should diminish my values so that I can fit in.
This whole life, people have been trying to teach me that I’m way too carefree, and that having more fear is necessary to keep me safe. I have heard about all the bad things that can happen to me, from going to Hell, to losing my job, to living in poverty, to being left alone with nobody to love me. Many times people would say something like “what’s up with you, why do you always look like the cat that swallowed the mouse, what do you know that I don’t know?”.
Up until recently I wasn’t even sure what it was, but now I can see that I was simply not afraid of what would happen if I lived according to my values.
For instance, I value harmony in all of my relationships, and I’m not afraid to go for it.
When I worked at a law firm back in the 90’s, we had a lawyer/boss with a huge temper. He could get set off at the slightest thing and start yelling at employees. I was 22 when I started working there, and most of my fellow employees seemed scared shitless of getting a loud rebuke from this man.
They seemed to walk on egg shells around him, doing their best to avoid communications with him.
After a few weeks working there, I noticed that he didn’t make eye contact with me as we passed each other in the hall, and when I said Hello, he ignored me. So I walked into his office and asked if he had a moment, he said “real quick” seeming disinterested. I asked him if he wanted me to quit. He said “what? why?”
I explained how I experienced him and said that I didn’t feel comfortable working for someone who doesn’t even smile at me, and I was wondering if it had to do with my job performance. He explained that he just concentrates on whatever work he has to do, that he knew nothing of my job performance so far, and that he would try to be more courteous when we passed each other in the hall.
After that, he treated me very different from the other employees…some in the office even made comments that we must be having an affair. I moved up quickly in my job especially when my boss found out about my sharp mind and ability to write correspondence and legal motions with ease.
Since we worked so closely, he would get heated about cases we were working on. He would try to get loud and angry with me at times, but I would just remind him in my own way that whatever case we were working on and keeping my job weren’t more important than my value for harmony in my relations.
This would always bring him back to taking deep breaths and getting himself to a place where he could relate without fear.
Love & Blessings!
How other people perceive me isn’t nearly as important to me as my perception of them.
If I can’t appreciate someone, I’m carrying something I don’t need, and through trusting in God’s love, I’m shown how to unload the burden so that I can immediately be reborn in the Kingdom of Heaven.
How foolish it feels to try and change how another person expresses in the world.
If the way a person acts or speaks doesn’t appeal to me, naturally, I am being guided toward experiencing more words and actions that do appeal to me..unless I get stuck trying to manipulate this “change” for myself.
I don’t particularly like ruffling anyone’s ego or embarrassing myself. But this powerful allegiance to truth burns in me and makes me wiling to expose the illusions that play in the mind, just as spirit beckons me to do so.
It takes a lot of trust to live out my calling in the manner I’m guided to do so, but I continue to keep faith in God and let go of all outcomes.
One of the gifts I receive from this way of Listening is a deepening sense of contentment within myself….and I wouldn’t trade this gift for any illusion, no matter how grand it may appear to my senses.
Compassion never tries to make anyone see their self in a negative light. “What is my intent in communicating this?”…That is the question.
For a time, I thought that the spiritual concept “be impeccable with your words” meant that I needed to manage my own words as well as correct the words being used by others.
Whew! What a burden that was… And what a clever escape from putting my attention on what was really coming up for me.
Through experience, I have discovered that any words can be impeccable words…it’s not about the literal meaning of words at all, and it’s certainly not about which words other people use.
Impeccability has to do with speaking words that resonate in my heart with the presence of God’s love, and not speaking words that validate separation, fear and judgment.
But all of this actually begins in the mind, before any word is uttered. Once I have uttered words in sin (separation from God’s presence), that utterance becomes a gift of clarity as to what thoughts I’ve been making real by putting faith in their truth.
For instance, I felt mortified when Tony referred to my breasts as “little hangers” on our second date. He had no idea about my insecurity over my breasts being less buoyant after pregnancy and breast feeding.
He was simply acknowledging what was there and expressing appreciation for my body in his own words. In this way, his words were impeccable.
I, on the other hand, was like “what?! why do you think it’s ok to say that to me?”. The words I used were speaking to my personal insecurities about my breasts, and my utterance of them gave me instant awareness that I had been putting faith in the idea that my breasts were deficient.
My apparent lack of impeccability was a great gift because once I recognized where I had been taking myself in thought, I felt comfortable once again in my nakedness.
Of course, Tony never said anything like that to me again, because after hearing my response, he realized what those words meant from my point of view.
I cannot live up to anyone’s personal values…I can only do my best to live up to my own.
I can’t fault people for having a negative perception of me. I’m sure if I believed the same thoughts they believe about me I would have the same perception.
What I can do is understand their predicament and witness them in the light of compassion.