Monday, January 2, 2012

1/3/12—Getting Over Your Bad-Ass Superior Self

Today's Draw: The Two of Swords from the Housewives Tarot. Can you fairly and impartially say that your God is better than my God...or anyone else's God? Do you think that some people come here to be on a spiritual path and others come here to be monsters? Are you ready to really question your integrity when it comes to your beliefs?

The Two of Swords is about being fair and impartial in your assessment of things. All the posts I make are about self development and spirituality, but yesterday's post inspired me to try to equate this week's posts to big lessons we need to learn on the spiritual path. So that's what I'm going to do, assuming the cards cooperate. And today they certainly did. (Meanwhile, I just love the Housewives's so kitschy. So if you're on my blog, you'll get to see a few extra pictures from it.)

Being fair and balanced is, I think, one of the hardest things people learn on their spiritual path. And there are two contexts I'll use to illustrate why. Of course this depends on peoples' beliefs, but I'd venture to say most people reading this will agree:
  1. We are all here for a reason and we walk different paths based on that reason... and we all come here with struggles to overcome and pains to heal. 
  2. There is a higher power that is good and is the one true higher power.  

Now, while most people can agree on those points, many of us struggle to find our balance, fairness and impartiality on those points. Here's what I mean. (And, by the way, if you don't agree with those points, read on. Because the same principles apply to you, too.)

Let's pretend you have a "mean" and "immature" boss. Well if you believe we're all here for a reason, that boss is on a path just like you are, and they're just in a different place along that path. They may be ahead of you in, say, manifesting success and behind you in treating everyone like a beloved lamb of God, for example. So let's say they make you take the blame for something they did at work. In that moment (and all moments afterward, probably) you might have a tendency to dehumanize them. They are no longer on a path and struggling just like you. They are a monster, demented, abusive and something must be done about them. Bad monster! MEAN monster!!!! SICK MONSTER!!!!

OK, that example is a little dramatic, but admit it. You do that. You've done that. We all have.

Being fair and balanced in our beliefs requires us to move past that kind of "us and them" thinking. Having integrity in the belief that all humans are here on a spiritual path that is uniquely their own and not for us to judge, means allowing the "monster" their imperfection. When you see the boss as someone who is so pained by insecurity that they can't take responsibility for their actions, well gosh, haven't we all been there at some point in our lives? 

Being fair means realizing that they struggle just like we do. It means looking into that person's eyes and seeing yourself, even if their lessons are not yours to learn in this lifetime and even if they're way behind schedule learning it and even if they hurt you in the process. Because, let's face it, we all have something crappy to deal with on our plate that someone else skates effortlessly past. For me, one of those things is my struggle with my weight. Something so easy for many of you—moderate diet and exercise—is something I feel powerless against and overwhelmed by. 

Being fair and balanced is allowing everyone else their own crap, even if they are a serial killer. Yes. Even if they're a serial killer. It doesn't mean you have to be their friend. Doesn't mean you have to approve of their behavior. And it doesn't mean their actions don't hurt or piss you off. It just means that if you believe we're all here for a reason and can't judge another's path, then you can't judge their path and label them a monster. You can't continue to see them as something separate from you. Because they're not. They ARE you. They're a spirit struggling in their human skin, just as you are. They're simply learning different lessons and having different difficulties than you in this lifetime. And thank God their issues aren't your cross to bear this time around. But you know what? If you believe in reincarnation, you will, in one lifetime or another, do something so heinous that you will be reviled, too. We all have it in us. Thank god only a few of us have to go there this time around.

Allowing others their stuff is a hard one and probably one we'll always have to work on. So is the next one...the one about God is good and there is only one God. Yes, I have a vision of "God" and, as I said yesterday, I call it the Universe. It's not a being, but an energy. It is a good energy. It is the bestest, juiciest energy ever. To hear me talk about it, you'd think I was talking about Joel Osteen's God. I am. And I'm not. 

Years back I had a terrible dislike of anything Christian. I saw Christians, in general, as misguided hypocrites who talk about Christ like he's his Father (I still don't understand that one) and preach about forgiveness and non-judgment in the same breath as they tell you you're going to burn in hell for being a non-believer. Certainly that was my experience, as seen through my lens at the time.

Meanwhile, I would talk about MY god and how MY god was the SAME god as their god, but MY god was nicer and wouldn't burn anyone in hell. And I'd wonder, "why can't those hypocrites see that my god and their god are the same god, but we just see him through different eyes?"

I should have been asking that question of myself, right? Because if I was fair and balanced in my assessment that there is only one god—a god adept enough to show itself to us in different flavors to accommodate the free will we have here on earth—then I would love their god, too. Because there is no "my" god and "their" god. There is only one god. And instead of looking for the hypocrisy within their beliefs, I'd look in their eyes and see that the love and reverence and hope they had Him all wrapped up in was the exact same as mine. If I were truly fair and balanced and impartial and walking in integrity with my belief, I would allow them their god and their beliefs and their struggles on their paths with their beliefs, rather than see them as something outside of me, different than me, less than me.

It doesn't mean I don't still see hypocrisies and inconsistencies in the beliefs of others, just as my earlier point doesn't mean I don't see when people are acting unkindly or unfairly. What it means is that I'm honest enough to see the hypocrisies and inconsistencies in my own beliefs and behaviors—no belief system is bullet proof. And I'm fair enough in my assessment of others to see that they're struggling and in pain just like me. Just with different stuff.

And here's the thing, I didn't have to compromise anything of what I believe in order to be more inclusive. In fact, I merely had to act in integrity with my beliefs. If there is one true God, as most religions teach, then we all believe in the same one. Even if we call it/him/her/them by different names. And (and I know this is my personal belief and not necessarily the belief of others) the dude is SO cool that he doesn't care about ego issues like what to call him and how to draw a picture of him. He just wants us to know him, in whatever way we're capable. It's not about changing beliefs at all, imo. It's just a way of seeing things that's more inclusive...more Christ-like, frankly.

So those are the two examples I can think of on the spiritual path where people think they're being fair and impartial and good and right and are totally missing the mark. We're quick to recognize it when it's "them" that's doing it, but not so quick when it's us. And you may not believe as I do, but I'll bet you can apply this to your beliefs, as well.

Again on the 2012 thing, there's a whole group of people out there who believe we need to reach a certain tipping point on this inclusiveness thing in order for society to survive. The philosophy is known as Oneness...the idea that we are all one. They believe this year is critical to that, as though we are at a crossroads. One path leads us further into the dark and the other—the path of inclusiveness and oneness—leads us toward the light. 

Personally I don't buy that it has to happen this year or whatever. And there are those who think the Oneness people are a cult...haha. But honestly, what could it hurt to see the person standing next to you through balanced and impartial eyes? What damage does it do to see others with no other agenda than love in our hearts? How can it do anything but further us on our spiritual paths? Call it Oneness or Christ Consciousness or just being a good person. Call it what you will, but so many of us ask why we can't all do that and be that way, then we sit down in front of the TV and look at Lindsy Lohan and shake our heads in disapproval. That's not walking the talk, people. We've all done it and do it, but it's time to heal that part of us, whether our neighbor or the rest of society joins in or not. Ghandi says "be the change you want to see in the world". It ain't gonna happen any other way, folks. Are you up to the task?


  1. I hear that certain CRACK of the bat! You really knocked this one out of the park, Tierney! Great blog!

  2. Thank you, sir. And thanks for reading. :)

  3. Because it's a fabulous post and I and others couldn't share it on facebook, I have copied some of it onto a post on my blog with your link there twice. And then I posted my post on Facebook so those that would like to share it may do so now.

    I hope you don't mind. It seemed like the right thing to do :)
    Robin Dalton

  4. Fantastic post, Tierney! God, this SO needed to be said... (I'm glad I finally found your blog!)

  5. Thanks, Robin. And thanks, Janet. I somehow felt like an outlaw for this even though there's nothing "bad" about it. Then a bunch of people tried to share it on Facebook and it wouldn't post (maybe because of the word "ass" in the title?) and it all just felt so dangerous! :D

  6. Great take on the 2 o Swords. Will always remember... Thanks for sharing.

  7. I just made a post called The Annie Oakley of I know what you mean about feeling like an outlaw. LOL! ;o) I think some spiritual truths cut to the quick, and we sometimes feel uncomfortable about sharing something likes this. "Fire" and "Light" comes to mind: illuminating, hot, searing, burning, warming, comforting, cauterizing, etc. I'm probably not making much sense...

  8. Haha. Maybe "Annie Oakley" is what 2012 is all about!

  9. If that's the case, then I'm all set! (And, apparently, you are, too...) LOL ;o)

  10. My husband (who is not Christian) had a dream one night where he got really mad at someone who kept calling Jesus "Frank." He said, "Dude! That's Jesus! What's wrong with you?" (or something like that). And Jesus said, "It doesn't matter what name he chooses to give me ~ I'm still the same."

    A rose is a rose, and all that...

  11. LOVE that! Thank you!

    I've heard many equate Jesus to Buddha. Certainly they taught some of the same things. And regardless of what you believe, things like The Golden Rule are common to all religions. On the big points, like "there is a higher power", "the higher power is good" and "do unto others as you would have done unto yourself", everyone agrees. What we're really arguing is details.

  12. Thank you so much for this fantastic post Tierney! Really helped me walk through some of the internal questions I've been struggling with.

  13. Great post. I just wish I was in a place to get more out of it. As it is, I have some people I refer to by their nickname--as in "!@#$-head" and !@#$-hole". These people don't like their new nicknames, but the names fit so marvelously well.

  14. Haha. Well, we're all there sometimes, Pat. Hopefully I'll see you this month at the meetup? Talk to you later!