Greetings! The impetus for this blog today…..I have a very dear friend. I have known her for many years and in many situations. In recent years, she has been friend, teacher, mentor, healer, author, colleague, and one of the most beautiful, wise, awake, aware, generous, sensitive, and loving people that has ever been sharing my journey a bit.
She and her family have recently moved to a small town in northern Illinois. A lovely little town….I’ve been there and I like it. She opened her location there and began to make her thriving opportunities work. And then someone decided she should not. That she is evil. That she means harm. And they began to harass her, leaving symbols of demonic spirit on her door, etc. The police have been involved, and this has been recognized quickly that this is hate crime. As strong a woman as I know her to be, she is now thinking that the onslaught is too much. It doesn’t feel safe, and it surely does not foster an environment of calm and healing that is vastly helpful to the gifts she offers.
Why? I mean….why?
I saw something recently on Facebook that I really loved…..paraphrasing, it was about not having heard the devil offering to heal people and help them to happier journeys. (Which is exactly what she, and I, and many others I know do.) It seems as though someone has decided that what my friend does opposes that person’s religious beliefs. That is fine. It also seems that this person has decided that this person must do something to stop/oppose the healing that my friend offers…to make them stop.
My training…my understanding…my personal resonance of so much of this work that is offered and done is that first and foremost…DO NO HARM. Second is requiring permission for any kind of healing energies to be sent. (Doesn’t medical science require the same permission in writing?) Many of the people I am aware of in my circles even believe that the sending of healing energy may not be in the actual proper interest of that particular soul….perhaps it is the time for that soul to move on. (In the least, Love and Light is sent…)
Intolerance…..whew! Quite a point! I’ll bring it to my own experience. As a gay person, if I have not personally experienced hateful stuff (…I did experience some ignorant stuff in 8th grade), I have and certainly always observed it. Enough to take it in personally. I’m aware of the history of the rights of gay people in this country and around the world. As a Wiccan, I am aware of the fears that people experience about what we believe, feel, honor, and work within. (Although it is not at all far removed from so much Christian ritual.) Gay people have heard that straight people struggle with that acceptance, yet we have had to accept straight people all along. Pagan/Wiccan people have seen so much of our religion taken and altered for the purpose of another groups…changing what was already so beautiful about it. And we are still feared/misrepresented.
I am aware of one person who was associated with the famous Amity house. His close experience with this story includes that the step father in the story was involved and tool lessons in Wicca, and that is a foundation of much of his lecture. I told him that Wicca itself has a history of NO HARM, but that others who learn the practices do end of doing what they will…whether it is good and healthy or not. I just hoped that he would not continue to include in his traveling presentations that ‘Wicca’ does not mean ‘evil’. And there is intolerance…
I have a dear sister who is readying for an acceptance into the Franciscan order of nuns….not that she will be a nun. But she will be more able to live her faith and be involved with helpful events to others. While a lot about Catholicism still triggers me (totally my own issue and no one else’s), I very much support her in this part of her journey, and in this generosity. I have felt my own sense of intolerance to the Christian/Catholic religion. My helpful/saving point is remembering that I know my sister. The beautiful person she is. And I’m grateful.
Intolerance….my understanding of the term is an almost complete nonacceptance of something that does not resonate with you to the point of wanting that thing gone absolutely. So….my sister is Catholic, yet she accepts me. I am gay, and my family and friends accept that. I am Wiccan…and so far (even with the symbolism I wear and what is on my front door), I have not been bothered. I am this far fortunate. But I know that it is out there. And I know others who have been and who are currently being subjected to severe opposition.
Again…why? I don’t particularly like Catholicism and Christianity **point** as it tends mostly to manifest in this society…yet I interpret in a Christian church and mostly love it. The reason…because there is a prevailing message of love there, which I very much agree with. The parts of Christianity that I do very much appreciate and love is just that….love! It’s the same in my Wiccan tradition. The sending of Love and Light is quite prominent.
I know there are other religions out there whose main point is also Love. I also am aware that there are other religions and belief systems out there that so many of us are so highly offended and angered by! And yet, here is my question….(to myself as well)….who am I to decide? Who am I to decide what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’? You see, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Things are brought into this reality by a source…and for a reason. My abusive childhood was for a reason….much of which I have come to peace with now. Everything happens for a reason. Every belief system is there…for a reason. Whether we like it or not….it is there for a reason.
And so….if I don’t believe in the Christian church across the street from me….must I try to tear it down? (I actually love the hand pulled bells on Sundays) Must I besiege it with symbolism that are in opposition to my understanding of their beliefs? Or do I take a bit of time and come to understand more of what they are doing before I make a judgement call? I may not agree with the theology of the church across the street, but are they spreading LOVE?! I may not be happy that I always see straight relationships in most of what I watch on TV and see in public…but are they spreading love? I may not agree with some religions in other countries that severely minimize and even kill women and gay men….but is there a purpose? I may not know what it is, but I believe there is something in the whole Universal scheme of things.
Intolerance, I have found in my own life experience….takes up SO much energy! Love and let live….SO much easier! Who am I to decide what is right and what is wrong? And for who? When my loved ones are following a faith that works for them yet scared the heck out of me, I need to look at the person and what they do and how they are with others. I need not include my own fears and prejudices in that….not if I want to see the true person and what their beautiful journey is in life.
It is not up to me to ‘make’ people see the ‘right’ way. I believe it is up to me to receive people as they are…and hopefully learn something from them. And vice versa.
…..so LEAVE MY FRIEND ALONE!!…….
Love and Light to all….truly to all. 🙂