Us and Them

coexist

Why is it… and I know this is ridiculously petty, but why is it that I am STILL annoyed when I see W ’04 stickers on cars?! And it isn’t just those stickers, I have a list: 

Bush/Cheney

McCain/Palin

Yes on 8

Protect Marriage

NObama

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. When I see cars with those messages, it makes me cringe! And this is not something I am proud of. I try to be yogic in my actions. Try being the key word here. I know that I am supposed to accept that they have their own opinion, and love them anyway. But when their values strongly oppose mine to the point that even the sight of a little sticker on the back window of a car makes me feel like I’m being attacked, it’s kind of difficult. But yet, and this is hard for me to admit, when I see stickers that share the SAME opinions as mine, I feel happy!? Are MY kind of stickers better than THEIRS? Just the question makes me sound like I’m five. But it’s this feeling of us against them. Now here’s the crazy part. If I am at a light and I happen to look over at the person next to me, and we make eye contact. Maybe we smile, maybe we don’t. But there is no judgment either way. Until… they drive away and I see a sticker on their back window that I don’t like. All of a sudden, they are ‘those kind’ of people. *sigh*

I don’t want to be like this. And when I realize something about myself that I don’t like, I actively work on changing it. I am all about diversity, equality, love and acceptance. So unless I want to live my life as a complete hippocrite, I must accept that even those sticker people fall under the umbrella of diversity and equality. And seriously, I can’t say: I believe in equality for everyone that I like, but not for people who make me mad. Ha! Even typing that out makes me feel embarrassed and silly. 

So. I am going to put my challenge into practice. Today as I drive, I am going to smile at the Hater with the stickers next to me. Ok, ok, I’m just kidding. I couldn’t pass that one up. What I mean is, I’m going to smile at the person with their own opinion and values and the W ’04 sticker on their car, and know that in the end… we won. No! That’s not it either. (why is this so HARD for me??)

All kidding aside, I am going to be more patient and accepting to those who oppose my values. It’s a lesson I learned all growing up, and it’s even in the Yoga Sutras for crying out loud. If I truly want to see myself as the yogi I think I am, then this is the least I can do. In the Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra says: “I will allow myself and those around me the freedom to be as they are. I will not rigidly impose my idea of how things should be.”

So does anyone want to join me in this? Today, try giving a little love to or having patience for someone or something that previously made you scowl or unhappy in some way. It might make you feel good! And make sure that if you do, it truly comes from the heart. It’s changes like this, little shifts in consciousness that are going to make the world a better place… 

Coexist.

 

 

UPDATE: OK, so the VERY first car I pulled behind when I drove today was a work truck with a HUGE red bumper sticker that said- GIVE WAR A CHANCE! 

Wow… does the Universe work in mysterious ways, or what?? I happened to be talking to my mom on the phone and she said, Oooh you should go and flash him the peace sign! (I love being raised by hippies-at-heart) So I did. I drove up next to him on the freeway and smiled really big and gave him the Peace sign. He looked startled and waved back with a huge smile. Whatever he was thinking doesn’t even matter. He was probably just waving to the crazy blonde in the BMW, but he did smile. And that was enough for me…. 🙂

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