Today I did exactly what I was judging someone else for doing, the very moment I was judging it.
I watched as a woman at the gym treated the maintenance woman with general disdain, as if the woman cleaning the gym were somehow less than those of us working out at the gym.
It drives me crazy how we make each other greater than and less than, and how we strive to distance ourselves from the "less thans" in desperate pursuit of a seat at the "greater than" table.
It's all such ego-driven bullshit. And it hurts people. It hurts our world. We are all equal. We are all of value. We all deserve respect. And kindness. And love.
So there she was, the worker-outer, giving attitude to the maintenance woman, and there I was, the "peaceful and loving" one, angrily belittling the worker-outer in my head.
Then the lightbulb went off. "You're making this woman less than you, because she's making that woman less than her. You're being the same kind of ego-driven ass you're criticizing her for being."
I could try (and did for a second) to justify my thoughts as coming from a better place, because I was judging her bad behavior. But the truth is, I was judging her, too. I created separation between us. I was the good and righteous one. She was the rude bitch. That's not okay.
I believe it's the separation we've created with one another that's causing the majority of the world's problems. We've lost touch with the fact that WE ARE ALL THE SAME. Beneath whatever facade we've created for ourselves, there's no way to tell us apart. WE ARE ALL HUMAN. Blood and bones and pain and light.
I liked this moment in the gym today, the fact that I caught myself so quickly in the process of creating separation and went to love and kindness. No, I don't like how that woman treated the other woman. And, we are all equal. We are all of value. We all deserve love. Treating her poorly, even in my mind, only feeds the vast separation that already exists. I'm here to feed unity. I'm here to see everyone I encounter as a sister or a brother. I'm here to speak for love.
Every time we catch ourselves spinning in the ego and bring ourselves back to love is a victory, not just for ourselves but for humanity. It's all energy, and we're all connected. We can't underestimate how our growth impacts everything else. Our world is desperate for more love, and we are the ones to give it. Each and every one of us.
Later on at the gym, I struck up a conversation with the maintenance woman, whose name, I found out, is Lourdes. We spoke for a few minutes about the weather and mostly did a lot of smiling at each other and laughing at my bad Spanish.
I'm not sure if the worker-outer was aware of our conversation, but I think so. I'm also not sure if it made any difference to her, but maybe. I'm pretty sure it made a difference to Lourdes. Maybe she left the gym with our interaction in mind, rather than the one with the woman.
And it made a difference to me, to connect with another human being and share a smile, and a few laughs, and some good old fashioned kindness. That alone is cause for celebration. Connection matters.
We can't change people. We can't change their attitudes. We can only be as clear and kind and loving as we know how to be. We can set the example we want to live by. It makes a difference. As more and more of us commit to love, we make an even bigger difference. We become magnetic. Not greater than or less than, but most certainly the table I will always want to be seated at.
In love and solidarity...