On the Camino de Santiago, many strangers crossed my path and I immediately accepted them just as they were. No time for judgement or over analyzing their personal traits. They say familiarity breeds contempt, so it made me think about the people that are near and dear to my heart.
I am on a ridiculously long annual vacation in Palm Springs with my mom. She is an amazing lady and has been one of my greatest teachers. At 79 years old, she astounds me with her physical abilities including golf, tennis, and hiking. This year seems to be the year of the hike and we try to get out three or four times per week. We usually walk for a few hours and climb between 500-800 feet. You did not read that wrong, she is 79.
Our pace is obviously different and there are times when I get a bit tense with our lack of movement and frequent breaks. Ever since the Camino, when frustration hits me, I take a deep breath and prepare for a lesson. First off, it is not all about me in this world. People actually do things with motives that do not orbit my personal needs. She is trying her best and also enjoying the day. After a simple reflection, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and thankful that she is alive and we are spending time together.
My brother spends money in a manner that does not jive with my standards. He recently remodeled his home. During the tour, my eyes were distorted with judgment. Instead of appreciating the stunning changes, I was blinded by inserting myself into his check register. After a short breath, I was able to appreciate the incredible new additions.
A former girlfriend had several cats. One was injured and ended up at my home for recovery. At some point, he decided to mark his territory with a bit of spray. I was annoyed, blamed him, and questioned my sanity for letting her move a cat into my home. Does anyone else see the humor in my judging a cat for being a cat? Like he did it on purpose to annoy me. Wow.
Seeing the world through the unfiltered prism of my distorted view of perfection is total lunacy. I plan to send the rest of my days accepting everyone “as is” and appreciating their unique attributes.