7 Million Ways

7 MILLION PEOPLE are experiencing today in a different way.  I was on a walk in the rain with my favorite 8 year old a few days ago and I saw this posted.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  Thinking about all of the “opinions” and “facts” we all state as if they are gospel.  It’s a problem I’ve always had with any fundamentalist group (religious or otherwise) that claims that they have THE answer.  How can there be one answer?  7 million people -  all with different backgrounds, experiences, lifestyles, cultures, customs and daily routines. 

You take ten people doing the same job - they all have their own unique technique at whatever it is they are doing.   Ten people given the same subject and told to write about it - all different stories.  Ten artists with the same color paint - completely different creations.  It’s mind boggling to me to think about this and then think about putting people in boxes; deciding how people “should” dress and eat and live and BE.  I catch myself doing it - I’m not throwing stones.   When I really think about the person I want to be, however, that bigger bolder loving gracious accepting person, I realize that, as always, love is the answer.  Loving people’s differences, loving people’s quirks, loving the spectrum of humanity.  It’s so easy to slip into that fear of anything different - it’s the middle school curse of the safety of sameness.  There is safety in being the same, right?  Because we all question if we are doing things right…and if others go before us doing thing one way….it must be the RIGHT way, right? 

I’ve had a revelation in my life that there is no ONE right way.  There is so much to learn from ALL of the ways.  

The same day I saw this sign, I took Wilson to see the movie “Inside Out”. Wow. This movie is a beautiful PIXAR depiction of all of the ways we are the SAME - our emotions - joy, sadness, fear, disgust, anger.  Each of these emotions play a critical role in our core personalities, and at any given time, one of them is in control.  I think I will forever envision the little PIXAR characters depicting these emotions when I am feeling one way or another.

So, you take the 7 million people.  You take the myriad of emotions circulating through each of them in their individual settings.  You take their life experiences.  Obviously everyone should act and think the same. I watch my mind take in different people, size them up, judge them on some level. 

I felt hurt recently by a friend who I felt was passing judgement on my life’s path. It’s been bumpy, rocky, up, down, joyful, sad, lovely, heartbreaking…..but it’s my LIFE.  I love my life, and it's the ONE I get.  We all make choices every day and we all have a different path.  I’m learning to accept people’s differences,  learning to accept them for what they are - the unique mosaic pattern that makes up humanity.  

The LOML’s son, Jordan, posted this on facebook recently (as I was writing this post)

"This is the essence of Separation: If I were in the totality of your circumstances, I would do differently from you."  -- Charles Eisenstein

We can never BE in the totality of anyone else’s circumstances.  Live and let live. Suspend judgement.  Love people right where they are AS they are.