The world in which we live often feeds us messages about what is “right” for us and how to conduct ourselves “properly”. These messages can be something of great value when it comes to becoming the best person we can possibly be. But sometimes these messages hinder that process altogether.
Throughout my life I have had many a lesson in the necessity of staying true to myself. There have been a lot of people who have tried to lead me astray. Each had their own selfish agenda and each had great skills in control and manipulation. Those skills, however, can only work so long before the person to whom they are directed becomes wise to them and starts to push back.
We get messages from people around us that it is not alright to “rock the boat”. Rocking the boat is seen as dangerous because it puts everyone at risk of going for a swim that was unwanted. There are times, however, when rocking the boat is exactly what is needed in order to wake people up to a reality that their denial systems are trying so very hard to ignore. The status quo can often be crippling for people who are not within it. So rocking the boat brings that to people’s attention. It makes them see the injustice of that status quo. It calls them out as to what they are going to do in order to create and generate more balance and harmony for all, instead of just the status quo for the few. Social justice is something that is extremely important. Some people do not view it that way. They see it more as civil unrest. The thing is that civil unrest does happen….as a result of social injustice. If social justice were the status quo, then civil unrest would not happen. Without social justice there is far too much room for hideous acts of hate to happen. People get harmed every day because of racism, sexism, ageism and so on. And the thing is that if no one does anything about it, if no one steps up and goes toe-to-toe with it, then it will become the “status quo”. That is extremely dangerous.
But what about right here at home? How do we stay true to ourselves right here and right now? One of the things that I had to learn along the way is that there needs to be a very low to non-existent tolerance for abuse. Abuse can take so many forms that it is often difficult to recognise. So if your lover/partner/husband/wife etc is, for example, “borrowing” your credit card and making large price tag purchases on it without your awareness or approval, that is financial abuse. Staying true to you would be looking like cancelling the sale that was made on your credit card and having that card cancelled. Then have another one issued to you if need be. And have the charges on the old one reversed. And perhaps consider charging the person who used it with fraud. Yes, that would most likely end the relationship. Who needs to be with someone who would do that to you anyway? Dump the relationship in a ditch and move on. And, by the way, always have your OWN bank account and your OWN credit cards. Non of this “joint” stuff as the main thing to use is acceptable. Yes, have a joint account into which funds are placed to cover common expenses. But your income should NEVER be able to be handled by the other person…at least not while your are alive, kicking and of sound mind and body.
Another aspect of staying true to your path and purpose is in allowing yourself to follow you calling. For example, I was born to become a shaman. It is part of my heritage and it is in my bloodlines on both sides of my family. That is not something that a lot of folks can actually say or would even want to say, because it is a long, arduous road with a lot of criticism and condemnation along the way. There have been many times that I have wanted to just pack it in and find a job serving coffee somewhere. But each time I have ever felt that way Spirit has sent me a reminder. A thank you card arrives in the mail from someone that I helped 2 years earlier. Bam! That is why I have to continue to do what I do. A child is in need of some healing work that he/she would not be able to access anywhere else. Bam! I am available to do the work, thus I continue to do it.
I have even been accused of cultural appropriation because I appear to be so white to people who think that Shamanism is something unique to their culture, to people who have a lot more colour to their complexion. Shamanism is universal. There is no particular culture that owns it. If it becomes owned, then it is no longer Shamanism. It becomes a religion. They obviously don’t know me. They obviously are judging me purely on the colour of my skin, which is what they have been wanting others to stop doing to them. They obviously don’t know that I have never claimed to be First Nations. They obviously don’t know that some of my favourite clients are First Nations people who see me because they know I do excellent work and they trust me more than someone from their own community. That is not my fault. It is simply that they feel that way. And so I am here for them. Just as I am here for anyone of any colour or culture. As long as a person is comfortable with the work I do, I will do the work for them. I stay true to my teachings, I stay true to my spiritual path, and I stay true to myself and my own personal integrity and authenticity. And I do excellent work as a result.
For many, something like this would make them feel that they should not be doing what they are doing. The mere accusation is enough to make them want to just throw in the towel and not cause any ripples. But if you do that, you are betraying your own spiritual calling. You are denying the entire world of the greatest things that you have to contribute, simply because of some idiot who doesn’t know how to look beyond your skin colour. Why do that to the world? Why let the small minded people win, even if they are of a particular culture? They have never walked your path, and will never know your path. Let them hoot and holler. All they are doing is giving you more publicity. And, as a friend of mine once said, “Any publicity can be spun into good publicity.” And it is true. My ratings go up every time someone does this. My client base increases each and every time. I don’t even have to say anything in response. People just know deep within that the one who is shouting out the criticism is being ignorant. And so they turn to me. That is alright. I don’t mind. I actually feel at times like I should send a thank you card to the small minded ones who keep giving me the publicity!
Getting on a political band wagon and shouting at others, pointing fingers and criticising them for things that they have not done is yet another form of abuse. People see it as “calling out”, but what they are really doing can be deeply racist and abusive. It makes everyone around them just shake their heads and wonder what these folks have been snorting. So really, what they are doing is shooting themselves in the foot. And if that is what they feel they must do in order to have the illusion of power, then go to it. It won’t get them far anyway.
Staying true is ultimately important for the self, but also for the rest of humanity. Because when we stay true to ourselves, we are helping others through the ripple effect that always takes place with positive vibes. Think of yourself as a candle that is lit in the darkness. Alone for a short period of time, till other candles get lit. And soon the entire world is lit up with love and light.