If you think this post is going to be about acceptance and boundaries, you are right! Both acceptance and boundaries go together with decisions and choices of others. They also apply to ourselves as well. As I write this, I have to say, as a mother it has been a hard lesson. I spent so many years of my life caring for my children it has been hard to get out of that mode. Once children become adults they have their own choices to make, create their own mistakes to learn from, and lead their own lives. Along with this comes boundaries regarding our children’s choices and lives. Advice is good, interfering not good and would have not a good ending.
Children who have grown also have the responsibility of their own autonomy; meaning they take responsibility of their own lives and the pitfalls of the bigger mistakes. It’s part of adulting and part of learning from mistakes. Within their mistakes there is no place for blame of others. Their lives become their own. Honoring their lives is our responsibility, with love, and with compassion even if we don’t understand.
Honoring decisions is a lesson with all people on earth. This includes choices as to whether we are vaccinated or not, as to what we choose to eat, what our vocation choice is and who we voted for. Yes, I just went there! We don’t choose who has a relationship with whom and we should not attempt to choose an individual’s relationship with themselves and the decisions they make. In the Bible the Apostle Paul supported the right to allow others their own journey. He instructed if we are to go to someone’s home for dinner and they choose to eat meat then honor their choice. For spirituality is not about whether we eat meat or not, but what we choose spiritually and how we treat one another. Let ‘s put it in todays terms. If I go on a Keto diet it basically is no one else’s business what I eat or don’t eat. No one can choose my husband and no one can choose who I vote for in any election. If I live a life of solitude for serenity then leave me in peace. If I choose a time to be social then respect my values and beliefs as I would yours.
Let me also put this universally and from God’s perspective. When any one of us refuses to embrace the life choices of another, we refuse also ourselves. We disrespect ourselves when we impose our views on others and we disrespect our oneness. We can advise and teach, not impose our values and ideas on others. We can have a conversation but that conversation should include grace and love, otherwise we should be ready to face reaping what we sow. Yes, I mean Karma in not such a good way. If we lack acceptance and respect or honor, we will receive the same back and many times over. It is our responsibility to agree to disagree with grace, style, and honor.
Even writing this I know some can go, “but what about this, or that?” What about it? Let me ask you this, “Is it your responsibility to rule the world, and if so, who gave you that job?” Part of diversity is accepting our diverse parts in society. Yes, you heard me, accept and also honor. You might not agree and that is alright. That means not pushing your agenda on others because you are so stuck in your “rightness” that you can not see the disrespect you are creating among your fellow humanity.
Loving you from here,
Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, Ph.D.