Category Archives: PRACTICAL LIVING

SHOW ME THE MONEY

What Does It Mean to Walk Your Talk

In the movie “Jerry Maguire” the famous words that keeps getting used and repeated is, “Show me the money.” Don’t talk about it, show me.

How many times have you heard people talk about their religion or their relationship with God or Allah or whom or whatever and are so sure that they are walking the right spiritual path? Well for them, that might very well be the right path; but whatever spiritual path a person may take is less important to me than how they treat other people.

Yes, show me the money. Show me in every word, every action. Don’t tell me how great your God is, show me how your God treats others. Don’t just tell me how much better you feel or that your salvation is secure. Show me your love for all people whether you agree or not with their religion, their politics, their sexual orientation, their color, their life style. You don’t have to join them. You don’t have to like it or agree with it but do you allow them loving spiritual space to be who and what they are without tearing them down, fighting them, trying to force them to change, or treating them as what I call, others.

Once you put yourself into one category and put another person or group in an opposing camp, you can easily make them into the enemy. You start treating them as less than human and it them becomes easy to harm them or bully them or cause them grief. It is even easier to kill them if you let your idea of your need to control their behavior reaches that level of righteous intensity.

How do you treat yourself? How do you show love and affection or do you? How do you treat your mate or your children? How do you treat your neighbors? Is your heart tender? Do you see beauty everywhere or garbage or do you even notice? Do you want the best for others or is your goal to win or outdo or outshine or to be jealous? Does your heart go out to others in their suffering? Do you try to smile more and make someone’s day a little brighter by the things you say and do?

Show me the money. Don’t talk about it. Leave this world one day having known you did your best to leave it a better place. Show me a loving, caring, person. Show me a discerning person who knows how to handle the unpleasantness of life. There will be those who cannot or will not respond to love, who are bad to the bone it would seem. You don’t have to love the behavior but love them anyway if you can. Know when to hold them. Know when to fold them. Know when to walk away. But love them anyway. Show me the divinity within you. That’s all I ask of you. Show me.

HERE COMES THE JUDGE

Judgement will always backfire on you sooner or later in some form or another. But that’s not the reason to refrain from judgment. Being judgmental is not loving and says more about you than the person you are judging. Not liking something that someone else likes or chooses to do or to believe just means “to each his own” and that isn’t judgement. Judgement is when you take an unloving action against another. It’s when you put someone down, shun them, cause them harm or damage in any form.

One of the things I learned very early in in life that stuck with me was something I first heard in Sunday School: “Do unto others that which you would have done unto you,” If I wouldn’t like it done to me then why on earth would i want to do it to someone else? I think with my heart but I also think with my head. If I would do something hurtful or harmful to someone or even some thing, what could be the reason? Oh, let me count the ways.

I might have some unresolved anger or hurt of my own that I haven’t faced so rather than dealing with it inside of me, I find a way to project it outside of me onto some other person or thing. There I can disown it and beat up on it and (I think) be free of it. The catch is, until I face my own stuff I will never be free of it.

I might have had this modeled to me from birth by those upon whom I am dependent. I might think that this is how you live life stepping upon others or putting them down because I trust the authority figures in my life. I believe what they tell me. I believe because I have not seen any better or because I am afraid of going against their norm. So I never question, I just do what I do, think what I think and believe what I believe. The good news is that at some point, I can open myself to other possibilities and see what really matters to me, calls to me, makes sense to me.

I might have something wired a little wrong in my brain or I might have some damage that does not allow me to be able to use my thought processes in the “normal” sense. I may be under the influence of some drug – illegal or legal – that is interfering with my perception.

Socially speaking, I might get caught up in a mob/herd/group/gang mentality where i have at the moment relinquished my own individual ability to think for myself over to the larger group or leader of the pack. This can be influenced by fear of harm from the group or fear of being banned from the group because I so desperately need to belong, to be wanted. Sometimes I go along with mob/herd/group/gang because I don’t want to be seen as wrong or different.

These things contribute to my being judgmental and often carrying that judgment into action that causes harm or damage to myself or others or both. Have your opinion, chose what you wish to believe in, make your choices but sticking your fist into judgment which often spills into poor judgment on your part and resulting in harmful results is like sticking your hand into that tar baby that does not want to let you go. There goes your freedom. I don’t know about you but I surely do enjoy my freedom.

DEALING WITH HURT

Sometimes understanding why someone hurts others helps you to just sit in understanding rather than hurt. It gives you a space in which to make a more informed and intentional choice about how you want to react. It gives you a chance to decide whether or not you will fare well being around this person or people like them. You may even find that being around them might be good for their welfare. So, if you are so inclined and if you can handle it give it a try.

This space I speak of is not an element of time but rather a suspension from reactions, judgments, and self-talk that pops up whether or not it is wanted when people do or say mean or hurtful things. It takes practice and sometimes the response to these people is so automatic, it is in your head and most likely out of your mouth before you can open the space of suspension. In the end each person must decide for him or herself when or if enough is enough and to decide whether or not you want this person in your life. If you do it for the right reasons and not out of anger or hurt I think it will be better for you. I have no scientific proof of that. Take a leap of faith. I promise it won’t hurt.