Have you ever noticed people whose energies and personalities seem totally out of line with what they say they do?
I have. In the past, and again today, a similar thing.
In college, for instance, one of my friends and I got into a course that was usually for Nursing students only, because it fulfilled a core requirement we needed and overlapped with our studies in theatre. It was a course on bioethics and how narratives (theatre, fictional stories, non-fictional accounts, etc.) can help have difficult conversations about ethics in medicine. So it was myself, and one of my theatre friends, in a class full of people who were studying to be Nurses.
Long story short, not only did half of the Nurses-to-be in the class have poor attitudes and not seem to care at all about other people's needs, but a few of them actually actively fought back against having to learn about other people's views and needs, arguing that the Western medical system always knows best and everyone needs to just deal with it.
Needless to say, I hope no one I know ever ends up with such uncompassionate nursing care. But it's out there. There are a ton of people in fields like that because the medical field makes money, and has a certain amount of prestige. Thankfully there are also those out there who are amazingly caring and compassionate, and passionate about their work helping people--PEOPLE, not just names on clipboards, not just means to a paycheck. One such nurse is a friend of mine who also happens to be a High Priestess. Another is my partner's mother, who recently retired from many, many years caring for people. A third, though not a Nurse but a Nurse's Aid, is my mother. My mother cares deeply about people, who they really are, what they really want and need.
But, this isn't about Nurses. That was just an example, one of the more startling experiences I had, in that classroom with these people who were meant to care about people and flat out refused to do so. This is about people whose personalities make them seem out of place with what they're doing. Nurses who don't care about people seems a little odd, if the way you think of nurses is as people who care for others. Care-givers. Nurturers. Nurturers who don't nurture? Seems like maybe something else would be more suited to their personality and views, right?
Today I came across a pair of women in a restaurant, one of whom was wearing a very Eastern style necklace, with a chakra lotus charm and the Om in the center. When I see things like this, I think, "Hey, my people!" What I mean is, "people who are interested in/know about the same things I do!" But despite this, I feel a knot in my chest, closing my heart chakra area. As I've learned from my previous work this year, this is the area through which I feel the most.
I quickly realized that these women, including the one wearing the necklace, didn't actually know what they were talking about. I see this a lot, especially with people who get into Yoga though classes recommended by their friends, classes which don't teach principles of Yoga in an Eastern way, don't teach history, or really any form of practice beyond he physical asanas. And they definitely don't talk about the Deities involved.
(Some classes do. I've been to some. But some definitely don't, and you can tell when those are the only classes someone has been to. A while ago I had a conversation with a woman I had gotten to know over a few months, and I knew she was into Yoga and practiced it regularly. One day we got into a conversation in which it was revealed that she never knew several pretty basic things about the practice's background or origin. She said her classes hadn't taught that. I'm not surprised, given that many classes are taught by people who took 200-hour training from another teacher who wasn't taught the background in their 200-hour training, either. 200 hours is about 8 days total... Think about that. Study of Witchcraft recommends a year and a day before you even decide whether it's right for you, a minimum of 365 days to even reach the point when a coven will consider having you join, before they begin teaching you... And people today get to the point where they're certified to teach Yoga without knowing about it's history or meaning, in the equivalent of a little over one week's total time. But I digress... this isn't about Yoga, either.)
The women are discussing. They don't know how to pronounce any of the things they're talking about. They're getting things slightly wrong. I don't want to correct them and sound like a know-it-all, even though we had just been talking moments before. But then--THANK YOU, INTERNET--one of them realizes they're not sure how to pronounce something and pulls out her smartphone to check. They start looking up and reading about Reiki (RAY-key), energy work, chakras (they learn that it means "wheel" in Sanskrit), and I'm proud. I'm happy these women are taking the initiative to learn about something more fully, looking up pronunciations when they realize "Oh I've only read this before, I've never said or heard it out loud, I don't know how to say it." I'm kicking myself for forgetting my bracelets this morning because I would have loved to talk about my chakra bracelets with them, and I start thinking I'll recommend my favorite chakra website that I use so they can learn more. I start to wonder what my heart constriction was all about, because this is great!
Then, in the middle of telling her friend about healing rays of light that help people fight depression, Lotus Necklace woman becomes a huge jerk.
She starts complaining about the food her friend is eating. It looks bad. It looks wrong. Her friend seems fine with it, continuing to eat. But the woman continues to get angry. She yells at the server, who immediately removes the food and offers the woman who ordered it another meal free of charge. That woman says no, that it's okay, she'd just like some new bread, but the rest of the meal is fine and she'll keep it. This takes place. Shortly after, Lotus Necklace gets back up and returns her friend's whole meal, saying it's horrible, she tasted it and she's not letting her friend eat it, and they're not paying for it. They are told that the charge was already removed, and they are happy to provide another meal for free, the bread she asked for was provided, what else would she like instead? The woman kept insisting that she didn't want anything, her meal was fine. But Lotus Necklace said "No, we don't have TIME for you to make a whole new meal for her." She spooned her own meal onto her friend's plate and made her eat that. (I don't know about you, but if my friends try to mess with my food, they've got another thing coming.)
The server is in the back talking to the chef, who is crying. Not about the returned food, about something else, because she was crying before... but this probably isn't making her feel any better.
Meanwhile, back at the table, Lotus Necklace is talking sweetly about her grandkids and upcoming holiday plans. But when the server returns, she's surly and biting. She snaps, "Of course it's one check, there was only one meal!" I might point out that this was quite a long time after the initial issue. Plenty of time for the restaurant to have made them another meal. Or they could have taken it to-go. But, oh well, some people would rather be bitter and try to justify the anger they already have within them, than be willing to accept a correction of a mistake.
I've worked in food service, and I can tell you, some people really do think the old adage "the customer is always right" (which is bullshit, by the way) is a license to be an asshole. At least we know this person wasn't just out for free food, because she repeatedly refused the free meal for her friend. And her poor friend just wanted to eat! Yikes.
So why am I blogging about this?
Two reasons. One, when our energy field picks up on something, it may not be clear immediately, but we need to trust it. My energy field knew something was wrong right away, but the outer circumstances seemed inky, and then much better, so I thought I had misinterpreted my body's own sign. But finally, the truth revealed. This woman, for all her talk about healing energy, and her attempts to begin to learn, still has a long way to go. And the energy she was in--of Anger, of Spite--is not the energy she was just teaching her friend about minutes before. It seems, like the uncaring nurses, out of place. And that's the second reason I'm blogging about this: because some people might wear the jewelry, might go to the classes, might look up the correct pronunciations, but they still don't necessarily comprehend the values. They haven't done the work--either they're so new they haven't done it yet, or they've been doing this for a while and still just don't get it, haven't gotten to a place of their own inner progress. Which reminds me of a video a posted this week, "When We Don't Change." When I say these things, I'm never claiming that I've mastered them. I'm noticing patterns in myself and others around me, noticing when our behaviors, thoughts, and words clash with what we say we believe, the work we say we're doing.
Scott Cunningham included in his "Goals of a Witch" that we must keep our thoughts in good order, and keep our words in good order. Think before we speak, and after we speak. Pay attention to what we're doing versus what we're saying. I have a blog about my interpretations of those goals, as well. (In looking back at that post, this topic touches on several goals... or all of them!)
I am partially blogging about this to say that it bothers me. And I'm not always sure if it should. Why does it bother me when I catch people talking about certain topics--like energy work, healing, chakras, meditation, these things that are so much about Self evaluation and Self-healing--and then learn that they don't embody those teachings at all? Is this because I think I'm better? Is it that I take offense? Is it unreasonable to expect people who preach such things to try to make an effort, not just in their yoga space, but in all aspects of their lives? I don't think so. But I don't pretend to know who people are outside of the short interactions I may have with them. In the video linked above I talk about people I've had interactions with over many months or years, and can observe their words and behaviors a little more. In this instance today, I only have this instance as a mirror of what this woman is like in public around strangers. Maybe it was a bad day? Who knows? I have bad days, but even on my worst days I don't think I act that way. I hope I don't. Either way, I do tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, sometimes too often. People have actually told me I offer the benefit of the doubt to many who don't deserve it.
Wasn't it Maya Angelou who said "When people show you who they are, believe them"?
This has come up for me a lot in the past couple weeks, and I've seen others post about similar things coming up for them, or with people around them. How about you? Noticing anything like this coming into your awareness lately?