“Pleasure may come from illusion, but happiness can come only of reality”-Unknown
Not everything is as someone else says it is, at least, this has been my experience. I noticed this in High School especially, when one of my peers would criticize a teacher as being ‘mean’ or ‘too hard’ I would just dismiss their judgment and go see for myself. Time after time my experience would always be different from my peers’ point of view.
Yesterday, I was reminded again of what I should or should not allow to enter my atmosphere. I joined a friend to a sweat lodge for the first time, I’ve been to others but this was my first time at this location. For the most part he didn’t tell me much about it, which I appreciated, I prefer to be surprised and make up my own conclusions, plus it helps me be confident in my ability to overcome adversity.
On our drive to the location he did mention one thing, he said it was going to be loud (inside the lodge), to me this meant that the leader was going to be harsh and mean. I say this because I interpreted what he said based out of my life experiences, with my ‘life goggles.’ When the leader finally arrived and he said something to me, he didn’t seem harsh at all; if anything he seemed open and warm. I dismissed it and then waited for the lodge to commence to see if what my friend said was correct.
The door then closes and the ceremony begins, it was like most other lodges I’ve experienced, and then the ‘loud’ part started. People were singing, yelling, and just releasing the energy that had been stuck inside of them; I too was one of those people yelling. At the end of it I felt my emotions and energy were moved and everything was just like a typical sweat lodge.
I then felt as though my friend perhaps underestimated me which is why he gave me a ‘warning’ of how the sweat lodge was going to be. I didn’t feel at all intimidated by any of the ceremony; it was all familiar to me. It was at this point that I told myself that I should not permit the judgments/criticism of other people enter my atmosphere because it then pollutes my experience with the individual which I have yet to meet or already deal with on a daily basis, and that takes away from both the other individual and I. I also avoid polluting someone else’s mind with my view of how someone is, whether good or bad, I allow for that other person to get to know the other on their own terms and make their own judgments.
I know it’s tempting to want to listen to someone else’s version of how things are or of how someone is, however if we keep on doing that we fall easily in the footsteps of illusion and don’t see things as they are but rather as someone else says they are. Be free of illusion and don’t permit the pollution of your space, share truth without attachment and be open to something new.