I have become lazy and sloppy on this blog — posting pithy memes instead of writing what they mean to me — so this post is really something outstanding if only because it’s the first post in ages where I’ve written more than 7 words. :-D
I believe that yesterday was a great day for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation. Years ago, however, I would have been apoplectic and spewing hatred and ranting about how yesterday’s Supreme Court decision signalled the death of America, blah, blah, blah. What changed? I did. Why? A simple thought rocked my world:
Who am I to judge? No one. I am not worthy!
Here’s a bit of a backstory: I have spent a big part of my life on ‘the right’; the political right [for two years, I was the 3rd Vice Chairman of the Republican Party and consulted with the RNC] and the religious right [I am a recovering Shiite evangelical fundamentalist].
Oh, yeah! I was in deep…
The irony of it all is that while I was obsessed with being RIGHT on the outside I was so wrong on the inside. My binary [true/false, black/white] orientation meant that I didn’t really need to THINK about a lot of things including the idea that all beings deserve happiness regardless of whether we agree on issues like with whom we want to cuddle up on a cold Wisconsin night.
Fundamental to my growth path or dharma over the past few years is a wonderful teacher named Tara Brach who introduced me to the idea of metta, or lovingkindness, practice. When you pray this:
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;
May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow;
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrowless;
And may all live in equanimity, without too much attachment and too much aversion,
And live believing in the equality of all that lives.
…it is difficult to deny any being what they consider happiness regardless of what they believe or their ‘orientation’ on any one of a number of issues. May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness…
It’s not that I don’t care anymore — it’s that I care more deeply than I ever did about all beings and not so much the issues themselves. The reason I celebrate the decision is because I am ok with it when only 5 years ago I would have been beside myself with anger and fear and I feel that I am a better person now than I was then. May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness…
One of the many people I want to thank for the part they have played in my conversion is a beautiful man named Michael Rohrer who blogs in a raw, powerful, and transparent way about the struggles of being a gay man who comes from a religious background. I don’t know how I first came across his work but I’m grateful I did. Through his writing he has opened my eyes and heart to the idea we are all on the same journey even if we follow different paths and I cherish the friendship that has developed via Twitter and Facebook! I don’t agree with everything that Michael posts but I will defend to the death his right to post it and he opens my mind. May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness…
Today I celebrate not only the Supreme Court decision but also the joy of having an open mind and how much nicer it is than needing to be RIGHT all the time! May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness…
I’ve said that little quote so many different ways through the years LOL. I live in Texas and am very disappointed in my state and the others saying religion trumps the new law. I wish these folks would stay out of people’s personal lives and trying to turn this country into a theocracy. I wish they would quit cherry picking the bible for what they think will get them re-elected and suites their purposes not God’s.
How glad I am I stopped over for a long overdue visit! Wonderful words!
Thanks for coming back…
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Cheers to that sir! I read something the other day and want to share a bit of it here.
“Why are you so pissed about this change in MAN’s law? Absolutely nothing has changed in the Bible. God’s law is exactly the same as it was before yesterday. The good book said that man’s law wouldn’t always line up with God’s law, so why are you upset that the Bible was correct?”
It goes on to say that although sex before marriage, pornography, having kids out of wedlock, and living with your significant other is against the bible it’s NOT illegal. So, why should we be trying to deny others of what I consider to be basic human rights.
Like you said “May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness…”
I like that. Thanks for sharing.