I’ve been reading Colleen Laukka aka Passionate Mystic’s blog for almost a year and though she doesn’t post very frequently, I always found that her writing resonated with me. I asked Colleen to write a guest post for Everyday Gyaan a few months ago, and she agreed immediately. Then a personal loss prevented her from writing and recently I asked her again to write a post on a subject I’ve been featuring on my blog – Cynicism.
As you can will see, her post was worth the wait!
So here’s Colleen’s Words of Wisdom. Do visit her blog for more.
May you be inspired – everyday!
If I were asked to describe myself, even if I was given the opportunity to use as many words as I could possibly think of, cynical would never come to mind. When I asked my friends to describe me, the majority of them used words like “positive” or “spiritual”.
So when the assignment came my way to write about cynicism, at first blush, it was like trying to fit a piece of my 100 count princess jigsaw puzzle into a 1000 piece landscape scene. The word had been completely out of my framework of consciousness. Me?…cynical? I told Corinne that I would sit with the word for a few days and see what I came up with.
I looked up various definitions and the two that called out were:
Negative or pessimistic, as from world-weariness.
Inclined to believe the worst, especially about people.
It didn’t take a few days for me to remember that I had written on my blog about an experience last week when I “stumbled” upon a group of boys and immediately began thinking the worst. I was sizing them up like I was watching an episode of “Criminal Minds” only to have them show me grace when I stumbled and fell on the sidewalk.
So I decided to take another look at myself, this time without my “princess glasses”. I took out the magnifying glass and looked deeply into my thoughts and found … a closet cynic! It is not something that I am proud of, mind you. But there it was, lurking like a pink polyester pants suit in my closet. “Cynical” is not something that I wear out in public; I don’t share it with others (generally) and it is something that I thought I had long ago (for the most part) discarded.
But on Saturday I was in the grocery store and bumped into a father, who looked down on his luck, with his young daughter. They were filling their cart with goodies for the weekend and we serendipitously ended up at the cash register at the same time. The daughter was lifting a cube of 24 cans of soda onto the counter when the bottom opened and the cans went crashing to the ground in every direction. I looked at the Dad and “excepted” him to treat her harshly because of “how he looked”. But he was kind and gracious with his young daughter.
This was the second time in a week that I had judged another harshly for what they looked like and then to have them, minutes later turn around and prove me wrong. The ‘judged’ responded with such grace, which was so contrary to my thoughts about them, that it pierced through my closet of secret thoughts and clothed me in my outdated “pants suit”.
The cynic was out of the closet and as I stood there looking in the mirror, the question I asked myself was: “What in my life is causing my weariness with this world and coloring my expectations of others?” As my fear-based thoughts stared back at me, I saw clearly that the ‘poor and disheveled’ bring out the cynic in me.
Interesting what we can find hanging in our closets, if we become aware. I believe people and experiences come into our lives mirroring back to us our ‘closet of secret thoughts’. Perusing my closet I have found some outdated outfits that I am ready to let go of. Such as lack, scarcity, poverty, bag lady fears and material possessions adding to the worth of an individual.
I am ready to let go of the weariness of this world that clings to me in the form of fear and causes me to be a cynic. My fear comes from not trusting that the Universe is benevolent and also not trusting myself enough to know that I can handle anything that comes my way.
Life is an adventure calling us to awaken, calling us to love! All of us have been hurt, cheated, mistreated and left wondering when we will be loved by this world. There will continue to be news of corruption, greed, and financial disasters that catch our attention. But to quiet the cynic in our mind and create a landscape of love, I believe following Gandhi’s admonition to “be the change we want to see in the world” will not only quiet the cynic in our minds, but also help to quiet the cynic in that of another.