my girl. Lu
At times like this I remember something my friend, Jon said to me once. "Yeah, but that's just how you think, right hon?" I think of that often when I catch a thought pattern. I've been tracing the thought patterns, trying to uncover the root of the pattern. The belief behind the pattern. It's been an interesting exercise. Upon examination, some beliefs are completely bat-shit crazy, others seem fairly benign. What I'm most curious about is where these beliefs started. How was the seed planted?
Once I trace the thought pattern back to the belief I have an option. I get to decide if the belief is true, does it still serves me or is it time to let it go. The process does take way longer than I would like. "There's got to be a better way." I tell myself. If there is, I haven't figured it out yet. When I do, I'll be sure to write a book and go on tour.
I'm thinking of what Jon said because it's become increasing clear to me that Jon was right. Not everyone thinks like me. Funny, isn't it? I'm 45 years old and it's just now occurring to me that not everyone thinks like me. When Jon pointed this out to me I was shocked. Then I wondered why everyone doesn't think like me. "Life would be so much easier if everyone thought like me!" I tell him. ( Let's pause and give thanks that not everyone thinks like me.)
Loyalty is what I'm contemplating. Hence, my girl Lu in the picture. When I try to figure out what my beliefs are around the concept of loyalty I come to conclusion that I must have been a dog in a previous life. That's the only explanation I can come up with as to why I'm fiercely loyal.
I would even say loyal to a fault. It's hard to believe that being too loyal can be hazardous. (Wait, I think that belief may be worth examining...)
What does loyalty mean exactly? The dictionary says "A strong feeling of support or allegiance." I like this definition. It makes sense in my head. What does it mean to you? What does loyalty look like? I am loyal to Wawa. I only buy coffee at Wawa even though 7-eleven is closer and McDonald's is cheaper. That's one example of loyalty. It means that I support and have an allegiance to people even when it's inconvenience or difficult. I sometimes feel like loyalty is a lost art. Sort of like cursive handwriting or getting handwritten letters in the mail.
In my continuing effort to see the beauty in life I'm shifting my focus. I'm looking for examples of loyalty instead of crying about the lack of loyalty I've been noticing. As Jon points out, not everyone thinks like me but that doesn't mean it should stand in the way of loyalty. Even if our beliefs are different can't we still support one another's right to our individual beliefs? Can we be loyal to each other at the fundamental level of our shared humanity?
You may not think like me but I would bet that we have the same basic human desires. We all want to be safe. We all want to happy. We all want to be loved. We all want to be healthy. Perhaps we can be loyal to each other's pursuit of these basic human desires. Can you support that? Can you pledge allegiance to working towards these shared goals?
Look at my girl! She is the best teacher of unconditional love and loyalty. If you don't know what it means to be loyal get a dog.