The Path to Loving Ourselves and Others Part I
It’s that time of year again at the office job. I’m not talking about something fun like giving our coworkers Valentine’s Day cards. I’m talking about PDRs (Performance and Development Reviews). While running this blog I’ve also been working for the same corporate company since 2003. This means 2022 marks my 19th PDR. In the nearly two decades working for the same company I’ve had multiple managers give me feedback about my performance. I’m no stranger to the process. This week though, was different. This week I heard my new manager say that she appreciates that I’m patient. Interestingly enough, the new trainee who has been under my wing for the past two weeks, ALSO thanked me for my patience with her during the difficult time she’s had learning all the new “stuff” I’ve been throwing at her. The funny thing is “Patient” is not a word I would use to describe myself. In fact, I would say being patient is one of my weaknesses, a constant struggle for me, something I strive to achieve every single day.
Not even a week ago one of my roommates asked me if I was “happy.” That’s a question I have a very difficult time answering since “Happiness” is not something I strive to be or achieve. I told her that there are three other things I value more than happiness, since happiness is fleeting. I don’t “pray” in the conventional sense, but I do meditate regularly. The three things I regularly meditate on, I told her, are Patience, Acceptance, and Understanding. I will add now a fourth one, and that is LOVE. Together you can say that on a regular basis I pray for P.A.U.L. (Patience, Acceptance, Understanding, and Love). Not just with others, but mostly with myself.
You might have heard someone once say that there are two ways of living, you are either living in FEAR or LOVE. If you’re like me, you strive to live in LOVE. It just feels better. That being said, with all the challenges Life throws at us sometimes at the end of the day, we feel we missed the mark when it comes to living in Love. For me personally, the path to LOVE is found in P.A.U.L. Whenever I find myself in conflict, mentally and/or emotionally I summon the power of P.A.U.L.
Like Paul the apostle we are often blinded by our culture’s conditioning, and it takes a sign for us to change our ways. Sometimes we think that it’s easier to fall on the defaults of our social conditioning, but when presented with the multitude of choices we must make on a daily basis, we have to ask ourselves is the default choice really the one that’s going to bring us and others Peace? The default choice could be as simple as “if you are born with a penis you must not wear women’s clothing.” But how does one give an alternative way of life a chance, especially when it speaks to our soul? I think P.A.U.L. can help. Here is the mental exercise I perform and how I struggle with it along the way.
Usually, I post about Gender and Sexuality topics on this blog. However, I believe all of us could use P.A.U.L. in reaching not only our Gender goals, but basically any goal in life. I truly believe we can apply P.A.U.L. in all aspects of our lives, from our interpersonal relationships with friends, family, and coworkers, to the most important relationship of all, the one we have with ourselves.
So let’s break down P.A.U.L. and how we can use it to improve our way of life, See you in the next blog entry.
To be continued ...