I have the most interesting spiritual conversations within me.
I often call God “Words with No Voice” because I hear words inside of me that don’t have a voice. I understand it to be Spirit and the unique way it communicates with me.
Several years ago, I heard WWNV say, “Honor is mutual.”
It felt very true to me even though I didn’t fully understand it.
Over time, I got these distinct bits of information that if you honor one, you honor all. If you honor the truth, all are honored by the truth. If you honor yourself, you honor another. If you honor another, you honor you.
It was an understanding of the meaning of Namaste: The Divine in me sees/bows to/honors the Divine in you.
But in our culture, we don’t really do that.
Preference is Not Honor
We bow to celebrities and sports figures.
We bow to certain religions.
We bow to certain political groups, ideas, and beliefs.
We bow to people with a certain amount of money (and this can go either way, by the way: There are people who fawn over the uber wealthy, and there are people who disdain them.)
I think we’ve confused our respect and honor with our preference.
We think that we need to prefer something or someone in order to show respect.
But we don’t.
And we think that if we like someone and we’re BETTER to them or about them behind their back then, we’re honoring them.
But we’re not.
Have you ever seen someone be rude to the cashier in the store but nice to the owner? They think they’re honoring the owner, but what they’re actually doing is dishonoring both the owner and the cashier because they showed preference to the one who was ‘worthy’ in their mind, and they showed dishonor to the one they didn’t think was worthy.
If we’re all connected, both the owner and cashier got the icky energy of judgment — of the customer subjectively assessing who was worthy of good treatment and who wasn’t.
There was no true ‘honor’ involved when the customer was good to the owner.
Because honor is about respecting someone for their DIVINE worth (and not their actions or acquisitions).
And if that’s a foundational truth then, honor and respect are for ALL.
Yup. Even that person you’re thinking doesn’t deserve it right now.
That person, too.
Denying Your Needs is Not Honor
As a mom with an autoimmune condition, I had some funky ideas about honor. I thought that if I pressed through my sickness and exhaustion and kept doing the business, social, and family obligations that I was somehow honoring the other people in my life.
But I wasn’t.
As a homeschooling mom of young kids, I was experiencing the strangest dizziness for 15 hours a day and it lasted for months.
I went outside for a slow, dizzy walk one day and passed the local public school. I knew I needed to enroll my kids who were 5 and 7 because I just didn’t have the energy to teach them at that moment.
It wasn’t my first choice because I had an idea and ideal that I would homeschool my kids forever.
Threatened by guilt, I heard WWNV speak to me in my gut where I hear truth: “If it’s good for you; it’s good for them.”
That’s the energy of mutual honor.
If I take care of me, on the invisible realm you feel the energy of my self-care and it opens up a space for you to care for yourself too.
When I do that in the seen realm, it teaches you how to care for you, too.
Preference and our other wonky ideas and issues of unworthiness send us messages that mess with truly honoring ourselves.
With Hashimoto’s and my community of women whom I coach, many are re-learning how to listen in to what their true needs are and to honor them instead of dismissing them or denying them.
It took me a long time to realize that if I honor me, I honor you, too.
Overcompensating is Not Honor
What about the victim?
We are in a unique time in our culture. And as an observer of human actions and reactions, I am watching our society deal with people groups who’ve been disenfranchised in some interesting and disempowering ways.
Whether it’s because of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual preference, we have people who’ve been marginalized, mistreated, and oppressed. It’s terrible and wrong.
The way I see us handling it, sometimes, doesn’t help but only adds to the first wrong that was done and compounds it.
As a society, when we overcompensate (or overtreat someone well to try to make up for all the things done to their people group) for someone who’s been victimized, we are still treating them like a victim.
If that’s a little confusing to you, hang on a minute — I’m going to speak more to that in a moment, but first a personal story to bring it past the porch and into my kitchen…
I dealt with this in my own home when my oldest went through bullying (which I mentioned last week in my letter to you guys). When Caleb was repeatedly mistreated and bullied, it escalated horribly to the point where he pulled himself out of his Waldorf School at 12 years old and threw up acid for four months, he trembled by my side, and was the color of school glue. The stress was horrible and my heart broke.
Well, what most people don’t know is that the next school year, we switched them to another private school and Seth was tormented unmercifully by a boy in his class. It impacted Seth deeply. I pulled them out of the school within a few months and had to heal two children.
Two children who were behaving very differently from each other:
Caleb was internalizing his pain and getting sick
Seth was externalizing his pain and being a pain in the ass.
Guess who it would have been tempting to treat like a victim?
Guess what they both needed in order to heal?
They needed me to remind each of them of the power that lives in them to access their greatest and highest self.
They each needed empowerment and love.
They needed form and order and standards of kindness and respect upheld TOWARD them and FOR them.
No one had permission to mistreat the other – even though it would have been understandable and there were times of acting out, because healing is freaking messy — trust me. It was not pretty in my home for some intense months, but the standard was held within me to honor WHO THEY WERE and treat them with respect. Did I handle their expressions of pain differently? Sure did. I’m a mom with two different kids and I handled the nuances of healing differently toward each child but I didn’t treat one with more value and respect than another and I didn’t overcompensate and treat them like tea cups either.
I was soft, yes, and I was strong.
I was compassionate, and I wasn’t overcompensating.
Even though my heart felt an ache so incredibly deep and I wondered at times how I would get my kids back to connect with the truth of who they were, I was clear on this:
It wasn’t going to happen by me treating them like they were victims.
It was going to happen by me treating them with honor.
I’ve been a victim to some pretty painful circumstances in my life and at times was pandered to because of them. I’ve also been a really strong, healthy person and been punished for that.
Neither one of those is honoring.
So, the lessons I learned from my own experience gave me this bit of gold when raising my children:
If you overcompensate (overdo it) for someone who was victimized YOU ARE STILL TREATING THEM LIKE A VICTIM.
The action of overcompensation is STILL in relationship to the idea that someone is a victim.
I don’t treat any of my coaching clients or my kids that way — when they come to me, I treat them ACCORDING TO THEIR POWER to use EVERYTHING in their life for their good.
Yes, I show compassion and hold them in my love that aches for what they went through.
Yes, I say, “That was horrible and wrong and painful and sucks. I wish that never happened and the minute I get my magic wand, I’m going back in time to erase all of that.”
And then, at some point, in some way, I let the person sitting in front of me know,
“And Yes, you can use EVEN THIS to be MORE of who you are here to be in the world.”
And I sit with them in their pain and remind them of their power.
I see them with eyes that know the truth of who they are
And I hold the space of them knowing that and seeing that truth again, too.
Then, I’m not contributing to their victimhood (by overcompensating) but I am contributing to their true healing by EMPOWERMENT.
Honor is a mutual energy:
If I give it to me, I’ve given it to you.
If I give it to you, I get it, too.
If we give it to ourselves, and to each other,
And bow to the DIVINE truth that lives in EVERYONE,
The whole world gets it.
Do you get it?
Now, let’s not just say “Namaste” to each other, let’s truly live it.
Love and Namaste-ing you all over the place,